In our Dealbreakers series, exes report on the habit, belief, or boxer brief that ended the affair.
My mom always told me that I could argue with a brick wall, but I prefer healthy debate with other humans—like when I argued with her for two days over whether pine straw is mulch. I insisted that pine straw is a particular sort of yard furnishing that should not be lumped in with mulch, while she was content to live in a world with imprecise definitions for flowerbed fillers.
When I spotted Lauren—a slender blonde in a smart purple dress I met at one of the not-quite-fancy alumni events my university was always throwing in D.C.—she struck me as the type of confident and independent girl I’m always drawn to. Just shy of a semester out of college, she’d moved straight to the capital in lieu of settling in one of the southern towns that net too many of our fellow grads. A few open-bar Yuenglings and several passes of lackluster hors d’oeurvres later, I sidled over to talk to her. I don’t remember anything I said, but she smiled a lot and l aughed. I made sure to get her phone number before leaving.
The front page of yesterday’s New York Timesinformed readers that “in a quarter-century, at the rate Nigeria is growing, 300 million people—a population about as big as that of the present-day United States—will live in a country the size of Arizona and New Mexico.” The capital alone houses 21 million people and has all the accompanying strains—ungodly traffic, potential for political unrest, upward pressure on food prices, insufficient hospital capacities—which the article uses as an example of how a “population bomb” will hurt sub-Saharan Africa.
The article implies Nigeria and other sub-Saharan countries must figure out how to engineer a decline in family size and birth rates before achieving economic progress—in this account, people start having two kids instead of 12 and can invest much more time and money and education in each child.