Education only prohibits marriage if you overestimate its utility and value.

As of this summer we will be the parents of three college graduate daughters. We are engaged in plenty of the typical graduation rituals and family celebrations that go along with it. A good time will be had by all.

In the case of our oldest who graduated college at the tender age of 20, we already know that specific nature of the degree notwithstanding, it serves as a proxy for all kinds of things from employment to marriage. If what we witness is any indication, this is pretty much the standard operating procedure. Young people who actually finished their degrees, are reasonably articulate, and know how to work the “system” can land decent paying jobs, even outside of their degree fields.

One of the biggest mental hurdles for the millennial woman however, is not falling prey to the cultural memes of “Find yourself!”, “See the world!”, and “Experience life!” We have explained to our daughters that there is never a time-if you’re still breathing-  when you’re not experiencing life.

Thankfully, our daughters see the advantage of saving their money and planning their lives with their as yet nonexistent families in mind. Now. Because life is the sum total of the choices you make today, not something that just happens when and how you desire it.

Why does experiencing life necessarily mean a life free of encumbrance? We were 21 and 23 years old with three children under the age of two. If that wasn’t life, I don’t know what was. Which brings me to the point of this -hopefully short- post.

The shortage of eligible men has left women desperate to preserve their fertility.

Experts said “terrifying” demographic shifts had created a “deficit” of educated men and a growing problem of “leftover” professional women, with female graduates vastly outnumbering males in in many countries.

The study led by Yale University, involved interviews with 150 women undergoing egg freezing at eight clinics.

Researchers found that in more than 90 per cent of cases, the women were attempting to buy extra time because they could not find a partner to settle down with, amid a “dearth of educated men”.

I am college educated. My useless degree is shoved in our filing cabinet somewhere and I probably couldn’t find it if you paid me. My husband is not, but he is well educated in his specific career field and is constantly ensuring that his skill set doesn’t become obsolete.

In reality, he is far more educated than I am and has used what has been an admittedly fortuitous trajectory, considerable talent, and focus into a life that has had him the primary breadwinner for our entire marriage and the sole breadwinner for the last two decades of it.

Suppose when I met him I’d decided that because he wasn’t in college like I was, he wasn’t “worthy” of my time or attention, especially considering his rather edgy way of life at the time. I might have easily been just another statistic like the women in these articles, particularly since I am a black woman. The disparity of educational accomplishment between black men and women is greater than perhaps all other demographics combined.

Last month I had breakfast with a friend who was genuinely shocked when, as we conversed, I noted that my husband didn’t have a college degree. She “never would have thought that”.  Her husband had  met up with mine for the express purpose of picking his brain because he was that impressed and convinced that my husband might be able to provide some insight, even though he is both older and more formally educated than my husband.

It is with this frame of reference in mind that I remind our daughters that they will be making a grave mistake by limiting themselves strictly to suitors who are formally educated, using the acquisition of a college degree as their standard.

There is indeed, even with the stipulations I note, a dearth of marriageable men.

Given that reality, it makes very little sense to dismiss well earning electricians, plumbers, or other such tradesmen out of the sense of snobbery our culture works hard to infuse into women based on the fact that they have a college degree.

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10 thoughts on “Education only prohibits marriage if you overestimate its utility and value.

  1. Okay, thinking about stuff that people mention like, ‘We won’t have anything to talk about”, or concerns about being on the same level.

    What I found was that my husband is much less talkative about a lot of things (and is much more likely to dismiss over-analysis of things that have little impact on his day to day living), but the depth of his wisdom and insight on so many issues never ceases to impress me-even after 25 years of being together (first two unmarried).

    And I can’t count the number of times his previously unchurched mind put my so-called Biblical knowledge to shame simply because he actually READ the book, uninfluenced by a bias from a lifetime of assumptions picked up from lifetime church attendance.

    Wisdom is one thing, faith is another, and it’s a separate thing from pontificating about things that -in the grand scheme of things- don’t really matter all that much. The latter is what most “educated people” are referring to more than half the time anyway.

    Of course you want someone of similar intelligence literacy and whatnot, but again (I know this from experience) a similar college degree acquisition is NOT the only way to ascertain this. The point is love, companionship, and babies, not who can be the biggest Poindexter.

    And am I the only one who has met some really stupid, educated people?

    Liked by 3 people

  2. My husband only recently obtained his college education however has always been one of the smartest people I know. He is self taught in a variety of areas including in his chosen profession of construction which I do believe he is among one of the best at. His talent and wisdom has always amazed me.
    And yes there are some extremely dumb but highly educated people in this world. There are some things which a book or formal education cannot teach that we all must learn from the test of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re not the only one to notice both that there are a lot of educated idiots out there, or that people are notoriously slow on the uptake to figure out what’s important in life. I’ve got a fair number of coworkers with fancy cars, fancy vacations, fancy clothes, the whole nine yards except for….

    ….the most important consolation and comfort known to man. In effect, they’re working 60-80 hours a week for cold showers.

    I would note that this kind of educated idiocy is common even among Ivy league grads, but that doesn’t make it any easier when dear brothers and sisters in Christ are working off the culture and not the Scripture.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Els, some of the stupidest people I know have the entire freakin alphabet after their names. OTOH, two of the smartest people I know are a married couple of PhDs who work for the MedU here, but nobody in real life knows they’re “Dr and Dr” because even though they’re brilliant, they’re also extremely sensible and nobody assumes education and common sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Our husbands need to hang out. But we’ve covered that… 🙂

    I will never forget being in a college class with DH (one of the few he bothered to take, long story) where he got a better grade on the content of his essay, I got a better grade on the format – and thus a better grade overall. His was *interesting* – mine was technically a good essay.

    Just because someone doesn’t “do school” doesn’t mean they don’t think. I think one of the reasons you see this dichotomy is because people are using easy labels to differentiate instead of a little discernment. After all, there’s a big difference from a motivated plumber or electrician moving up the ranks and someone who works a little construction to pay rent so he can surf the rest of the time… but it’s not that hard to sort that out.

    I think of the college-aged crew across the way. They’re nice kids (by worldly standards). Considerate neighbors. Young and silly and prone to doing college aged things, but nice kids. All the billion cars disappear every day – they’re not just loafing and surfing (although loafing and surfing are definitely on the menu). They were ‘raised right’. This is their moment in time to be young and silly. It becomes not-okay when you’re acting like that in your late 20s – or thirties.

    Discernment. But our world is lacking in that, in a big way.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Welcome, ittakesasavior. You are so right, and given that men are far more likely to buck the conventional path and chart their own, it would do a single gal well to buck OUR conventional way of thinking and look beneath the surface.

    There lots of ways to be educated.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Maevey! How ya doing???

    I too have met people who manage to be both educated and endowed with enough common sense to appreciate the differing ways people are able to be knowledgeable.

    Unfortunately I have met more like your first description. The higher the degree the worse they seem to be…

    Off topic: ever since you introduced me to The Kitchn I have enjoyed that place, so thanks!

    Like

  8. Yep, our men seem like kindred spirits. Mine took a class or two after HS also and then like yours, pretty much decided that there HAD to be a better way than to sit through 4 years of that.

    He was right.

    Like

  9. Oh Els….I’m doing OK or at least better. And I “think” I “may” start blogging again. Maybe.

    Anyhoo – I’m so glad you’re enjoying The Kitchn – it’s a daily read for me, as is Food52 – if you haven’t checked the site out before – get thee now!!! So much goodness and you can create an account to store recipes which I love.
    Hugs,
    Maeve

    Liked by 1 person

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