Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

More Women Happy to Stay Single

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

More Women Happy to Stay Single

Article excerpt

SOMEWHERE between a man's dirty socks and his habit of sitting around in his ratty underwear watching the ballgame, a lot of women are losing interest in getting married.

Gotta catch a man? Snag a guy? Get hitched? Take that stereotype and stuff it.

A recent survey says that practically half the single women in America don't want to get married.

And - get this - there are a bunch of men out there who say they can understand why.

"A lot of men are pigs. They don't care. You have to be, like, tender and stuff to women, and a lot of men don't want to spend the time," said Ted Tsoumas, 36, of Chicago who is single and willing to spend the time.

Count him among the two-thirds of single American men who say they do want to wed, according to the survey.

That's right. The telephone poll by Ohio University and Scripps Howard News Service seems to turn conventional wisdom upside-down, saying that more men than women are now are yearning to tie the knot. The fine print, however, shows those conclusions aren't so clear-cut.

Still, "Men are looking for someone to take care of them," reasoned Marlena Lagina, 37, of Hobart, Ind., who speaks from experience. She is the divorced mother of 13-year-old twin boys, and she's raising them to be outstanding husbands. The lads already know how to cook and clean, she said.

Lagina's mother, Justine Towers, who has been married for 40 years, understands why men more often say they want to be married than women.

"They want to be babied," she said.

Three suburban widows with six husbands among them immediately warmed to the topic of "Marriage: Boon or Bane?"

"If I were single today, I wouldn't get married," said a 70-year-old. "She don't like to wash socks!" chimed in another. The conversation quickly move into a critique of their men sitting around the house in "BVDs."

All had a lifetime of experience with husbands lounging in their underwear. None viewed this favorably.

"If I had it to do again, I would never be married. I'd live with somebody," said the widow with flaming red hair, who is in her 60s. "We want the independence that we require as women. We love life."

Laughing and joking on their way to lunch, this liberated trio would not give their names. "Just say anonymous ladies from Skokie," hollered one as she toddled toward a tomato stuffed with tuna and a large iced tea.

Arlene Saluter, an expert on marriage trends at the U.S. Census Bureau, said that, overall, fewer Americans are marrying, and those who do are waiting longer to wed. But she was somewhat skeptical of the survey's results, which portrayed men as the ones crooning, "Goin' to the Chapel."

"It takes two, right? So I don't see how you can say one (gender) will be less likely to marry than the other. . . . It could be true, but I don't have anything that would help support that," Saluter said. …

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