Advice of ‘Princeton Mom’ Reveals A Mother Talking To Herself

By Meghan Daum (Opinion)
Los Angeles Times.

Remember “the Princeton Mom,” who made a pariah of herself last year when she exhorted marriage-minded college women not to graduate without securing future husbands along with their diplomas?

She’s back in the media gestalt.

She’s back in the way that people often come back after they make such splashes, with a book that didn’t need to be written, though you can’t really blame them for writing it (when you’re an Internet scourge, you might as well take a publisher’s money and run).

Susan Patton is her name, and the book, “Marry Smart,” is essentially a 200-plus page version of a letter, printed in the Princeton student newspaper, that started it all.

In it, Patton inveighed against female students who were too busy thinking about their studies and their careers to look for future husbands among their classmates: “You will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you,” she wrote. Within a few days, the letter had gone viral.

The advice is very much in the vein of “do as I say, not as I did.”

Patton got herself to Princeton in 1973 after she emancipated herself from her immigrant parents who didn’t believe women should go to college and wouldn’t sign her school applications or financial aid documents.

Once there, she admits that she too easily dismissed her male classmates (who were hippies but later turned out to be Masters of the Universe) and wound up dating inferior men with degrees from inferior schools.

She then married one who not only “wasn’t the love of my life” but “had no respect for the hoopla, the traditions, the allegiance, the orange and black.”

Last year they divorced.

Though Patton is careful in the book to say that she considers her marriage a success “because I had the children I always wanted” (who attended Princeton, thank goodness), she told a reporter last year that her ex-husband “went to a school of almost no name recognition. A school that nobody has respect for, including him, really.”

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