21-May-2008

Survival guide for the Single woman

warning - long post

As a tween, teenager, twenty year-old, whenever I read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, I could immediately identify myself with Elizabeth . It turned out I was not the only one. Almost every girl who read the book did not want to be the pretty and nice (boring?) Jane. For obvious reasons, no one could even think of themselves as one of Elizabeth ’s other sisters. It sounded good, being rude to Mr Darcy and then having him fall for you hook, line and sinker. Especially when he was tall and handsome (a memory that only got enhanced by Colin Firth’s portrayal in the BBC series) and had class and lots of money. Ah, perfect life.

Sadly, I turned twenty seven, without seeing Mr Darcy in the horizon and began to notice the much ignored Charlotte . Charlotte was blessed with average looks, brains, some family money and overall a decent personality (After all she was Elizabeth ’s friend). Unfortunately she chooses to marry the insufferable Mr Collins. When Elizabeth visits her house later on, Charlotte makes it fairly clear that the marriage has not brought her any joy in terms of companionship but she is grateful for the comfort of a home it has given her. With some careful maneuvering, she ensures that she and Mr Collins don’t spend much of their time in the same room. Even reading about Charlotte makes one want to cry.

Yet, why is it then that every Indian girl who has reached the magical Charlotte age of twenty seven, so keen on marrying, even if it is Mr. Collins ?

Maybe the answers lie in the Indian society of the last generation, which is not substantially different from the English society of the novel. The operative words being ‘the last generation’.

We grew up watching our aunts, older cousins and sundry female relatives tread the path of holy matrimony, when they turned the right age. The unfortunate few who did not find a mate were consigned to the jobs of being teachers and staying with their brothers after their fathers died. Or becoming hostel wardens. Or (gulp) came to a Bad End, having fallen under the clutches of evil men who exploited ‘frustrated’ older single women. I cannot recollect a single woman who stayed by herself, had a career and had a life.

My generation has it better. More women were getting into professional courses and the average middle class family expects its daughters to study, as much it does its sons. You can even have careers that are more demanding than being a primary school teacher. Yet, when the golden age of 25 has been reached without a groom in sight, it is panic time. Panic among parents, the extended family, friends of the family, triggering off a panic attack in the girl till she agrees to marry the first bloke who comes along. If he turns out to be Collins, so be it. But atleast she has the comfort of holy matrimony.

No one stops to question this logic, least of the girl – Is marriage at the ‘right’ age still so important that you marry Collins? After having worked hard to get into schools, colleges and jobs you deserve, is it necessary to settle down for less when it comes to marriage? We seem to be producing more women engineers, MBAs and all other professionals than before. But when it comes to marriage, it is time for the blinkers to come and follow the sell-by date set by some vague society standards.

And when this happens, the few who hold out, either out of choice or compulsion, suddenly realize they are clueless about what to do next.

You had enough classmates around you, preparing for GMAT or cracking the CAT. You had friends who feverishly discussed their preferred first jobs with you. Then, bang, all of them get married and lead a very different life from you. You have neither role models, nor peer groups to get a cue from. What next?

Well, I would think, maybe it is time to think. For the first time in your life, here is a chance to be yourself. Finally you don’t have a peer group that tells you what you ought to be doing now. You are not married at 25. This automatically means, you don’t have to have a kid at 27, buy a house at 28 and have a second kid at 30. Alright maybe the bit about the house is not true. But we will come to that later. Instead of constantly moaning about how you must be the most unattractive person on earth, and how you will die being eaten by Alsatians, here is the time to do all the things that you were good at or interested in – travel, dance, sing, write poetry, take Spanish classes, learn animation, do photography, volunteer at a primary school. The list is practically endless. You have the time and money to do what you want. It is a tragedy of human race that when we are given the opportunity to have all the adventures we want, instead of grabbing it with open hands and letting loose our imagination, we cry in anguish at having missed out on joining the stereotype.

So, your parents and peer group are aghast and keep asking you when your ‘real’ life is going to start. Maybe it is time to turn around and say that this is your real life and it does sound more interesting at times. The problem with the definition of ‘real’ life is that it usually means ‘all of us are doing it. So we must be right’. Which means pampering husbands and producing babies is real life. But climbing mountains and rappelling down them is not (Boy, don’t you ever go around thinking that is not real. It is as real as it gets. Especially when you look down).

