At our final wedding of the year—wedding #8 for anyone who's counting—my friend Pam looked at me and said, "You know, statistically all of these marriages won't work out."
I was taken aback. Pam is the sweetest, kindest person I know. She always has a smile on her face and is always thinking of others. It was out of character for her to think so darkly. But the thought itself was also frightening. Pam was right.
"Yes, there's the statistic that half of marriages end in divorce, but it can also be broken down further. The younger you are when you marry for the first time is a factor. The divorce rate for first marriages in your thirties and forties is shockingly low."
I was referring to a TLC documentary I saw years ago called Sextistics: Your Love Life. The 51% divorce rate is true. However, if you get married in your forties, the divorce rate is 7%. Marriage in your thirties: 16%. And finally, marriage in your twenties: 77% divorce rate. I find a lot of comfort in these statistics.
Pam sipped her glass of champagne. "16%? That's still one of us."
I responded by being the mean girl. I speculated which one of us I thought it would be.
Abraham IMed me this morning when he got to work. He said he had sad news: friends of his announced that they were divorcing. Because they are Abe's friends, they are a little older than me. I like them; we just aren't super close because they don't live nearby. There's a little girl involved.
I put my head down on my desk and cried. I can't articulate why. Perhaps now that the weddings were over, the real work was starting. The love bubble had burst. Maybe it was that I knew how that little girl was going to grow up, and my heart was broken for her. It felt like the beginnings of an avalanche. This family is this the first. The first of others.