OMG, OMG, OMG, you guys. Did you hear about Leonardo DiCaprio? That he bangs a lot of chicks?
Howard Stern heard about it and he thought that was a really big deal and tried to get Tina Fey to call DiCaprio a misogynistic womanizer in an on-air interview, because these things matter, and Stern’s respectful treatment and portrayal of women through the years should, frankly, be the standard by which we hold all men, I think.
Or how about Chris Rock getting rich celebs to buy his daughters’ Girl Scout cookies at the Oscars! That was a pretty big deal and stuff.
I mean, I’m still getting over this crisis with Starbucks serving coffee in minimalist-designed red cups over the holidays. The nerve! That was clearly the biggest middle finger toward Christmas since the Sarah Childs neighborhood lights display. Can you imagine if they’d distributed coffee cups in colors with no symbolic connection to the holiday season whatsoever!? Like—I don’t know—their regular ones!?
Seriously, guys. I bet Jesus was soooo angry with Starbucks. Remember when he said this in the bible?:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. And the third is: But NOT if they won’t say ‘Merry Christmas’ and celebrate my birthday, because then they’re a bunch of loser sinners who deserve condemnation, loud and public displays of outrage, and financial ruin.’”
Someone please distract me from all of these things worth my time, attention and anger! Remind me again how important Caitlyn Jenner’s personal choices are, and how much they impact my personal life at home and the community I live in. Remind me again how much I should pay attention to The Artist Formerly Known As Bruce’s stepdaughter’s Twitter account with more than 40 million other people:
Ugh his wifi isn’t working!!!!!! Who doesn’t have wifi?!?!?! lol
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) March 1, 2016
Can you imagine if Kim had to pay for data usage to tweet that? OMG, data charges.
Like, like, like! Retweet, retweet, retweet! Because it matters!
‘Hey Matt! We Get It! You’re Being Snarky About Unimportant Topics People Like to Discuss!’
I know you get it, smarties. That’s why I broke every writing rule on the planet, probably offended some people in the process, and waited more than 400 words to get to the point—a topic which has already been blog-flogged to death here.
But I don’t care. This has been bothering me. A lot.
The Biggest Statistical Threat to You and Your Children is Divorce
I’ll give you health care, if you want. I’ll let you tell me that’s a bigger societal problem than divorce. If you’re a member of a faith community with deep religious convictions, I’ll concede that philosophical and theological conversations about a possible afterlife should probably rank a little higher.
Maybe someone wants to suggest education or environmental concerns as global problems impacting virtually everyone, but they’re not jumping divorce on my list. Sometimes, blissful ignorance serves people well. Just ask the PhD suffering from depression after she discovered her husband’s affair, or the civil engineer crying himself to sleep at night because his three children are spending the weekend camping with mom and her new boyfriend.
These Numbers Should Scare the Shit Out of You
The more I learn, the more confused I become about why this isn’t a mainstream societal conversation. Statistically speaking, 95 out of 100 people will get married, or are planning to. Of the remaining five percent, I think it’s safe to assume many of them will, at various times in adulthood, be in a long-term relationship with a romantic partner, the dynamics of which will mirror marriage in many ways.
Let’s recap what usually happens:
Boy meets girl.
Sometimes they’re teens. Usually they’re in their 20s. Sometimes they’re in their 30s, even 40s, before entering marriage for the first time. Most of the time, they’re not maladjusted, criminally inclined psychopaths, pathological liars, violent, sick, stupid or evil. Most of the time, they’re two generally kind, decent and educated people who fall in love and volunteer to marry one another, understanding that it’s a life-long commitment, and that if they mess it up it will be pretty terrible.
In the United States, 99 out of 100 accepted marriage proposals come from the future groom. Just a young man with a dream. He’s statistically likely to be 29. He spends more than $6,000 on the engagement ring. He and his future bride start planning the wedding together. They invite most of the people they know, and they spend, on average, $30,000 on a one-day party to demonstrate how seriously they’re taking this life-changing moment. They promise to love and honor their partner every day, forever, no matter what. They say it front of an audience, and typically enter a legal contract filed at a nearby courthouse.
These two people are serious about this. They don’t think they’re going to get a divorce someday. That marriages fail slightly more than half the time is a well-known fact.
Nevermind all that! We’re in love! #mylovey #besthubbyever #bestfriendsforever
In the United States alone, a new marriage happens 6,200 times every day. Or, put another way, after 5-10 years of marriage and sharing resources, 3,100 people file for divorce daily.
About 67 percent of the time—two out of three—the divorce is instigated by the wife, frequently because she married a good guy who totally sucked at marriage.
Think about that.
More than 6,000 people (marriage = two), plus their children, extended families, friends and co-workers are dealing with a new divorce EVERY DAY. Just in the U.S.
And divorce is soul-crushing. It truly is for all the couples who entered marriage with a legit forever-commitment in their hearts. The ONLY people divorce isn’t horrible for are wives or husbands who somehow found themselves married to some tyrant or con artist or abuser who behaved with such epic assholery that divorce actually provided sweet relief. And even THAT has to suck a little since you can no longer trust yourself to make good life choices.
But the human spirit is a tough thing to squash. We’re resilient and demonstrate a biological or cultural predisposition toward advancement and improvement.
Some people dig deep into their bellies down where the guts and courage reside.
I’m in love again! Oh, happy day! And I’ve learned so much from all my stupid mistakes in the past! I’m going to get married again, and it’s going to be everything I always knew marriage could be! I’ve finally found my soul mate!
Maybe there’s less pomp and circumstance the second time around. Maybe people don’t spend $30,000 and invite a ton of people to second weddings. I have no idea.
But I do know one thing: After all of the life experience and wisdom gained from a previous marriage, and after all of the pain, sadness and anger felt throughout divorce, and how obvious it must seem to adults willing to give marriage another shot, they ruin their marriages EVEN MORE often than all the young first-timers who didn’t know better.
Second marriages in the U.S. fail 67 percent of the time.
I mean, I understand why we have national conversations about gun violence and childhood obesity and how many threes Stephen Curry drained last night. I really do. I even understand why some people want to talk about Hollywood celebrities, or discuss something a coffee shop did that might have made them angry, sad, happy, or amused.
But, I CANNOT figure out why these alarming statistics aren’t sparking some kind of grand-scale concern or high-level conversations from a critical mass of people.
We have a problem. A national and global problem. And not enough people are talking about it because they’re too busy following Kanye’s wife on Twitter.
I think it’s stupid, and it kind of pisses me off.
But probably not as much as those outraged Starbucks customers were three months ago.