There are of course the immediate problems – who do you travel with, who do you go for a movie with, what if you want to have a random coffee? This is where it is time to remind yourself the differences between the last generation and this. There are enough travel groups you can go with and women-only travel groups if you please. Unlike the last generation when being single meant you were ostracized from the average middle-class society, you will be pleasantly surprised to discover that once your friends recover from the initial flush of marriage, they are more than happy to hang out with you. And really, watching a movie or drinking coffee alone is not something you will be shot for.

Enjoy being yourself. You are more interesting than you think.

The other funny thing which the unmarried twenty-seven years old do is to ignore their careers. Somewhere deep down you think that your time will come anytime now – should I really take that transfer when six months down the line I could be asking for another transfer if I get married? I hate my job but do I really want to quit when six months down the line I anyway have to quit when I move to the U.S. ? Wake up, girls. If there is no one in sight, then maybe it is a bit silly to plan your life around an unpredictable event? Firstly, being married is not the ‘big change’ to do course correction in your jobs. If you think you need to do it, then the sooner you do it the better. Secondly, you have reached where you have after putting in a lot of effort. If you don’t respect that, no one else is going to. Including your boss who will decide your pay and the guy who shows up to ‘have coffee with you’. And finally, so what if you moved jobs just now and decide to move again when you get married? This is hardly the day and age of ‘permanent’ jobs in PSUs. Instead of one job change this year, you have two. Big deal.

Don’t ignore your career. It is going to be around for most part of your life.

And while we are it, I may as well add about the house. Savings and finances infact. For some reason, being single automatically dissuades women from investing in shares, opening FDs or acquiring property. This is yet another hangover from the last generation, where most women held onto low-paying jobs till they got married or anyway had jobs that would not be enough to put food on the table. Today, a lot of us earn enough to support ourselves and more. So perhaps it is time to be grown-up about money. So you do get married two years down the line. What do you expect? Your husband to manage your overdue credit card bills and exploding wardrobe? If you end up meeting someone who cashed out totally in the last internet boom or inherited tons of family wealth, then life is good. But more likely, he is also a hardworking guy in a normal job and fiscal responsibility is something that you both bring to the table?

Money is good. Single or married.

I must confess that for all the talk on how it is time to look inward and doing things that you most want, it is not easy being the odd one out in a group. Whenever you meet up with your friends (all married), you look on while they indulge in couple talk and act. Yet, step back for a minute and think of how it would be if the situation were switched. You won’t be the one feeling like an aberration. So maybe it is good to make new friends who are single too? You made new friends when you went from school to college, when you shifted house, when you found a job. Yet, when our current friends move onto a different phase of life, we hanker to get into that phase, rather than find people who are in the same phase of life as us. Maybe you are not ready to get married but you still do since everybody around you is?

It is not that difficult making friends as you grow older. It is just that we are in fewer situations where we meet new people. Remedying that is easier done than said. Two years after I moved to Chennai, I was still wallowing in the ‘I have no friends’ syndrome. Then I joined a series of classes – aerobics, dance and eventually Salsa, and now some of my best friends are from that bunch. This is more than I expected (touch wood). But really, what you are looking out for is not ‘best friends’. Just someone who can go for a movie with you. Or someone who can meet you for a brief coffee.

Having alteast some friends who are like you is important.

And I am not even going to end by saying that like a muse who appears when you are looking out for it not directly but through the corner of your eye, the right guy will appear when you are busy leading your life and not made searching for him the mission of your life. For some of us, it could happen and that is great. For some of us, being alone may work out best. But then, that has been my point all along.

You don’t have to be Elizabeth or Charlotte. You can just be you, perhaps?

50 comments:

Joy said...

Anita, You have written well from a 27 year old's mind and what you have said is very true. Doing things what we like helps us being happy and motivated. Let the Prince Charming come searching for you :)

lekhni said...

**Fact Nazi Alert** Charlotte did not marry Wickham, she married Collins. It was Lydia who eloped with Wickham and was finally married off to him...

Great post. It is sad that Pride and Prejudice was written 200 years ago, and yet there are so many things that have not changed..and it's not only in India that women panic after a certain age, it happens in the US and every other country in the world..

Anita said...

Joy - Thanks. But must say Prince Charming not being in the pic was actually the point of my post!

Lekhni - Thanks. Corrected. and suitably mortified by such an basic slip-up in names.

Serendipity said...

