Princeton Letter 2

Photo: CNN

The GEM Debate:
Should She Talk To OUR Daughters That Way?

So, there’s another woman with some strong opinions in the news (you can see them here and here) and she’s talking in absolutes.  I absolutely don’t agree with that.

Susan Patton, Princeton alum, wrote a letter to her former school paper, The Daily Princetonian, advising the current female students on campus find a husband before they graduate.  The premise is that there’s a greater pool of candidates for marriage at college who meet your intellectual abilities.  I agree with what she said, I just don’t agree with how she said it.

I honestly don’t know where to start this.  One, I went to college having found my husband in high school.  We went to different colleges, but he and I were never intellectual equals; meaning had I found him there (college) we would have had the same problems.  Two, I know now that 18-22 is a little young to find the “love of your life”; except it isn’t.  I didn’t make it with my young love, but I have several Facebook friends whose relationships did make it.  Three, we all have regrets.  I assume some of those friends who have been married forever wish they’d waited and there are some who passed on opportunities for relationships who wished they’d taken them.  That’s where I think Patton stands.

We all have different experiences that give us different truths.  I think Patton’s truth has affected her the same way; she’s divorced and wistful of the time when good men were plentiful and maybe even wistful of a specific love lost.  I can’t blame her from speaking from that place.

Who I can blame is anyone who doesn’t do a little research and realize that that’s the source of her advice.  There are plenty of people who give advice that isn’t germane to our situations.  We just filter it, process it for our lives, and then apply or disregard as necessary, right?  We’re all entitled to think our own way or so I thought, and Patton should get the same courtesy.

Understandably, there are a lot of parents paying through the nose to send their kids to Princeton.  I’m sure a good portion of them don’t want their daughters to take that expensive education and just find a man only because it is like shooting fish in a barrel right now.  There’s a good bit more to picking a life partner and it would seem Patton’s great intellect (that she got at Princeton) is missing that point.  However, this is why parents need to have all kinds of conversations with their children.  This way kids have a more well-rounded view than just an article they read in their school newspaper on how and when to choose their life mate.

So what about you?  What advice do you give that comes straight from your past?  Do you think Patton should have thought about saying this before it went to print?  Let’s hear you.

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