Nowadays, of the population fifteen years and older, half the men are married but only a third of the women get married, only a few men are widowers while one quarter of the women are widows (which seems to mean that marriage is killing the men but not the women), and fifteen percent of the men are divorced but just a handful of women are divorced (and everybody knows who they are, their stories, why they shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place and I told her so, but she wouldn’t listen, and Who did What to Whom).
Ironically, churched women get divorced at the same rate as unchurched women, but churched men divorce less frequently than unchurched men (go figure…).And one-in-four of the men never marry so divorce isn’t an issue, and one-in-five of the women never marry, but I bet four-out-of-five of them would give marriage a try if an offer came their way.
And then there’s the age thing that makes living hard for some and harder for others. Most of Elizabeth’s residents are old –one-in-three, as if the town was a retirement center, and no matter how respectful young people are the older people in Elizabeth are just plain older –as if being older meant being indifferent to differences and curmudgeons about circumstances.
No-difference, is what they say; No difference, in response to others’ concerns; No-difference, to the handful of young adults left in town, and only eight-percent of the residents that makes it a lonely place for them. No-difference; –six-of-the-one, half-dozen-of-the-other.
Well, those are the numbers and percentages, but what they don’t tell us is why. Sometimes the How is easy enough to understand so the answer to the Why is as obvious as the difference between a woman and a man; it’s either that or it’s six-of-the-one, half-dozen-of-the-other.