:)

You should take up writing as a profession , you write very powerfully.Very good post , makes me feel so much better.Will take a print out and and pin it in my cube :)

SK said...

Very well written!

Anonymous said...

Haha...
It's like reading Carrie Bradshaw's Sex and the City column... with an Indian flavour.

indicaspecies said...

Anita,

It seems that you have realized there is no need to struggle to find a place within the conservative social institution of marriage. From this post i can infer that you are a strong and intelligent girl and you believe in individualism. I admire that. Excellent post.

- celine

Dewdrop said...

Very well written. You brightened up my day, i should say. :) Thanks for bringing out so many strong points.

gaurav said...

for anyone in their mid 20s the pressures to 'conform' can be very frustrating. marriage in no way shud be the 'end all' of a girl's life. while being independent and having a life of ur own is the way to go, at the end of the day one does seek companionship and some permanency in a the form of a partner. that might happen at 27 or 35 but i think everyone needs that. in that respect i might have detected some cynicism in your post.

Kiran said...

Interesting post. Well, this is my first time here, so I will make it short.

While one can go on about the pressure to conform and marry at the right age, we also need to understand that going against the norms, at least in Chennai, is taken as an indictment of all those around you and the paths they have chosen for themselves. And the only way for them to retaliate is to put more pressure on you. If you are 27 and single and in chennai, you probably would happily strangle anyone who went 'Kalyana saapadu eppo'

About the rest of your recommendations some of them need not apply to single women alone do they? Even for married women, an exit policy in the form of a stable career is helpful. Of course, when I say that aloud, I am branded a cynical anti social bastard.

But, things will not remain the same. You are 27 now, you have been through the loneliness. Going forward you will realise that you cannot have the same set of friends for a long time and you might not always be able to meet new people. Human mind finds comfort in familiarity and soon you will start missing the sense of belonging.

Anonymous said...

i am almost 27 and am looking to get myself married. i am a guy and you may think things are easier that way.

sadly...they are not.

first of all, girls want IIT IIM IAS graduates when i am pretty sure that more than 90% of them cant even tell their full forms! ha ha!

expected income should be 60-70K a month wonly...i think they are talking post tax but if you look at their income...not working....wtf!!!!!

so in addition to want to marry an ibanker or a strategy consultant they also want him to spend enough time with the family.

the whole point is that girls have unrealistic expectations. as the age bomb starts ticking...they tend to either get more realistic or desperate whichever way you look at it. if you want to get marry to hrithik roshan...then you have to be aishwarya rai...ha ha...bad comparison i know....but every not so attractive looking girl outthere thinks that shes Miss Universe!

by the by...have you seen life in a metro....watch irfan khan in that...he will give you good advice! he he....

also i really feel indians should get married on time even if they get married to the wrong person. coz only in retrospect will you find that hes the wrong person or else you will never know!

i find the indian society is getting more sad and depressed like the western one....

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=VqwgeZooUmQ

best of luck!

Taz Snow said...

Very articulate post! I like, and echo, what you have to say .... women have to remember that they are individuals in their own right, and unless they first develop their own identity and sense of self, they cannot find happiness / security / comfort in any state.

Sad, but true, a lot of women think that getting any job after college, is the epitome of being a successful career woman, and listing out a set of "desired attributes" on an online matrimony website is the height of being independant.

At the same time, there is nothing retrograde about wanting to be a homemaker - wives and mothers play a very key role in life, and typically get relegated to the background, merging into a family identity. Most people have no idea what a "master of all" a woman needs to be, to make this a success, and homemakers get taken awfully for granted!

I am not a rabid feminist, but I do believe that women have a lot to offer, at the "career role" of their choice and to themselves as individuals, and have a long way to go before we are truly comfortable in our own skins. The times, they are a changing....

alkyron said...

There's this pressure to conform, and one is made out to be a freak of some sort if one isnt "holy matrimonied" by a certain cut-off age.

was refreshing to read someone put it so well.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but life is many shades of grey. There is a Mr Perfect, Mr Good, Mr Right, Mr ok and Mr Wrong. You only see the Mr perfect and Mr wrong is it? Nothing in between?

P said...

I feel like you heard my jumbled thoughts and wrote them down into this beautiful article. Love the Pride and Prejudice analogy.

