September 13, 2005 - Edding Vows
The Census Bureau tells us that 57.1% of women in the United States are married. The rest of the women are divided between never married (21.0%), and divorced or widowed (21.8%). Yes, we know that the numbers don’t add up to 100%. Edhat’s in-house statistician tells us that they don’t have to when there’s rounding involved. Ed tells us never to argue with a statistician; they are temperamental and often right.
Anyone who has ever heard of the Lord of the Rings movies (i.e. everyone) knows that most married women wear wedding rings. For you truly ignorant members of the male species, the wedding ring is worn on the left ring finger, the one between the pinkie and the middle finger. Sometimes, the engagement ring is worn on that same finger at the same time, usually on the outside.
Yesterday, the dedicated staff of edhat.com walked around the downtown area counting the number of women wearing and not wearing wedding rings. We passed by the Art Museum where a rally supporting choice was underway. We made our counting into a game. As we spotted women walking toward us, we made guesses as to whether they would be wearing rings. Older tourist women walking hand-in-hand with their older tourist men were sure to be wearing rings on their fingers. But it was the younger, more local-looking women who made our game challenging.
We were fooled a couple of times by some younger women. We would guess Not Married, only to find that they were wearing rings! The dedicated staff surmised that, either, 1) they weren’t actually married but wore rings on that sacred finger anyway; 2) they looked younger than they were, or; 3) the dedicated staff is as old as dirt, and our perspective on youth has been skewed.
It was probably number 3, but we chose number 1.
Once we had completed our count, and left the sounds of the “Honk for Pro Choice” rally behind, we went back to our office to calculate and reflect. We found that 45.7% of the women we counted were wearing rings on the left ring finger. That number is less than the national average of married women. Of course, not all women wear their rings all the time. And, the downtown afternoon crowd might not be typical - married women could be somewhere else doing married women things, you know.
And, as many of our subscribers pointed out, when it comes to wedding rings - it’s location, location, location (and time of day, too). Nordstrom would have been higher than City College, and Madison’s at midnight would have been lower than the maternity ward.
Elkay won yesterday’s contest with an exact guess of 45.7%. Today, we are going to hook Elkay up with 2 tickets to the Nights Party at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. We wonder what the percentage of married women is there?
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