Random posts on all sorts of things designed to inform and provoke.
The one thing that has always impressed me about the baby boomer generation is their ability to remain an influential force in the general culture. Conventional wisdom states that this continual reinvention should have ceased, or at least slowed, as this generation enters its death throes. However, that is not the case and the boomers continue to not only recreate themselves but remain a major force in the general society. While we can blame this generation for pretty much the entire 80s, they should also be thanked for things such as Viagra, jogging, and the incredible developments in the hair weaving industry.
Divorce is the latest path on which this generation is blazing a new trail. According to multiple reports, “silver separations” are increasing as couples in their sixties, some of whom have been married for over 40 years, decide they have had enough of their partners’ whims, ticks, and faces. As Geraldine Bedell, editor of the website Gransnet, said the other day, “People feel that if they don’t make a break for it, they’re never going to do it.” One could argue that waiting 40 years to make a break for it signals other problems – such as a major case of indecision – but, better late than never. This drive towards lifelong freedom is being driven by economic stability and financial independence, longer life spans, medical advancements – such as the aforementioned Viagra – and a general sense of entitlement, which, by the way, is the reason behind every successful story.
However, as with anything, there is one winner and one loser in this separation. In general, men are happy to get their freedom back because, to be perfectly frank, men age a whole lot better than women. Plus, as he ages, a man’s requirements diminish to a hot woman – ideally one who doesn’t speak – on his arm, a nice couch to watch NCIS, and a comfortable bed for the night. Women are more complicated because they not only want someone on their arm but they also want that person to listen to their ideas and concerns, eat their food, and go out to watch the latest Meryl Streep movie! That is why one finds more women complaining about a lack of worthwhile partners and why men who listen can essentially do anything they want. In addition, older men, because they die before women, are in limited supply thereby increasing their worth. So, unless they are going to go lesbian, the “silver separation” is better for a man than a woman and, finally, the one thing where men can defeat women in the unending race for joy and happiness.
Haha, this is a great post. You are right though, it does seem like women get the short end of the stick in the “silver separation” trend. Not only do the men die off earlier, it’s way easier for men to date younger women than vice versa (say, a 60 year old man could easily date a woman in her 50s or 40s, but it wouldn’t be nearly as likely to see a 60 year old woman with a 40 year old man). So, for the baby boomer women out there, I would think it would only be worth it to divorce if being in the marriage was actually THAT bad, or if the freedom of being single would be THAT great. Then again, they probably wouldn’t listen to advice from a young whippersnapper like myself anyway… 🙂
Its probably easier now for older women to date younger men since women are, in the economic sense, doing so much better than the men. Having said that, I have yet to find a married man who doesn’t want to be single again. The problem is that they know that women are much smarter than the men and, therefore, the husbands are deathly afraid of their wives until the men hit their 60s at which point, with death around the corner, the fear goes out the window. Thanks for the compliment about the post.