Wednesday, June 27, 2007

So many stories, so little time.

I can't believe how much interest I have in people's stories, particularly as it relates to their life choices and relationships. Now I am looking at "what is a successful life",( and who knows what that is anyway) versus a successful marriage say. But forever we are told a successful and even "trustworthy" adult is a married adult. Single, divorced, just isn't presented as the same, as somehow they aren't really a true participant of a real life. Or as one of my guests said, "there must be something wrong with a person not married."

Many parents say that having children forced them out of their narcissism. That before kids, their life was all about them. Then as a parent, the life focus changes to the child. That seems to imply that not having children can be a selfish act. Maybe for some that is true, but then far better they not be parents. And for some, having children could swallow some non-narcissistic types alive. Rather than needing to learn to put others first, they need to put themselves at least in the equation. An interesting balance for sure.

I am drafting titles for upcoming WGM half hour talk shows, to be available through podcasting. I begin a long road trip, from New Mexico to Newfoundland, and along the way I want to talk to people from all walks of life. I still have some audio equipment to get that is due to be released on the market in a few weeks...I hope. So many aspects to this business of making media, the creative, the business and the technical. I await on the technical right now.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A recent email got me thinking.

I got the following email today from an acquaintance who saw an interview with me, and clips from Why Get Married? airing locally in Albuquerque.

"Hey Ms. Stirling!
Very happy and surprised to tune in to channel 27 and find two of the greatest doing a captivating, realistic of times, important presentation, that truly brought paramount understanding of this institution in this day and age.
It just so happened that I had escaped to the den after a spat occurred between my spouse and myself to run into your show!
Thanks for all You do !"

When I worked on this documentary, beginning with the germ of an idea in 2001, I kept learning and distilling down the important topics and issues that interested me, but that I also felt were universal. They would touch anyone who had thought about marriage, in one way or another.

Now in 2007, recent statistics someone spouted at me were that 75% of the couples marrying this year will be divorced within the next 5 years. WOW. As my Mom says, quote your source. Well I don't know where my friend got that percentage, but I intend to investigate.
What does a 75% divorce rate, or 90% mean to us in the western world? Are we going to hell in a hand basket? Is the institution of marriage and government slow slow slow to catch up with what the population has been choosing for themselves these past many decades?

I find so many aspects of marriage fascinating because we have U.S. leadership saying it is grand, yet the evidence says no. And to not marry, does not mean we don't have committed, loving primary relationships, or well loved children. It just means the institution of marriage, the contract, the "rights, the privileges" that are to go along with it in the U.S. are outmoded. And people are voting with their feet, it would seem.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Starter Wife

I just read a promotion for a cable series called The Starter Wife starring Debra Messing. A great leggy picture of her, seated on a stack of expensive luggage. (I'll have to ruminate a bit to figure out what that means marketing-wise.)
Anyhow, a few years back there was a book called Starter Marriage. The author's definition of a starter marriage if memory serves, meant when twenty somethings have a marriage that lasts less than 5 years, usually 2-3 years, and had no children. Kind of like a "starter home", that small "fixer upper" you can afford, that jump starts you into your first home ownership experience, until you find the home, or spouse, of your dreams I suppose.

Starter marriages? Really? Well I guess if Network Television can make finding a husband or a wife a reality show, and keep doing it season after season, it must be lucrative entertainment. Or produce a show that pays a couple for their dream wedding if the couple allows their wedding and preparation to be televised to America. One show required the bride and groom to agree to play scams/jokes on their loved ones and guests to add drama to their wedding, all for primetime television.

I'd be curious if TV viewers, especially our teens, think of marriage more as an entertaining gameshow than a "sacred" institution, or spiritual partnership. Is marriage less important to people now, less of a deal to get right the first time, or any time? Perhaps finding a mate is thought of by many young people now as a well produced reality show with a stretch limo, fantasy dates, and a competition for the last rose? Starter wife would then make a lot of sense in this kind of expectation. Or do we each get our sense of mate and marital values/beliefs from our family and those around us, and not TV? I wonder.

How much do these kind of reality shows impact our idea and expectations about weddings, marriages and, yes, even being single?

Monday, June 04, 2007

I'm Back.

Where have I been you might wonder. Well I didn't die, I just got busy with other production projects and this blog got away from me.
I also was a candidate in our legislative election last November. As part of that I started a campaign blog, so that took up all my blog energy it would seem.

Now I am resurfacing, especially as I keep getting interest in this documentary from individuals, distributors and documentary channels. The question why get married? is a good one, so it gets people thinking and talking just seeing the title.

My passion continues on this question. I am now working on ten half-hour script ideas, that will work for podcasting. Plus another filmmaker, Liz, is interested to do a film, with the working title of "Old Maids". I'd like to work with her on it as I like how she thinks and some of the visuals she has described to me already. Fun!
I too have been fascinated for years by the number of women who are unmarried, and in their 40's and 50's. Many in this group did not have children. How will these facts affect our country in time? I would love to travel across North America and talk to unmarried women and hear their stories. We don't often hear the unmarried story, certainly not with a positive light, more the "old maid" one Liz is thinking about.

Any "old maids" reading this? I am interested in the myths or stigmas facing women who are not married and in their 40's, 50's in the English speaking world and beyond. What do people least understand about being single and in one's 40's + do you think?