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“Will I marry me?”

Illustration by Dennis Auth

The “Marrying Season” is upon us.

Have you heard of the growing popularity of “Marriage for one”?

This is when a woman marries herself.

Brides who do that call themselves “Sologamists.”

They do everything they would do for a traditional wedding.

They go shopping and “say yes to the dress.”

They have bridesmaids.

And a reception with a cake, finger food, a bar and dancing – or some combination thereof.

They have music and flowers and toss the bouquet.

The only thing missing is the groom.

Now why is this happening?  What is behind the rise of the Sologamist?

Although there are more women than men in America today, the difference in number is not so great as to cause women to give up the husband hunt.  Yet, there are more single women in the country than married ones.

Today, women between the ages of 25 and 44 are five times more likely to be single than they were in 1973.

So why are so many women content, even happy, to remain unmarried?

Now single guys, here is where it gets, well, personal.

I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but though there are enough of you to go around, a lot of you just ain’t what the single ladies call “husband material.”  Given the option of you or living alone, they strike out on their own.

Today, marriage-age women are better educated than marriage-age men.  Just look at the ratio when schools and colleges hand out diplomas.

Moreover, where in the past women might have been under pressure to marry for economic reasons, today fewer are.  Women in their twenties earn as much or more than their male counterparts, so why take on the extra baggage of a husband with a beer gut sacked out in his recliner?

Besides, with so many other single women out there, “Sologamists” have a broad support group – co-workers and friends – with whom to share life experiences.

So they plight their troth to the one person they can count on to love, honor, and cherish them forever – themselves.

So what about the guys?

Though I have heard nothing about men going the Sologamistic way, for some time men have been marrying later, and often not at all.

Why?

Personally, I think the reason men are not going the Sologamistic route is the whole wedding “thing.”

When was the last time you heard a guy go on and on about selecting the tux, outfitting the groomsmen, choosing the music and the flowers, and all those things that sends brides-to-be into spasms of joy?

Like, never.

If men were to plan their Sologamistic ceremony, it would be like this.

The groom-to-be and his friends would gather at a local barbecue joint, in the back room where Kiwanis meets.  Members of the wedding party would be instructed not to wear anything that shows stains. The ceremony would be conducted by a married buddy who wishes he had done it this way, and when it was over there would be ribs and beer for all.

The honeymoon would be a solo-trip to the Gulf Coast where the single groom would try to pick up a single bride at the FloraBama.

They would live happily ever after.

Harvey H. (Hardy) Jackson is Professor Emeritus of History at Jacksonville State University and a columnist for Alabama Living. He can be reached at hjackson@cableone.net.