Friday 5 April 2019

The One

You may have noticed that Catholics often marry Catholics. Up our valley, there is a, not unexpected, degree of endogamy - Hickeys marry Kellys and Wards marry Nevilles. Indeed I know two of our neighbours who have married into a home which they could see across the valley from the front door of the place where they grew up. There were good reasons for that, back in the day: the only hops you were likely to dance at were within a bicycle ride of home, and you looked across the dance-floor at the pretty gals or shumbling galoots and said I'll 'ave 'im or She is The One. But if The One escapes to Dublin and marries a solicitor, most blokes settle down to life with someone and are happy or unhappy in their choice. I suggest that the amount of happiness or luck which rains down on your shoulders is largely to do with your own attitude and anger. If you're happy in your own skin, then you can deal with a "difficult" partner; if not, then your own insecurities will boil over when she's late with the dinner. Cook yer own dinner, ye lazy dependent git. Today a MeFi thread about ending relationships popped up on the blogosphere. If you're unsure . . . it may help.

Dancehalls? Today's Wordaday quote:
Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.
Verna Myers

Now that we have cars, even in deepest rural Ireland, your choice of dance-hall is much wider. And the rise and rise of on-line dating provides another set of options. Not all the people on internet dating sites are axe-murderers. Attraction is more than pheromones; and compatability is more than bonking. You've got to talk about something apart from how was it for you? over breakfast. It's a multi-variate optimisation problem although few people would actually implement this in a computer program. Although Charles Darwin famously made a list.
Marry Not Marry
Children Avoid tedious in-laws
Companion in ageWork and productivity
Wife better than a dog Clever men in clubs
Books and Music Free time 
Bonkety Bonk Travel
No he didn't mention the bonking - he was a Victorian - but he got a lot of it in. Poor Emma Darwin was born in 1808 and had children in 1839 1841 1843 1845 1847 1848 1850 1851 1856. Essentially 20 years pregnant or lactating.

But I put it to you that, in any group of 100 people, you could surely make a go of a long-term relationship with 1 of them. Indeed if you popped the question and were reasonably cont[in]ent, you wouldn't know any different from if you had washed up with your Platonic ideal partner. That 1% rule means that, if you'd just go looking, there are 76 million people alive today who'd be Good Enough as a spouse. Obviously fewer than that if you eliminate people old enough to be your granny and those below the age of consent. You wouldn't want to make the first date a permenant fixture but neither do you want to restless flit from one partner to the next until all your pals are married. Numberphile has algorithmed this optimisation problem:
Choosing a toilet or a secretary or a wife - Ria Symonds or
Stable Marriage Problem. - Emily Riehl or
The mathematics of love by Hannah Fry at TED

Dan Savage writes an agony column in Seattle. Here he is rounding up from a 0.64 to The One. |Just be content with the blessings you have - you could travel further and fare worse. Dan Savage and partner [the happy pair shown at the top] are leading the charge with a project to support and empower oppressed BLT teenagers showing, through their well-lived adult lives that, although High School will probably be grim

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