Advice to Single Women: Marry Your Plumber

 

shutterstock_292260317There are, according to all demographic surveys, not enough single men. From Vice:

There simply aren’t enough college-educated men to go around. For every four college-educated women in my generation, there are three college-educated men. The result? What Birger calls a “musical chairs” of the heart: As the men pair off with partners, unpartnered straight women are left with fewer and fewer options—and millions of them are eventually left with no options at all.

Wait. Let me rephrase that. There are not enough single college-educated men. Almost 35 percent more women than men graduated from college last year. Women outnumber men in law school and medical school. In the college class of 2023, women will outnumber men by 47 percent!

So where are all the men? They’re around. Just not, you know, in college. From Vice:

Among non-college-educated singles ages 22 to 29, there are 9.4 million men and 7.1 million women. And if you look at the women in that age group who are non-college-educated, something like 30 percent of the women are married but only 22 percent of the men are married.

The solution, obviously, is for more women to pair off with more non-college-educated men — for, in other words, college women to marry working class guys.

But class lines in America can be both unspoken and difficult to surmount. The number of single women in large cities who would not dream of marrying a working class man (who, perhaps, earns less) is probably large but also probably beside the point. Where, for instance, do those two classes of people mingle and meet in the supposedly “classless” America?

Have we created such an exalted position in this society for the college degree that a “mixed marriage” is unthinkable? And isn’t it possible (maybe even probable) that such a marriage might be stronger and more lasting than the two-degree kind?

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  1. Kay of MT Member
    Kay of MT
    @KayofMT

    I don’t think so. I’ve had four men in my family without college educations but were smart and successful none the less. One an arborist, a computer nerd, an engineer, and a rancher, all self taught or apprenticed.

    • #1
  2. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa
    @VicrylContessa

    I’ve dated several guys who make less than me or have less education. In almost every case, they were not ok with the education/income discrepancy.

    • #2
  3. Frozen Chosen Inactive
    Frozen Chosen
    @FrozenChosen

    Your advice is wise, Rob, as many tradesmen end up as millionaires.  Any woman that would turn up their nose at a man just because he doesn’t have a college degree is foolish.  Tradesmen may not know the finer points of Nietzsche but most have common sense and a good work ethic (unlike pajama boy and his ilk).

    • #3
  4. Cow Girl Thatcher
    Cow Girl
    @CowGirl

    Hey, Kay of MT…that is my family. I married a non-grad, but he is a Navy veteran. During his time in the military, several decades ago, he learned about computers from the ground up. He’s always earned more than I earn with my college degrees. (Of course, I’m a teacher.) I was interested in him because he is smart, well-read and fun to talk with.

    Our three sons don’t have degrees. (Not because I didn’t encourage and nag them, but because they found something else they liked better before they finished college.) One is a computer whiz at a server-farm. One has a small recording studio and does the sound mixing for a touring band. One is a sonar man in the Navy, on a submarine. However, the two daughters both have advanced degrees. Only one of the girls has married, but neither of them are snobs about college men–they do insist on good grammar, however.

    It’s too bad that we’ve developed this fixation with college. A good plumber or electrician will earn a very nice sum of money over his career. So will many carpenters and a talented computer nerd. There are far too many college degrees that won’t even result in a job in the career field that you studied. I know, college is about more than that, but it ought to also get you a paycheck.

    Didn’t this whole “needs a bachelor’s degree” craze start as a filtering system, when IQ or other employee sifting techniques got deemed discriminatory? Every person doesn’t need traditional college. We need good mechanics, and plumbers, and electricians, and ranchers, and musicians, and bulldozer drivers, and firefighters, and, and, and…., too, don’t we?

    • #4
  5. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    I am one credit short of a college degree, and married a man who dropped out of college after half a semester. My husband has spent most of his adult life as a small business owner, made possible by the fact that he is a gifted salesman. Blue collar jobs can be very lucrative, but they should not be the only alternative for those who don’t want to go to college. Unfortunately, many employers require a college degree when it isn’t necessary or relevant.

    • #5
  6. Judge Mental Member
    Judge Mental
    @JudgeMental

    This is part of a larger dynamic.  Even though more women are going to college, and nowadays are as likely to be successful, most women still want to marry a man who is more successful than they are.  Add in that they are waiting until after they are established in their career before considering marriage, and many women are pricing themselves right off of the market.  If you’re a woman earning a half million a year, there are very few men out there who earn more than that, most of those are already married and the ones who aren’t are just as likely to be dating 20 year old models.

    • #6
  7. Pleated Pants Forever Inactive
    Pleated Pants Forever
    @PleatedPantsForever

    Rob – what would they possibly talk about? I mean, all the things I learned in graduate school…the best cheap beers, the best font to use to minimize words per page needed, and, um, so much more….

