According to Sam and Jim Commenting on things that irk us off, make us laugh out loud or just seem too weird too believe According to Sam and Jim: Wanna' Be A LAT? Better Read Our Informative Blog First

Monday, July 8, 2013

Wanna' Be A LAT? Better Read Our Informative Blog First

Sam and I read a magazine article recently about married couples “living apart together.” These people are known as LATs.

LATS do not occupy the same living space on a regular basis, either by choice or by circumstance. According to The New York Times, CBS New York and USA Today, our U.S. population is experiencing a steady drift away from the “nuclear, traditional marriage,” and the U.S. Census Bureau has estimated that 3.5 million married couples have found that living apart works best for them.

You may think that being a LAT means you're not emotionally connected or you live an alternative lifestyle, such as a so-called open relationship where you can date other people but no, say the LATs, that isn’t necessarily the case.

Writer Fannie Hurst once reportedly said that she considered nine out of 10 marriages to be "sordid endurance tests, overgrown with the fungi of familiarity and contempt," and that by living separately from her husband, she was able to keep her most sacred relationship, "a high-sheen damask" rather than a "breakfast cloth, stale with soft-boiled egg stains."

And Katharine Hepburn once described her ideal marriage as being able to keep a place to retreat, a place not to be tangled up in someone else's consciousness, needs, moods, and daily

Laurie Winer, writing for Oprah Magazine online about being a LAT in an article titled The Occasional Husband says,“For me that means: I don't do anyone's laundry or dishes. I don't worry about when he's getting home. I don't worry about when I'm getting home. No one eats my leftover Indian food. No one erases my phone messages and forgets to tell me who called. I don't have to wait at the door when it's time to go out while he searches for his glasses. I don't have to consider the question "Have you seen my glasses?" at absurdly short intervals. I don't leave for the restaurant at the last possible second and then have to valet park. No one is aware that I'm playing computer hearts for two hours on a Thursday. And when I slip into bed, wearing my softest and least sexy flannel nightgown, I make out with my cat, Hobbes, and watch Comedy Central till I fall asleep.”

Ah, but as Tom (Laurie’s husband) packs to leave their Los Angeles home every August to teach fall semesters at the University of Iowa, Laurie does confess that being an LAT isn’t always totally great. “As I watch him pack, all I can think is that it adds neurosis. Because when I see the man I'm living with dump his entire sock drawer into a battered black suitcase, I feel anxious and insecure. No matter what the facts may be, it certainly looks like someone's leaving me.”

Angela Neustatter says in an article in The Telegraph of Great Britain that a study conducted by Birkbeck University of London, University of Bradford and the National Centre for Social Research for Britain’s Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC found that, “Couples who saw themselves as being together for the long haul were divided into categories by the researchers. Thirty per cent were LATs from choice ('preference’), where both or one partner wanted to live apart; 19 per cent cited 'constraint’, meaning they might have liked to share a home, but circumstances made it impossible or extremely difficult (perhaps the accommodation was unsuitable); 12 per cent were 'situational’, regarding their lifestyle choice as the best they could make in their circumstances, and eight per cent were unclassifiable. The remainder were those who, the researchers found, cited a combination of reasons for the choice.”

Prof Sasha Roseneil, a lead researcher on the British ESRC study, believes that increasingly we will choose to be LATs during the 21st century, pointing to declining cultural pressure on people to marry, and women’s increased economic and social independence, as two factors.

Well, let’s hope Prof. Sasha is wrong. Call me naïve, but I’ve always thought people got married to live together. Kathleen and I lived in different cities 150 miles apart for four years because I took a job in Bellingham and she didn’t want to leave her job in Olympia. Living apart like that did not work well for us. In spite of the fact we each enjoyed having our own space, being LATs on a regular basis just didn’t work out that well for us.

So, has somebody erased the part of the wedding vows that talk about living together for better or for worse? Did I miss that? What’s it all about Alfie?

Three bags of poop on being a LAT.w

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