Settle For Mr. "Just OK" — While Your "Marital Value Is Still At Its Peak!"


Why It’s OK To Settle For Mr. Good Enough. Sounds like the sorta assertion that might get the readers talking/chatting/generating the old ad revenue, eh?

Well that’s a story in the latest issue of the Atlantic Monthly by a single mom (Lori Gottlieb, pictured) who dares to advance the iconoclastic argument that Rachel would have been better if she’d just married the orthodontist. I’m not kidding! She ACTUALLY POSES THE QUESTION: “Do we feel confident that she’ll be happier with Ross than she would have been had she settled down with Barry, the orthodontist, 10 years earlier? She and Ross have passion but have never had long-term stability, and the fireworks she experiences with him but not with Barry might actually turn out to be a liability, given how many times their relationship has already gone up in flames.” Oh, and forget searching for Mr. Big; as Gottleib points out, “Some time after the breakup, when Carrie ran into Aidan on the street, he was carrying his infant in a Baby Björn. Can anyone imagine Mr. Big walking around with a Björn?)

Okay, so far be it from us to dispute a self-help manifesto constructed on the basis of possible alternate conclusions to popular television series, but what’s author Lori Gottlieb smoking? Well, she had a kid with an anonymous sperm donor and is 40 and really fucking lonely. Her looks have faded and the men she broke up with in her thirties because they were short/boring/rude to waiters/physically unattractive are looking real good around now. It’s sort of refreshing how honest she is, even though hers are thoughts any 28-year-old has already probably had in advance. But then you hit a sentiment like this:

After all, wouldn’t it have been wiser to settle for a higher caliber of “not Mr. Right” while my marital value was at its peak?

And think, wait a minute, something’s not right with his lady.

At which point you google her, learn that she not only wrote a memoir about how she’s a recovering anorexic but now has an author bio page on her website on which all the photos of herself feature her in super “skinny” poses.

See? She’s ana. A perfectionist, a number-cruncher, a quantitatively-minded overachiever obsessed with stats. Of course she never managed to find someone to “settle” on before! She’s incapable of settling! It’s like giving up. Like eating carbs.

Anyway, apologies to Lori, but it was kind of a relief to learn that, at the very least, her problems are different from mine, and probably yours, too. Now leave the office and go get drunkenly knocked up by some stranger before you end up like her!

Marry Him [Atlantic Monthly]

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