Today, I was reading Kay Hymowitz's book, Marriage and Caste in America: Separate and Unequal Families in a Post-Marital Age, for an upcoming podcast and found it interesting that she stated that today's generation of young girls is a throwback to the 1950's in their longing for marriage and family. Hymowitz describes the "Millennals," the cohort born between 1981 and 1999 as more "staitlaced" than their parents and as "marriage nuts" with 88 percent of male high school seniors and 93 percent of females believing it is extremely or quite important to have a good marriage and family life. Perhaps these girls will be a new breed from the more traditional 1950's housewife, but I wonder if their quest to rebel by being traditional coupled with "feeling entitled to it all" will lead to heartache with the perfection that they seek. Are they setting themselves (and their potential dates) up for failure?
Talk to many young girls--even younger than 12!-- these days and you will find that they talk incessantly about their desire for a man who is tall, older and rich. Yet ask them how they will find this guy and they seem to think he will appear by magic. They hesitate to call a boy for a date or ask him to a dance, expecting him to make the first move. Then they wonder why they are sitting home on a Friday night or going to dances with their girlfriends (nothing wrong with that of course, unless you would like to go with a guy). And of course, if the guy does not meet their requirements, they don't want to go anyway.
I remember my Senior prom; I really wanted to go and being the loser that I was in high school, knew I didn't have a chance if I didn't do the asking. I never had an idea of some older, taller guy--I was willing to take short, broke or in my date's case, a younger guy who just had a nice smile. His name was Wilson and he was 16; I was 17 and he was two years behind me in school. I told a friend of mine that I was interested in asking him to the prom--when she mentioned it to him, he smiled and said, "sure, I would love to go with her."
I picked him up in a limousine with my best friend and her boyfriend, and he gave me a corsage. He acted like a perfect gentleman and was as mature as any 16-year-old I had ever met. To this day, I am totally indebted to him for going with me and not turning me down. It gave me the courage to do the asking out in the dating world, because I always remembered that he had said yes to me and treated me in such a kind way. If I had learned to sit back and wait to be asked for a date, or needed perfection, I would probably still be waiting. You can see the picture of us at the prom--I, of course, look like a doofus and he may also, but he had the graciousness to accept my invitation at an important time in my life, and for that, I will always be grateful. His smile, and his kindness, now, that was perfection.
Update: Bitter at the Bitchgirls bows to peer pressure and posts a picture of herself and date at the prom. Anyone else out there brave enough to do the same?