Although I have a Mr. Darcy in sight, but even otherwise I would have never settled down for Mr. Collins at any age. I love my single life. In fact, even with Mr. Darcy around I don't feel any urgency to get married, and I am way past 25 :)

My parents never force me to get married, but I remember when I first told my mom about my bf few years ago, she immediately started asking about our wedding plans. I was really really surprised and asked her that how come she doesn't even want to know more about him or even meet him, before being so excited. She remained silent. It is really strange that the most open-minded mom also had a Mrs. Bennet in her.

The part about girls sacrificing their career is beyond me too. People think I am strange because I chose to be in a long distance relationship and complete my PhD. I think leaving it halfway and starting again from scratch would have been a waste, if not a mistake.

I am glad to see another girl thinking along the same tracks. You know what, just two days ago a girl few years my junior told me that I was her role model!! Maybe eventually there will be more and more Elizabeths :)

Anita said...

Serendipity, SK, indicaspecies, dewdrop, alkryon - thanks!

gaurav - companionship is important but when it is not in your hands, you can't make the lack of it the end of the world I guess. Not cynical about it. but perhaps realistic.

Kiran - Not just Chennai, every city has its cut off age. Unfortunately since it is tough to please everyone you may as well stick to what pleases you. Swimming against the tide is difficult, but look around and usually you find other swimmers and then it gets easier.

taz snow - totally agree. women really forget about realising their potential as individuals.

Anita said...

P - Thank you.

I see a lot of women who seem to be pretty balanced these days. Infact had a conversation with a friend who was dating someone but got married after she turned 30 (expiry date age) when she felt a little clearer about everything in life - career, parents, settling down and all. Feels good to hear about such perspective everywhere

Sonal said...

hey anita

i totally loved this post. Till i got married, the 'so when are you getting married' question was always part of various conversations...including ones with random people! its like a girl can't have a life if she is'nt married. Anyways, i think it is important for women to realise that you need to live your life the way you want to - do things you like, have a career, friends etc irrespective of marriage or not. Your post has a very positive outlook and i guess going forward, thats the positive outlook all us women should have!

Sirensongs: Indologist At Large said...

It's a lot easier for westerners, partic. Americans, to stay single longer. Your post gives me a lot of insight into what many of my Asian friends (of all stripes, even Asian American) are going through.

I made this same argument to an (Am-Asian) friend a few weeks ago: "so you think your parents will be disappointed? not nearly as disappointed as they'd be if you settled for the wrong person." There are much worse things than being single, one is being married to the wrong person.

Entropy said...

Hi,
This is more my response to all the comments above around than to Anita's post.

Remember the movie 'Mona Lisa Smile' (that's the one where Julia ROberts is an arts teacher, right ?). There is one girl who does really well, gets admitted into some studly college and then chooses to give it up for holy matrimony - because she wants to. I really liked her character in the movie, because she sort of had both options open to her, chose one, of her own volition - not because she desperately needed companionship or any such thing. She wanted to.

That's my ideal, I think. Whatever works best for someone is fine and other people should accept it.

Incidentally, what I find even more irritating than old aunties asking me when I will get married is young friends of my generation asking me that. It is so unexpected when someone my own age says, "so, you should be married by now" or "aren't you thinking of getting married" ? Thankfully my good friends don't do that, but a lot of others do and it never fails to piss me off because it so totally illustrates that in terms of changing attitudes, all we have done is take baby steps in the last 20-30 years.
Zen.

Aqua said...

Anita: for a change got here through sakshi juneja's blog post on the 'M' word. i thought she meant menstruation at first so was thoroughly confused for a bit :)

more power to you!

Zen: I love 'Mona lisa smile". i esp love that scene where julia roberts' character shows her students students four newspaper ads, and asks them to question what the future will think of the idea that women are born into the roles of wives and mothers. awesome.
i wish it was possible to make it compulsory viewing for every smug married woman who thinks that a woman's only aim in life is to "find" a man or her "duty" is to stay at home with her child.

And it never stops. the irritating aunties and ppl of my generation keep asking me when i'm going to "give" rogue monkey a sibling (along with covert questions to assess my current fertility situation) :)

Anshul Agrawal said...

Very well written post...

I think most of the single girls in their late twentiees will definitely agree to you...

The best parts of this post, which I liked are where you pointed out the characterstics which girls generally adopted from the previous generations like transfer in job, finance planning, etc.