    • #7
  8. Pencilvania Inactive
    Pencilvania
    @Pencilvania

    Funny this has come up, because we just had our kitchen redone and the plumber would chat with me a bit en route to the basement.  A very friendly middle-aged guy, he saw my theater posters and mentioned how he subscribes to the Walnut Street Theater, just to push himself to go into the city once in a while, he has a cabin in Quebec where he goes for fishing-and-reading trips a couple times a year, and he makes enough now that he can take twelve weeks vacation.  Twelve weeks, he said, because he gets his hands dirty. He was pretty obviously a Republican too, from a few other clues I picked up. Not a bad catch at all, I’d say.

    • #8
  9. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa
    @VicrylContessa

    Judge Mental- for true.

    • #9
  10. Bereket Kelile Member
    Bereket Kelile
    @BereketKelile

    This problem is particularly acute for black college-educated women, where the ratios are much greater than the general population. While mixed-race marriages are normal they’re not that common.

    I wonder if this is mitigated by a proliferation of dating sites/platforms with a particular niche, like an interest in certain activities. This may help get around the class boundaries by connecting people with something they have in common which can help build a bond.

    • #10
  11. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    I have several friends in the trades (electrician, graphic design, construction) none of whom have college degrees, all of whom do very well for themselves.  I’m puzzled by people who look down their noses at their lines of work.

    That said, as a single, college-educated male, I didn’t know I was such a hot commodity.  Hello, ladies!

    monkeypipe

    • #11
  12. dialm Inactive
    dialm
    @DialMforMurder

    Vicryl Contessa:I’ve dated several guys who make less than me or have less education. In almost every case, they were not ok with the education/income discrepancy.

    I earn about 10,000 pa less than my girlfriend. We both work full-time. We also both have degrees, student debt, and our degrees have turned out to be completely useless and are irrelevant for our current working lives. We’ve been together for several years and have both had bouts of unemployment earlier on at different times, where the working half would have to pick up the slack.

    I think what works here is that we are both pretty mature here: We both know we’ve been duped by the study-career system and know that in the long-run we’re both financially screwed anyway. We are both also quite frugal as a result, and are aware we’d be worse-off separate.

    • #12
  13. Vicryl Contessa Thatcher
    Vicryl Contessa
    @VicrylContessa

    Minkey- I thought you had a struck no marriage policy.

    • #13
  14. 1967mustangman Inactive
    1967mustangman
    @1967mustangman

    Bereket Kelile: I wonder if this is mitigated by a proliferation of dating sites/platforms with a particular niche, like an interest in certain activities. This may help get around the class boundaries by connecting people with something they have in common which can help build a bond.

    The podcast Startup talked about this.  They were following a company called DatingRing that was trying to remake the way online dates were made by employing matchmakers.  They did a segment on the plight of black women in the dating market and they said it really hasn’t improved even with online dating.  Sad but true.

    • #14
  15. Bereket Kelile Member
    Bereket Kelile
    @BereketKelile

    Pencilvania:Funny this has come up, because we just had our kitchen redone and the plumber would chat with me a bit en route to the basement…

    Reminds me of a joke:

    There was a leaky faucet in the offices of Ben Dover & C. Howett Fields, Attorneys at Law.  C. Howett Fields, managing partner, called a plumber.  The plumber arrived and after about 15 minutes was done and all cleaned up.

    “That will be $275” said the plumber.

    Mr. Fields objected, saying: “That’s over $1000 an hour!  I’m a lawyer and I don’t even get that much.”

    The plumber responds, “I didn’t either when I was a lawyer.”

    • #15
  16. Bereket Kelile Member
    Bereket Kelile
    @BereketKelile

    1967mustangman:

    Bereket Kelile: I wonder if this is mitigated by a proliferation of dating sites/platforms with a particular niche, like an interest in certain activities. This may help get around the class boundaries by connecting people with something they have in common which can help build a bond.

    The podcast Startup talked about this. They were following a company called DatingRing that was trying to remake the way online dates were made by employing matchmakers. They did a segment on the plight of black women in the dating market and they said it really hasn’t improved even with online dating. Sad but true.

    Yeah, and it may lead to more black women dating outside of their race. WSJ had an article about this in the last year or so. There will be some difficulty until it becomes more accepted among blacks but, like you said, there’s not a lot of options.

    • #16
  17. Whiskey Sam Inactive
    Whiskey Sam
    @WhiskeySam

    Vicryl Contessa:Minkey- I thought you had a struck no marriage policy.

    I have a “no marriage to the wrong woman” policy.  The interview process is gruelling.

    • #17
  18. Barkha Herman Inactive
    Barkha Herman
    @BarkhaHerman

    I know several women who have higher degrees than their spouses; many of them earn more than their spouses.

    • #18
  19. 1967mustangman Inactive
    1967mustangman
    @1967mustangman

    Bereket Kelile: Yeah, and it may lead to more black women dating outside of their race. WSJ had an article about this in the last year or so. There will be some difficulty until it becomes more accepted among blacks but, like you said, there’s not a lot of options.

