I saw the huge color poster recently at Grand Central Station, the Manhattan hub for millions of daily train commuters from suburban Connecticut and New York, pushing the federal government’s assertion — radical! — that getting and staying married is a great idea. Given how many of those commuters already have a spouse/kids/mortgage/college payments, this seemed an odd location to send that message. Even with a tanking real estate market, it’s still tough to find a decent house anywhere within commuting distance of GCT for less than $400,000, with an additional $12,000 a year in taxes.
So, my guess is that few readers of this advertisement for connubial bliss are actually single in suburbia, certainly those still pining for their first wedding ring. Most can’t afford the northern ‘burbs, or it’s just too lonely and boring out there in picket-fenceville. Those suburbanites already divorced-with-kids aren’t likely in a big rush back to the altar. And those whose marriages are already in trouble will just have to make nice for a while, because, in this market, that shared marital asset isn’t going to sell any time soon.
Even odder, turns out, is who sent and paid for that message. The website for twoofus.org, complete with cool turquoise graphics and a faux-1960s look, is that of the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center, with an Oklahoma City address. What’s really behind it is the federal government, the Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families, who want more Americans, ages 18 to 30 especially, to get and stay married. Marriage, it’s assumed, keeps them off the welfare rolls. Read the rest of this entry »