THE BLOG

Detours That Keep Us From Taking Our Turn

02/13/2012 10:47 am ET | Updated Apr 14, 2012

Boomers, this is our time. My friends and I remind each other that now that we have semi-adult kids, we get to focus on doing all those things we fantasized we'd do if only we weren't so busy car pooling and micro-managing our family's lives. Allyson can get her Masters in psychology, Barbara can read the Great Books series, Lily can have that affair, and I can be a writer. All those distractions that kept us from our real selves are gone. Now it's our turn. More or less.

The other day I sat down in front of the computer really excited about an idea I had for an article but my husband called from his office to remind me that I have to pick out toilets for the bathroom we were remodeling. I wanted to write a piece about the statistic I heard on the "Today Show" that in 2010 fifty percent of adults were unmarried compared to 1950 when only thirty three percent of all adults were unmarried.

I began to do a little research on this when I found myself alternatively researching low-flow toilets. This led me to wonder, or more accurately worry, if this is an area I should really be concerning myself with, environmentally speaking. If I'm redoing a bathroom, shouldn't I be more concerned that things that should get flushed in the toilet go down as efficiently as is necessary? I don't get this low flow concept when it comes to toilets.

Anyway, I went back to my marriage statistic idea and I began to mull over what I thought about this society of ours that seems headed to be overrun with singles. Speaking from a wifely point of view, and incidentally speaking of toilets, I was surprised that marriage seemed less appealing than a life with no one to leave the toilet seat up so that when I stumbled into the bathroom in the in the middle of the night, I would sink to the bottom of the bowl.

And thinking about that bowl got me remembering that I still hadn't picked out a sink for the bathroom so I began Googling bathroom vanities. I got deep into thought about why I'm incapable of buying something quickly from the Internet. Instead, my research takes me from "reviews of 30-inch vanities" to "where to buy" and then I Google those places, calling them to see what they had on their showroom floor.

This leads me to discover that even after I settled on a vanity I'd have to research faucets because no one thought that maybe selling the vanities with faucets included might cut down on about ten more hours of internet browsing for a person like me who really wants to be a writer and not a researcher of bathroom faucets.

Satin finish or shiny chrome? This is an important thing to settle on because people don't generally switch out their faucets once they make a decision so I can't be casual about this. One nice thing about not being married, I suppose, is that you don't make a decision and then have to hear your spouse say, "Really? Shiny chrome? Why'd you think that was a good choice?" That probably accounts for, say, about two per cent of the decline in people getting married over the last sixty years.

"Yes, shiny chrome and if you don't like it why don't you get yourself over to Home Depot, pick something you think is better, call the plumber, find a time in your schedule when you can meet him at the house, let him in and then pay him to make the switch?"

"I just wondered," the spouse usually mumbles as he slinks off. And now I feel like a barking shrew. Who would want to give up exchanges like that between two loving adults?

As I got back to writing about this marriage phenomenon, my friend called to tell me that she just looked in the mirror and she couldn't believe that there were lines that had formed around her lips that she was sure hadn't been there the day before and she was completely freaked out. So could I please go out to lunch with her, she really needed someone to talk to and, by the way, she heard about a new Mexican place where they used turkey sausage in the nachos instead of pork so how bad could that be with just maybe one margarita that we could share between the two of us?

When I protested that I had a piece I was trying to write and I didn't want to take the time off for lunch -- okay, I didn't really mention that because she seemed in such despair and being a good friend is something I pride myself on -- what I said was "okay I'll meet you there at 1:00" and then I researched the calories in a margarita.

I really do want to write and intend my writing be more than just emails back and forth between my relatively grown children who are very busy with their own relatively adult responsibilities, until they need me to do something that often involves researching airplane flights for my sons who travel a lot for their work -- hey, the boys have jobs, they're very busy -- or tracking down an item of clothing that my daughter's friend found on sale somewhere and my daughter never would have bought at full price but if I could find it for half -- hey, she's studying for finals, she's very busy. So these things momentarily distract me.

But back to marriage for a brief moment. Who are those fifty percent of unmarried adults going on vacation with? Yes, same gender trips are lots of fun, as holiday flings can be as well. But at a certain point in life, don't you want to vacation with someone whom you can be naked with when you're looking like hell from the front and from the rear? I think that should up the percentage for marriage by at least ten percent.

Eventually, I promise myself, I will stop being sidetracked by my obsession with finding the perfect connection when flying from Casper, Wyoming to Raleigh, North Carolina -- there is none by the way -- and I will write that article about a future where marriage seems to be dwindling. I will read it to my husband who will really care that I wrote it and he'll even smile in the right places. I will write this just as soon as I get back from the Fed-Ex office where I have to overnight contact lenses to my son, who apparently with no foresight to notice that there were only a few left, has run out of them and whom I fear must be driving somewhere in Kentucky using only his sense of smell. This makes me wonder about the statistic on having children today as compared to 1950. I'll Google it as soon as I get home.