never married, over forty, a little bitter


Given the rigors of contemporary career-building, pre-adults who do marry and start families do so later than ever before in human history. Husbands, wives and children are a drag on the footloose life required for the early career track and identity search. Pre-adulthood has also confounded the primordial search for a mate. It has delayed a stable sense of identity, dramatically expanded the pool of possible spouses, mystified courtship routines and helped to throw into doubt the very meaning of marriage. In 1970, to cite just one of many numbers proving the point, nearly seven in 10 25-year-olds were married; by 2000, only one-third had reached that milestone.

the naked eye

In college, twenty-nine had seemed impossibly old. By now, she’d
thought, she’d be married and have kids. But as each year went by, she
didn’t feel much different than she had before. Time kept going by and
she was just here, the same. It seemed like it all happened easier for
everyone else. Look at Harrison’s friends. They just got married and had
kids and didn’t seem to think about it too much. Maybe that was her
problem. Maybe she was thinking about it too much. Or maybe the fact
that she was thinking about it meant it wasn’t right.

--Jennifer Close, Girls in White Dresses