Wednesday, August 19, 2009

1001 Ways To Tune Up The World, Number Fourteen

14. Don't get married before you're 30.

At least.

Originally, I actually picked 25. Then I decided to change it to 30. I was thinking 25 but 25 is still young, still practically a kid, and young people who are practically kids are stupid. I don't intend that to be mean. It's just true. The older you get (generally) the smarter you get, and the smarter you get, the less dumb things you do. That includes marrying.

So don't get married before you're 30, at least. If you wait until you're 30, you'll be less likely to be making a mistake, because you'll be less stupid.

You'll also be more set in your life. Who, really, knew what they wanted to be, who they really were, when they were 18? 25? Almost nobody, I bet. At 18, I thought I wanted to be a doctor. At 25, I thought I wanted to travel the world and/or be a politician. By 30, I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer and raise a family. So anyone I'd've married at 18 or 25 would've been marrying not-yet-real-me. It was better to wait.

Getting married at 30 -- or after -- means that you'll still spend at least 1/2, if not 2/3, of your adult life married to that person, and you're only foregoing, at most, about 12 years of marriage in your adult life, but in that 12 years you can try out different personas, explore the world, decide what you want to do, and get yourself sorted out. You can make yourself into the kind of person who not only gets married, but who stays married. And the person who marries you will know what they're getting into. By 30, you're more kinetic energy than potential energy.

I'd like this to be a law, and I suppose it could be. States could simply set the age for marriage at 30, and that would be somewhat beneficial. It would reduce the number of marriages, and accordingly, the number of divorces, and it would also send a societal message that serious relationships are meant for older people, more serious people... smarter people. Over time, making it a law that nobody under 30 can marry would mean that society would gradually drift upwards in its attitudes about how old people should be when they do serious things and might have the side effect of making people push back other decisions (like having kids.)

But it'd be better if people just decided it on their own, which is why I phrased it the way I did. It'd be better if you and you and you and you would decide: I'm not going to get married until I'm at least 30, and if you people who are over 30 tell your friends and relatives and kids that they should wait until they're 30, then you'd all be making one of the smartest decisions of your lives.

Prior entries:

13. Ban driving any kind of automobile, motorcycle or other personal vehicle within 1-2 miles of downtown in any city with a population of more than 100,000.

12. Abolish gym class; instead, teach kids to play musical instruments.

11. Change copyright laws to allow anyone to use anyone else's creative work provided that the copier pay 60% of the profit to the originator and that the copier not cast the original work in a negative light.

10. Have more sidewalk cafes and outdoor seating.

9. When you have to give someone a gift, ask them what they want, and then get that thing for them.

8. Never interrupt or finish someone's jokes.

7. Periodically, give up something you like for at least a month.

6. Switch to "E-money."

5. Have each person assigned one phone number, and then add an extension for the various phones and faxes that person might be reached at.

4. Abolish Mondays and Tuesdays.

3. Don't listen to interviews with athletes or comedians.

2. Have "personal cashiers" at the grocery store.

1. Don't earn more than $200,000 per year.


Rohini said...

probably a thought which one should follow, but in countries like India, a girl crossing the age of 25 (nowadays its moving to 27) and unmarried is like a big thing! in a bad way i mean. Parents get paranoid, society starts interfering, and the pressure is suffocating!!

Briane P said...

That's probably true -- I wouldn't know from experience -- but if people began (everywhere) saying "I'm not going to marry until I'm 30," then the stigma eventually would be removed. After all, once people got married even younger, but we no longer think that's the way to go.