Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Biggest Mistake of Her Life

Doesn't it kill you when you see someone flouncing into a bad situation with a smile on her face, and nobody can stop her?

A young, smart, ambitious, attractive undergrad we know has gotten engaged to a guy her age. In the plus column, he's good-looking and has a trust fund. In the minus column, he's prone to violence (and loves to brag that if "another guy even looks at my girlfriend, I'll rearrange his face!"). He doesn't go to school, doesn't have a job, and he usually sleeps until 2PM.

Did I mention he's good-looking and has a trust fund?

And while the young woman's mother is desperately trying to jam the breaks on this wedding locomotive, the guy's mother is hitting the gas. We suspect she figures that a goal-oriented wife (who's working toward a doctorate) will derail her son from the track he's riding to loserdom.

She has offered to buy the couple a house. She wants to pay for the wedding. She has taken the poor lamb she intends to sacrifice to her son to look for not one but two wedding dresses (the trend, she insists, is to buy one dress for the wedding and another to wear to the reception).

Red flags are flying all over the place.

But the impressionable young woman doesn't see them. I asked her worried mother why she's so eager to get married before she's had a chance to achieve her dreams. "She wants to be a grown-up. She's also caught up the fairy tale of being a princess for a day."

Unfortunately, the fairy tale doesn't even last a whole day. It really lasts about six hours. After that, this poor kid will be legally bound to an anger-prone sluggard whose mother has bought and sold her.

If she tries to keep things interesting by introducing a child into the equation, things will just get worse. If she can't get the guy out of bed to find a job, she's not going to get him to change diapers. The responsibilities of parenthood may squash her plans to earn a doctorate.

I wish women would stop buying into wedding industry propaganda and keep their eyes on bigger prizes:

1) Careers that pay handsomely and make use of their talents

2) Men who love them and take pride in their successes.

Women need to remember that realizing their ambitions is crucial to their physical, emotional, and mental health. Marrying the wrong man for the wrong reasons is the surest route to a lifetime of being depressed and powerless.