Even the last part of the post where you have suggested to have new frndz and also to do the things whcih we want to do is brialliant...

rahul said...

at the risk of going off on a tangent, i have to respond to what anon posted. one finds people now very demanding and particular about what kinda partner they seek. thats true for both women and men. as much as boys want trophy wives, girls wont touch anyoone they deem 'unsuccessful'.. the unreasonable expectations have in no small measure contributed to this 'wait for the right person' syndrome.
it works for some but not for most. the consequence is frustration and loneliness. if individuals are so keen to find the 'right' person they hav to try..he/she wont just appear out of nowhere..going out n meeting ppl might help. in our urban context thats not as common as it shud be. u need to make mistakes to come across the right person.

Yashita said...

Hi Anita,

First, loved this post.came here from Sakshi's blog and am so glad I did!

Am 23 and already my friends are getting into the "look for guy" mode and am all panic and oh-god-I-am-23-should-get-married-like-my-friends.

This made me realise what I wnated all along :)

Thanks.

La vida Loca said...

ppl's commentary never ends..first marriage, then baby no.1 then no. 2 their sexes are up for discussion, then their schols, careers, and their marriage...u get the drift?
live ur life....

சிங்கம்லே ACE !! said...

very good one.. Most of it suits single men too..

//the first time in your life, here is a chance to be yourself.//

Well said.. Realised this is the way to live after reaching 30.

Good luck :)

Anita said...

Sonal, Aqua, Anshul, Ace - Thanks!

Sirensongs - Yup and it is tough to convince someone once they have made up their minds that this is what they want at any cost

Z - totally agree on the Mona Lisa smile one

Rahul - appreciating your life as a singleton does not preclude looking out for the right person. I agree that unless you meet all kinds of people and set your expectations at reasonable levels, it is difficult finding someone. but obsessing on it is unhealthy too.

Yashita - yup, it is nice not to get caught in a blind rush.

la vida loca - yeah. there is no getting away from the 'perfect life' list.

mukta.s said...

I am glad there are people alive who think your way.......I loved your thoughts

Satpreet said...

Added to my list of favorite quotes:

"It is a tragedy of human race that when we are given the opportunity to have all the adventures we want, instead of grabbing it with open hands and letting loose our imagination, we cry in anguish at having missed out on joining the stereotype."

So true -- couldn't have put it across better...

Error said...

Loved it.. m 25 n see d same questions proppong up!All keep saying now u have frnds when all r married u wnt have nyone arnd. But I keep telling them then I ll get new sets of friends. But ur idea tht even they after their initial flush of marriage wud also be ready to be part of the ole times.. in fact gives some solace. N i m already seeing tht happening with my married friends....

Nice to know u thru this!!

Tita said...

Anita,

My first reaction reading this blog- U deserve a big applause and a hug. Loved reading it. Also felt that u have translated my thoughts into words.
Any plans of shifting into Professional Writing?? Well this too is professional writing......Gr8 job.

Girls/women always being attached to their father, Brothers or husbands right from birth always forget themselves as an entity and that they too have a life and wishes to fulfill.

The society out here, the family outlook or the mindset that gets inculcated in a girl/daughter while growing up makes a girl also to think in a single direction irrespective of her success or achievements in life. And most of the time we follow the lead blindly. A feeling creeps in in most people is that settled life for a girl starts when she is married.
As u rightly said we need to respect ourselves of what we are and where we are.

What i feel is come on, wakeup, there is more to life than just being married. U are an Individual apart from being a daughter, sister, wife or sister in law.

This is only one life no one knows what lies tomorrow so leave every moment to the fullest.

Anita said...

mukta.s, satpreet - Thanks!

error - yup. been there, done that

tita - very true

Anonymous said...

Hi Anita,

A nice post...
May I ask you a question?how old are you?and are you single?
If you are 27+ and single , stop giving excuses and consoling yourself with such posts, it is high time that you should get married and have children.

Whatever the reason , the fact of the matter is you are a single and spend ur nights(and of course days ) alone .

If you are not single , please forgive me and ignore this comment.


Regards,
arnie

RZD said...

My thoughts exactly, well written too.

Entropy said...

Hi Satpreet,
I loved your quote. Applies beautifully to every facet of life - personal or professional.
Zen

Entropy said...

Arnie,
One could consider taking you seriously if you had given some reason or logic for your statements.

