A beautifully told story with colorful characters out of epic tradition, a tight and complex plot, and solid pacing. -- Booklist, starred review of On the Razor's Edge

Great writing, vivid scenarios, and thoughtful commentary ... the stories will linger after the last page is turned. -- Publisher's Weekly, on Captive Dreams

Saturday, February 22, 2014

At Twenty-Three

This article:  David Wise’s alternative lifestyle leads to Olympic gold, contains a remarkable paragraph; to wit:
At only twenty-three years old, he has a wife, [Alexandra], who was waiting patiently in the crowd, and together they have a two-year-old daughter waiting for them to return to their home in Reno, Nevada. At such a young age, Wise has the lifestyle of an adult. He wears a Baby Bjorn baby carrier around the house. He also attends church regularly and says he could see himself becoming a pastor a little later down the road. Not exactly the picture you had in mind while watching him nail two double corks wearing baggy pants.
TOF will pause here to allow Faithful Reader to ponder this and determine what is wrong.

Yes. Mr. Wise feels that it is remarkable that a 23-year old has the lifestyle of an adult!  He is married!  And has a 2-year old child! Forsooth!

TOF at 23, w/the Incomparable Marge
TOF was wed at the age of twenty-three. The Old Man just shy of his 22nd. TOF's grandsire was wed at age 21. His father was not quite 21, and his father at perhaps 24 (though there is conflicting intelligence regarding his birth year). TOF could check collateral relatives and the maternal tree, too, but thinks the point has been made. Being married at 23 was not hitherto thought remarkable.

Neither was a 20-something acting like an adult.


  1. Having read the article, I must say that it doesn't seem to be Mr. Wise who feels that it is remarkable that a 23-year old has the lifestyle of an adult - rather, it is the NBC reporter, Skyler Wilder. It seems to me that both the skier and reporter were appropriately named.

  2. The Blonde Bombshell and I were married at 19 and had our number one son at 21. That was 30 years ago. I had no idea I was part of the counter culture then. I do know.

  3. Not news. I married at 24, some 20 yrs. ago, the first of my undergrad friends or grad dept. to do so. And my grad peers mostly thought we were insane to marry then, esp. in related disciplines. The thing to do was shack up till we both got job offers after graduation and then decide if a marriage would work around our careers, according to them (excepting the observant Jews, who favored getting hitched). The Dominican priest who prepped us must have heard that a lot, because he was equally blunt to both of us: "your marriage is a sacrament and your career is not."

  4. I'll admit when my sister was married within three months of graduating university, I wasn't so sure it was a Good Thing. I had this idea that you needed to live a few years to really know what you wanted before you settled down for the end of your life. And I think in an age where everyone is in school until twenty-two rather than eighteen, and middle-class strivers will go to grad school directly after... the idea is forgivable in some social contexts. (I'm thirty-two and not married but something of an asexual, so that certainly has an impact.)

    That said... while I had my doubts, they were ready and have as far as I can see a good marriage. Better in many ways than the folks who waited. And even among people I know who waited, this idea that it's odd for a 23yo to be responsible and settled, married or not? Not so much.

  5. Perhaps most telling is that the journalist understands this to be a "lifestyle."

    1. Ha nailed it! What isn't a lifestyle these days? Oh, wait i know, but won't say ;).

  6. I'll not be getting married until this summer (so either age 42 or 43). That said, the old ways are better; I wish that I had married at 21 and was looking forward to grand children in the near future, instead of planning on getting married at 42 and hoping that we can yet adopt kids.

  7. Heck, my folks were supposed to be eternally single because they werne't married, or planning it, when they hit 21. (For which I give thanks, since they didn't meet until over five years later!)


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