“LONDON HUMAN RIGHTS LAWYER AMAL ALAMUDDIN IS ENGAGED.”
That was the cheeky headline on Slate this week as news spread that America’s (the world’s?) most eligible bachelor, George Clooney, put a ring on it. “It” being the finger of Amal Almamuddin, an Oxford educated lawyer, activist, multi-lingual, beautiful woman that – gasp! – none of us had heard of. I, like most of the country, like Clooney. I enjoy his movies very much. I enjoy equally his off-screen persona as a genuinely nice guy prone to the ocassional prank. He seems to like being George Clooney and I admire that. He doesn’t wallow in any woe-is-me celebrity privacy pleas, doesn’t take himself or his line of work too seriously, and despite an early failed marriage and a succession of model/actress girlfriends, no one has a bad word to say about him. Many a tabloid has been filled with speculation about “Will George every marry again?” or “Did girlfriend’s demand of a ring end Clooney’s relationship?” and “Is Clooney a committment-phobe?” I’ve long thought it was much ado about nothing. The man is a movie star, rich, and good-looking. Don’t feel too sorry for him or the ladies on his arm. What I love most about the news of his engagement though isn’t that he has decided to settle down, it’s who he’s decided to settle down with.
The book “Marry Smart” has gotten a lot of attention lately for many reasons, not the least of which, is the author writing a letter to the Princeton Review advising young women to use their college years to find a husband. Part of it reads: “Work will wait. Your fertility won’t. So yes, I’m saying, double down. Spend 75 percent of time planning your personal happiness, putting in place the things you need to ensure you reach your personal goals.
If that means getting cosmetic work to ensure they are “as socially successful in college as possible.”
I don’t know what offends me more, that women should alter their appearance to attract a man, that women should put education on the back burner in favor of finding a man, that men are so shallow the only requirement a future partner fulfill is looking good, or that men don’t find smart women attractive. This is certainly not to suggest the two attributes, intelligence and beauty, are mutually exclusive. Or that Clooney’s other loves have been dummies simply because they chose acting or modeling as a career. I’m not saying that at all. What I am getting at is I believe men like smart, successful women. They like women who don’t look entirely to them for their happiness or fulfillment. Women who have their own thing going on. And are open to sharing that thing with the right man. I find that wrapping your worth/happiness/value/fulfillment in one person is waaaaay too much pressure on them and really, you, too. I will reluctantly agree with one part of what the “Princeton Mom” has to say. Work on yourself. And not just in college. Do it not to snag a husband though, but a life. Educate yourself, find a job that fulfills, cultivate interests and friendships of your own. You may find that wanting a man, but not needing him, is the best way to attract one. That is the definition of “marrying smart.” Just ask Amal Alamuddin.