Once upon a time women in their twenties got married soon enough. These days, not so much. Often they are carousel riding, or at least carousel watching.
Or are they? Naturally enough invoking the image of the carousel does not make them feel well.
Nobody wants to be accused of what carousel riders do. Men will always look upon such women as poor prospects for marriage. It doesn’t matter how much re-education they are forced to consume; for men, this is built-in. So naturally enough, women are not doing what it is that they are doing.
So what are they doing? They are being educated, establishing their careers, exploring the world, learning about themselves, discovering who they really are, becoming the real person that they should be, blah, blah. Some of these (e.g. attending college, establishing career), kind of look legitimate. These provide lots of plausible deniability. For what you might ask? Well, I do think that you know the answer.
Probably most do not explicitly consider their carousel activities at all. They are just something that happens, a sideline activity, a big meaningless nothing-burger. Of course, since they consider it as nothing, then it is nothing.
But is it? For many, this activity is the highlight of the decade, maybe their lives. So, how does one reconcile a “big-nothingburger” with “highlight of their lives”? Perhaps this reconciliation takes a toll, now and forever.