This past July, Kate Bolick, the gorgeous journalist you see on the cover of this month’s Atlantic, dined at my home along with five young women I’ve been close to for years. She is 39, and she has never been married. She has written a very interesting article about her experience, and the various factors that have influenced how and when Americans marry (or don’t). Kate has done something we’ll be seeing a lot more of in the coming years – she’s talking about the reality of single life for many women. There’s an element of choice, but also an acknowledgement that men are lagging behind women in education and career advancement. She rightly identifies the Women’s Movement as the prime influence in the deterioration of the SMP. Rather than bitching or blaming men, she’s living her life in a very positive and productive way.
Kate found HUS via plain old Google search. We spoke initially for an hour or two by phone. A few weeks later I received an email inquiring whether she might attend one of the “focus groups” I’ve been holding for the last three years with young women. I was floored. “Um, yes, sure, I guess so, let me see who’s in town.” I didn’t really believe it would happen, and I was somewhat surprised when she rang the doorbell promptly at 6:30 as planned the next Monday evening.
Kate is petite, a natural beauty. The night she came to dinner, she was in jeans with minimal makeup and her hair in a messy bun. Immediately the girls grew wide-eyed upon seeing her. They followed me into the kitchen. “OMG, she is so cool. I want to be just like her.” I said, “She’s here to pick your brains on sex, dating and relationships. She isn’t married.” It was as if I could see the thought bubbles above their heads: “Oh sh*t, if she hasn’t found the guy, what are my chances?” To her enormous credit, Kate was completely open, not the least bit defensive. She had a warm and wonderful way about her. You’ll see what I mean when you read her article.
Kate spent 5 hours with us that night. She filled two notebooks and had a tape recorder going the entire time. I figured a mention of Hooking Up Smart was pretty much guaranteed, but I honestly had no idea what would be in the final article. When the Atlantic’s fact-checker called a few weeks ago, her first question was whether my eyes are green. I knew then that HUS was going to get real, bonafide mainstream media coverage. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it!
I didn’t see the article until a few days ago. I’m extremely pleased to have been a part of the process. I think Kate wrote a brilliant article, objective and fair. While I wasn’t thrilled with every single word (trash dick? Gaaaahhhh!) I tried my best to get across what I think are the most important points about the contemporary SMP. I hope you’re pleased, and that my input accurately reflects the wisdom so many have shared as I’ve written this blog.
If you’ve got a moment, go read it and leave a comment.
FYI, do read the whole thing, but the Hooking Up Smart bit starts around the middle of Page 3.