At a dinner party with some "friends" a few years ago, there was a longer than necessary conversation about "what's wrong with Eleanore" (me) because I'm not married and I have no kids. I'm a spinster. A pretty amazing one, but a spinster, nonetheless. An active participant in the conversation was a woman who had just gone through her third divorce. Apparently I was the only one in the room who thought the conversation should really have been about "what's wrong with Sharon?" I'm thinking to myself, "Why does this woman keep getting married?"
I am fascinated by this notion that marriage is still thought of as a must-do in modern-day society. It's not. At least it shouldn't be. Same thing with children. There's no reason why every adult should procreate and I know that we can all think of an example or two as to why this is true.
Here's the real truth: Marriage and kids are not for everybody and we should all stop acting like they are. What I mean by this is that, despite the high divorce rate in this country, the growing number of single people and the decrease in birth rates, people still appear to be surprised or confused when they meet an adult who is not married, has no kids and is ok with it. Single women are still grilled about why they're not married and still pitied by those who don't know better. They act is if being single isn't perfectly normal.
I'm not making this up. There are statistics that back me up:
• According to the U.S. Census, 28% of U.S. adults were unmarried in 1970. That percentage rose to 47% in 1970, and a 2011 study by the Pew Research Institute found that the number of U.S. adults who are unmarried is now 49%, a record high. Read more: http://eleanorewells.com/marriage-kids-theyre-not-for-everybody-really/