From your comment on days and nights being spent alone, I assume that your personality is the kind that results in solitude and some distress. In case you didn't understand me, let me explain. Those who have friends and family and are popular, do not need marriage to fill gaps in their lives.

In case you didn't understand the post, it is not against marriage. But it makes the point that there is no reason to be against singleness (is 'singleness' a word?) either.

Zen.

Entropy said...

p.s. Anita, please correct me if I misunderstood your post.
(damn! commenting is addictive. I can't seem to stop.)
:-)
Zen

byker7 said...

What exactly is "If you are 27+ and single , stop giving excuses and consoling yourself with such posts, it is high time that you should get married and have children." supposed to mean?

I would think that 6 billion people bleeding the planet dry, is reason enough to not make propagation of the species a biological or sociological imperative for marriage.

Entropy said...

Byker 7,
agree with you totally.
Zen.

Anita said...

arnie - think entrophy and byker7 have put in points i would have anyway covered. so will leave it at that.

rzd - thanks

Ace said...

I'm 22 and not at this point yet but this is something I've been thinking about for the past few months. It just doesn't make sense to marry because the 'right age' is about to pass. Isn't marriage about companionship and love? And when that doesn't exist [or there is no scope for it] then why marriage at all? To jump into a lifetime of regret and misery to avoid 'society's' nagging?

I'm bookmarking this because it's so well written and THANK YOU for this =)

Madhumita Datta said...

Loved the quote..."Enjoy being yourself. You are more interesting than you think."

This was an excellent read...irrespective of whether you are married or not...I believe there is a "single girl" very much alive even within a "married woman"...I believe they can co-exist..

Keep writing.

-Madhumita (happily married for 12 years, and still enjoyed your post immensely)
(madhumita.datta@yahoo.com)

Anita said...

Madhumita - Thanks!

Twilight Fairy said...

Can identify with every word here. Am a single "independent" woman who's over 30 now, has her own house, lives in it on her own terms, though her parents stay in the same city. Never heard of something like this - most of the ppl who meet me - say this. Most ppl think I am crazy, all my friends obv think i am ignoring my biological clock, my parents dont stop reminding me how everything else that's great is not so great because mariage is important too.. but yes, I wish life could go on like this forever! With no need of marriage, kids and a spouse.

Anita said...

Twilightfairy - yup. people find it strange!

Ganesh's Page said...

Hmm i am 37 and just travelling my memory lane to 27... after reading this post..Was thinking of shifting career to IT due to Y2K problems...Many of my friends have packed their bag and each month some body is leaving.. So as i prepare for career shift, my family has different plans.. A guy alone in mumbai is nt viewed as good back home in my town ..And astrologer played his part as well..Just visited my home town and seen 3 girls.. in 2 days and flown back to mumbai.. When it came to shortlisting , i gave it to my family ..and I am happy now..
Abt my wife.. She was 26 then .. doing Ph.D in anatomy at Jipmer and wud take another year or so to complete.. when i luk back , probably choice was nt given to her as well due to cut off age i guess.. Doing Ph D and marriage is nt best option at all. Both of us were nt prepared for marriage. Failed in crossing the cutt off age hurdle of the society but successful in our lives..Good posting and added to my fav list

Anita said...

ganesh's page - that was a nice story :) and thanks for adding post to your fav

MEHA~~ said...

Nicely Said! I'm 26 and married happily but I totally agree with whatever you have written, Keep writing!! It's good to read your blog :)

Sunshine said...

Cool Posts!

Though I am married, I can see the depth in what you say. I strongly recommend that you girls take your time in what ever you do. Marriage is just another phase in life, why should it panic you if it came a little later for some of us. Truly, I would like to be on the other side, not because of my husband, but just for the fun side of it.
Enjoy it while you have, you are going to miss it. I personally feel, an independent fun loving single woman seems to be more powerful than a married counterpart :(

Anonymous said...

Hi!

Very well written post. However, i beg to differ on one point! U wrote, "This automatically means, you don’t have to have a kid at 27,buy a house at 28 and have a second kid at 30." Now... That seems like a statement from the 'last generation'! What makes u think that all married women today have 2 kids by 30 and give up their careers when they get married? I'm 30, married for 4 years now, no kids, a good job which pays very well. And i'm not the only one. Look around yourself... i'm sure u'll see many others like me! So though ur post was talking about moving forward and opening our minds, seems to me that ur idea of marriage and married women is a 'hangover from the last generation'!