I have this friend at school, let’s call her B. B is easily one of the smartest kids in my PhD program and is super nice. And she was a total bookworm, putting school over relationships. Last year I consoled her through her first major relationship, which basically meant I kept assuring her what she felt was normal and ok. I’m ok with that because most of the time, what you are feeling is totally fine. Anyway, relationship with first guy ended and she had conflicting feelings about it which she felt terrible about. I listened and told her what she felt was normal and ok and that made her really happy.
Anyway, B and her boo break up. She’s fine with it, we both continue to work on our PhDs. Then one day B comes in my office and tells me she’s met someone and she likes him. He’s also a student but in a different school within our university – actually in religion, which is totally not B’s thing. She also tells me he has a history (read: marriage and a kid). I clutch my pearls, I mean, this would be her second major relationship. But she’s so happy, which makes me so happy. She says “It feels right,” and I smiled. I mean, what would I have said anyway, she was so happy. I keep my doubts to myself.
A few weeks later and her boo is in my office. Official introductions are made even though we both heard of each other already. He’s cool, I approve, we joke about baking cookies.
Fast forward a few weeks, and B walks in and announces she is going to marry her new man. I laugh and say “ok.” But the look in face tells me it’s more than an empty assertion, she is going to marry him. “In September.” Uhm, that’s like two months away, but hey, who am I to tell her what to do with her life? They’ve talked it over. She admits that yes, it sounds crazy, which comforts me because at least she gets why I’m giving her the crazy eye s.
She tells me of plans to bring him to meet her parents and how she will meet his parents in the upcoming months. Everything is moving right along. After visiting her parents, they decide to postpone the wedding until December. And even though December is still way within a calendar year of them meeting, this seems much more realistic. She’s still really happy, there are no problems in love land. I think to myself, this never happens in real life.
Another few weeks and she’s met his mother. Her mother and his mother get along, she loves the family, all is great in the world. She announces that she’s getting married next Tuesday, they’re back on the original time line. In fact, they’ve already filled out the first part of their marriage license paper work. They are ready to go.
I ask what happened, why the change? And her response was so simple, “What am I waiting for?”
In fact, most of the time when we talk about him, she often asked “What am I waiting for?” And I started thinking about my own life. I’ve been mulling around with an idea to write a book but procrastinating on that. At that point, I clearly wasn’t writing the paper that I needed to be writing. I kept putting everything off because I felt like I needed to wait for something (I still have no idea of what I’m waiting on most of the time), but I had to ask myself, what in the world was I waiting for?
I couldn’t think of a good answer, so I got going on what I wanted to to do. Started the book, finished the paper. And it felt good. And it feels good.
B got married to her boo that next Tuesday. I saw her that Thursday, she was talking to my boss about a paper they were writing together, I couldn’t help but noticed how relaxed she was. I couldn’t contain my excitement and was trying to be cool because I didn’t know who she told, but I busted in and interrupted their meeting.
“So did you do it?”
“You know, what you said you were going to do on Tuesday?”
“What did I do on Tuesday?”
“Fool, did you get married?!”
“Oh yeah. I got married! (to me) I got married! (to my boss, who just laughed because this scene is now totally ridiculous).
So B got married, I finally turned in my paper (and passed my class, praise baby Jesus) and I’m working on the book, which I’m sure you’ll hear a lot about this year. And we all lived happily every after.
I don’t even know how I didn’t post this to my own blog yet since I posted it on twitter and facebook a few weeks ago. But my first chapter, that turned into a journal article has finally been published! Hooray.
This article uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Survey to examine the association between transitioning to marriage and general health status or serious health problems among low-income men. Beginning with a sample of 3,631 unmarried fathers, the study observes the relationship between their transitions to marriage within 3 years after the birth of their child and their health status 5 years postbirth. The authors also explore if unmarried fathers benefit from marrying mothers who have health insurance. Results indicate that transitions to marriage and transitions to marriage with mothers who have health insurance, are associated with fewer serious health problems. The authors did not observe a significant relationship between transitioning to marriage and general health, likely because the sample comprised men who were young (average age was 26 years) and in very good health.
so for the past month i’ve been bombarded with all these articles and interviews about how highly educated black women are least likely to get married and how if they do they’re gonna get divorced and how there aren’t enough Black men to go around and I have to wonder if this is a stereotype threat. Basically stereotype threat is the fear that you’re going to fulfill stereotypes of your demographic (but only after you’ve heard about it). An example: Black kids do poorly on a standardized test after a researcher mentions that Black kids typically don’t do well on this type of test, another group of black kids does better on the same test – these kids don’t get the lecture about how Black kids do bad on the test. Google scholar it.
Anywhoo, I’m wondering if all this talk about Black women not getting married is becoming a self fulfilling prophecy and if we wouldn’t have been better off it other people weren’t making such a big deal about it. I wonder if the knowledge of and belief in the “threat” of us not getting married ever is (part of) the reason why so few of us are.
because the way people are talking, it sure seems they can. During the campaign, some people expressed concern that we were hyping him up too much and putting too much pressure on him. Now that he’s President, I think some have gone overboard.
I mean for real, have their been no healthy examples of black marriages since the Cosby show? And for that matter, were there any health examples of black marriages before the Cosby show?
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the Cosby show. I love seeing two successful Black parents that loved each other, could have loving disagreements, didn’t beat their children
It seems like if I did a time line of healthy Black marriages it would go like this
1984-1992: Cosbys (the Cosby show)
1992 – now: Obamas (real life)
This looks ridiculous, because it is ridiculous. I think it’s nice we have another example of a healthy marriage, but the Obamas are not the end all be all and the media (yes i’m looking at you CNN) really needs to stop pretending that this is the cure to Black “pathology”.
Previous research has suggested that the first stages of romantic love fade within 15 months and after 10 years it has gone completely, the newspaper said.
“The findings go against the traditional view of romance — that it drops off sharply in the first decade — but we are sure it’s real,” said Arthur Aron, a psychologist at Stony Brook, told the Sunday Times.
Lately, love has felt so unattainable. You see lovers move on. Or lovers who can’t move on and seem destined to be alone forever. I’m glad there is research to confirm my idealized vision of love.
that doesn’t make me want to tear my hair out. So i was reading/lurking on postbougie and they hat tipped TNC (another place where i lurk) and he was explaining why he decided not to marry the mother of his children and (i’m assuming) his girlfriend.
When I read what it was about, I was ready to tear it about. After all, I’m all about (healthy) marriage and it’s one of my two policies of choice for change in the Black community. The other is education if you must know.
While I don’t necessarily agree with his reasons not to marry, I can certainly understand and respect them. It’s not that I think that marriage is a magic pill. I understand that they take a lot of work and a lot of patience. A marriage is a commitment – not just to a wife, but to your children as well. And I guess some of the reasons TNC said he didn’t want to marry, this insurance, is what I thinkis the missing piece to child stability in single parent families. I think a relationship that TNC appears to have is rare outside of marriage and this is the type of relationship that intiatives like The Healthy Family Initiative are strivig to achieve. It’s not so much the contractual relationship as it is the loving partnership that policies, and society, are trying to achieve.