Oooooookay. I don’t like to rehash old territory, even less when I have to change course or position but that’s where I find myself nonetheless.
I read with great interest recently, that Susan Patton got a book deal with Simon Schuster.
Who’s Susan Patton, you ask?
She’s the woman who, in a guest column for the Princeton student newspaper, told women to meet a husband in college (You can read Ella’s post about it here). Now, instead of just a couple hundred words, Patton’s being given a couple hundred pages to expound on that and I’m truly torn.
The publisher (and in the interest of full disclosure, this is the same one who published my book, Good Enough Mother; The Perfectly Imperfect Book Of Parenting) says, “This book is going to contain some uncomfortable truths that many women don’t want to hear”.
You know something?
Of course I can only speak from my own experience but I think the publisher and Patton are right; there are some things that young women need to hear about the road to success and what it looks like.
Now, I can only speak from my own experience; I didn’t find a man in college (wait, I found several men, just not THE man. Alas, that is a story for another time). I didn’t meet and marry Buff Parham until years later and honestly, I shudder to think of where I would be now had I settled down with some of the guys I dated when I was roaming the halls of higher education.
I wasn’t ready to be married at 25 and I wonder, had I walked down the aisle, if I’d still be married now.
But I do like Patton’s message of finding someone who is your intellectual equal, how women are deserving of that and I give her credit for explaining how difficult that might be to find once off campus.
And I have to give her half a nod for this statement:
For most of you, the cornerstone of your future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man you marry, and you will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you.
There is no question that my success and survival over the last several years is due in large part to the man I married. Buff Parham, for as crazy as he makes me, does keep me from spinning out of control, tilting at windmills and getting sidetracked by stuff that doesn’t matter.
And while the wrong partner can make life tough, saying that your happiness is, “inextricably linked” to the man you will marry, seems like an awful lot of power to give to another person.
I don’t know, maybe it’s just me but should we be farming out the job of our happiness to someone else?
In short, I’m looking forward to Patton’s book, which will be released early next year.
In the meantime, I’ll tell my daughter to place the focus on her BA with an eye on the Mrs. down the line but not as the primary reason for her schooling.
Okay, what say you? Do you agree with Patton’s premise? What will you tell your kids about college, marriage and personal happiness?
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