Instead of getting married again, I’m just going to find a woman I don’t like and give her a house -Lewis Grizzard
In Any town, U.S.A, I believe it is the will of the people to use up every last inch of open space to create an environment of all executive houses. Maybe that is wrong, maybe this is just the will of the builders and the developers, and perhaps the city council. Almost everywhere you look there is an imbalance of “executive housing.” It begs the mathematical question on how many executives are there? And are there enough to buy these over sized houses on tiny lots of land? The theory goes something like this: A married executive relocates to town from the coast (pick one), moves his executive wife and 2.4 children and then the happy couple decides they no longer want to stay married. Then a second executive home is purchased for the executive wife who takes 1.2 children with her, she remarries another executive, who has 1.2 children as well, and a dog. The blended family then has to move into a bigger executive house with a tinier yard and then if statistics are right this executive couple splits a second and third time- hence other executive houses and a bunch of children who are doing their best to learn what it is like to solve the executive housing glut. This of course doesn’t give any mention to the original executive patriarch (from the first marriage) who is doing his part to keep the cycle going too. So if divorce creates the need then supply meets the demand of too many communities.
Another algebraic problem is, if the divorce rate is over 50% in this country, then how many of the divorces are granted to the same people? In other words if the same people are getting married, divorcing, then repeating the cycle again and again, does it stand to reason that just a small part of the adult population is raising the divorce statistic? According to Yale and Swarthmore University Sociology Professor, William Weston, “The divorce rate for first marriages is at 40 percent and second marriages at 60 percent which is good news overall.” Many feel that properly equipped and prepared newlyweds will help continue to drop the divorce rate even further within the next decade. There are a percentage of divorces that approach the silly line of over 3 marriages and divorces. Too many times multiple marriages multiply by two and triple the victim rate when it comes to children and finances. According to Daniel Pink, author of “A Whole New Mind” which reveals the six abilities white-collar workers must master to survive in an outsourced, automated, upside-down world:
“People living longer means less turnover in housing stock, which translates into more construction.” Pink predicts that 50-year or even 75-year mortgages could become common. “And I wouldn’t be surprised to see continued growth in co-housing (seniors forming the equivalent of 21st century communes), multiple generations of families living together under one (large) roof, and other alternative housing arrangements. Family structure has grown more diverse over the last couple of decades. But the structure of housing has stayed pretty much the same. Maybe not for long.”
When Pink says “Family structure has grown more diverse” we get back to the theory of communities with the seeds of first, second, and more marriages living within blocks of each other. Looking through Any Town USA or any virtual community website from major developers a home buyer can look through vast amounts of “multi-planned communities that have it all!” The websites boast, “Shopping, schools, community centers, and green space.” Some even ask the question, “What else could you need?” What you won’t find too often advertised in the “master plan” is counseling, wrap around-front porches, backyards, public transportation, and churches all instrumental in developing authentic community, accountability and committed relationships.