    I am going to start this out with the BIG disclaimer that I was not an Oprah watcher, but my mother was and I remember being home one time when she was watching Oprah and Oprah was doing a whole show about black women that married white men.  I also remember leafing through one of the women’s magazine targeted at black women (I was a teacher’s aide in a classroom in SW Philly at the time and magazine belonged to the teacher) they were talking about rich black women and highlighted Eileen Norton the (now former) wife of computer guru Peter Norton.  The sentence read something all the lines of, “Eileen Norton along with her husband computer mogul Peter Norton (he is white)…”  So yeah I guess it is still a pretty big deal.

    • #19
  20. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards
    @VanceRichards

    Whiskey Sam:

    Vicryl Contessa:Minkey- I thought you had a struck no marriage policy.

    I have a “no marriage to the wrong woman” policy. The interview process is gruelling.

    Having a monkey blow smoke in your face and ask, “So . . .can you cook?” probably scares more than a few of them away. But they must be properly vetted.

    • #20
  21. Mate De Inactive
    Mate De
    @MateDe

    Oh yea ladies marry your plumber, electrician or any other trades guy. I have a non handy husband and I wish he could fix stuff around the house. Even if he makes less money than you, think if the cost savings if he can redo the bathroom and you don’t have to pay for labor, so it can work itself out.

    • #21
  22. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    The teacher up the street married an elevator guy. They have three kids and seem to have more liquid assets for home improvements and vacations than the retired banker and his insurance company manager wife next door, not to mention Mr. C (and me) with his more than 30 years in engineering. They’re also both union members, so their health insurance and retirement benefits are better than most. For now.

    Not sure who made the smarter investment in education and training, but this young couple seems to be doing fine.

    • #22
  23. Chuck Enfield Inactive
    Chuck Enfield
    @ChuckEnfield

    Liars!  It’s impossible for women to earn more than men.  They make 78 cents for every dollar their husbands earn, and any “facts” you offer to the contrary will only serve as evidence of your duplicity.

    • #23
  24. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Chuck Enfield:Liars! It’s impossible for women to earn more than men. They make 78 cents for every dollars their husbands earn, and any “facts” you offer to the contrary will only serve as evidence of your duplicity war on women.

    FIFY.

    • #24
  25. hokiecon Inactive
    hokiecon
    @hokiecon

    Trades are indeed quite profitable: masonry, plumbing, HVAC repairmen, etc. are in high demand, as there is a major shortage of tradesmen. Unfortunately the Left’s too preoccupied with sending everyone off to college, well-suited or not, while you have an aging population fixing appliances, installing water lines, rebuilding engines with no one to fill their jobs. Meanwhile, folks like the Modern Man are headed off to Wesleyan to wallow in Marxist gender theory for five and half years. As someone with a BA and almost an MA in English, I don’t regret studying the Great Books, but I’m not banking on any of the “skills” I’ve acquired to land me a decent career. Were I to be dumped for a plumber, I’d say it’s a smart move on her part.

    • #25
  26. Tuck Inactive
    Tuck
    @Tuck

    This is good news. All these liberal, arrogant women won’t produce offspring? We need a new term, it’s not the Roe Effect, it’s the Ivy League Effect?

    I’d much rather live in a country run by the offspring of plumbers than college grads.

    • #26
  27. San Joaquin Sam Inactive
    San Joaquin Sam
    @SanJoaquinSam

    I tried to address this over two and a half years ago.

    • #27
  28. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Coincidentally, I happened to read something similar about how this situation is even worse for educated black women. Not nearly enough college-degreed black men to go around for black female professionals.

    Edit: Whoops, didn’t notice that Bereket said the same thing earlier. Didn’t mean to rip you off.

    • #28
  29. Douglas Inactive
    Douglas
    @Douglas

    Tuck:This is good news. All these liberal, arrogant women won’t produce offspring? We need a new term, it’s not the Roe Effect, it’s the Ivy League Effect?

    I’d much rather live in a country run by the offspring of plumbers than college grads.

    The more non-traditional education takes off, the more of a chance you might see women start to abandon the standard college model as well. Debt and the stupid social games involved with “getting into the right school”… which very often have nothing to do with education whatsoever… might finally bring us to our senses concerning our mad drive to make a college degree as worthless and ubiquitous as the high school diploma. One of the best things that could happen to this country is the collapse of the university-industrial complex, to rip off Ike.

    • #29
  30. Judithann Campbell Member
    Judithann Campbell
    @

    San Joaquin Sam: I read your post, and it was a lot to take in, but I am pretty sure that I agree with you about everything :)

    People talk about trophy wives, but I am more worried about trophy daughters. So many parents put so much pressure on their daughters to be high achieving, and many of these girls mistakenly believe that pleasing their parents will give them a happy life. They think that men will be impressed by the same things that impress their parents, but of course it doesn’t work that way.

    • #30

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