Amazingly, the average U.S. life expectancy in 1900 was 47 and the divorce rate was less than 1%. One hundred years later, lifespan nearly doubled and the divorce rate rose six-fold. The invention of antibiotics was the game changer for longevity.
Partnering-once makes sense when you have less than half a century to grow up, get hitched and serve Mother Nature’s mandate to perpetuate the species. Circa 1900, by the time one wed and raised the brood, the end game was in sight. Now, many women are starting to have babies at an age that was unthinkable 100 years ago.
Jennie had her youngest at 41, Julie at 37, four girlfriends at 46. We were plotting preschool admissions at a time when our forebears were estate planning.
Here are some unintended consequences of penicillin (freakonomics alert!):
- – Botox
- – Viagra
- – serial love
- – serial marriage
- – boomerang kids
- – reading glasses
- – bat wings
- – reverse mortgages
- – glass ceiling
- – grandparents raising children
- – great-grandparents
“Till death do us part” is a bigger commitment in 2011 than it was in 1900. “I love you often… just not always” may be a more realistic goal for a potential 50+ year marathon.
Julie and Jennie TWK5Y3EPAWZT