Your First Love

Eli Manning Marries His, But Yours Is Long Gone

The former Abby McGrew…   It’s been one hell of a year for Hoboken’s Eli Manning.

First the Giants make the most exciting and improbable run to a Super Bowl Championship in league history. Really, try topping winning four straight games on the road while trailing in all of them, and then beating an 18-0 team whose QB and coach have won three titles in this decade…I triple dare you.

Then Eli gets his “I’m going to Disney World” MVP moment, gains a very cool national Gatorade commercial, his apartment renovation (a 1,300-square-feet, two-bedroom beauty with cherry hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen with six-burner stove, marble bath, and 13-foot ceilings) is completed, the President names him to the Council on Physical Fitness, and he tops it all off by getting hitched to a girl he’s known since his days at Ole Miss.

And it isn’t even May yet…

Abby McGrew (now Abby Manning) and Manning (still Manning) met as students on the University of Mississippi campus when he was a senior and she was a freshman. They dated for over two years until he proposed at his Tea Building apartment in March of 2007. So the sunset ceremony that happened last Saturday at the One & Only Palmilla resort on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula wasn’t exactly a shotgun wedding in Vegas.

Manning can be seen with McGrew and/or fellow Super Bowl MVP and Colts QB Peyton Manning (once in awhile) at venues ranging from Liberty Bar to Baja to Frankie and Johnnies to Panera Bread. In other words, tearing it up at Tenjune or chopping down on a $75.00 steak at Sparks isn’t his thing. Like most of us, Manning is more than content with the relative simple life that Hoboken offers.

Where Manning differs from other Hoboken men is the age (27) in which he decided to take his $52 million contract and boyish looks off the market. A 2005 Census poll says the average age for marriage is 26.7 for men and 25.1 for women (granted, that average is dragged down by states like Utah (23.9 for men and 21.9 for women).

There is no data on this sort of thing for Hoboken, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who is walking down the aisle before the age of 29. In fact, in a recent poll of ten people in my new beach empire, most couldn’t even point to even one friend who got hitched before the 26.7/25.1 national average.

So while #10 on the Giants didn’t exactly play the field when he went from being barely a celebrity in Hoboken to possibly having a street named after him, other in the Mile Square are really, really taking their time before venturing out to go ring shopping.

Cost of living and 500 stations consisting 90% of attractive women on them (particularly on doctor shows and cable news) may have just a little bit to do with delaying this decision.

But when weighing the two (the ability to buy a decent home vs. always looking to trade up) the biggest reason men are more selective about settling down is because of a subconscious Game 7 pressure of being able to financially afford a family and facilitating that dream by buying a home in an insanely overpriced market. A decent two-bedroom condo in Hoboken is going for somewhere around $550,000-$650,000 these days, and standard four-bedroom homes in suburbs with good schools are more in the $700,000-$1 million dollar range. So ultimately, some guys are just looking to buy as much time as possible while advancing our careers and deepening our savings accounts for the future.

So ladies, it’s not that men are only on this planet out to scratch a carnal itch or are looking to replace you to a reasonable facsimile of Scarlett Johansson…it’s just that we are ensuring that everything else is in order in other aspects of our lives before we turn on the “now serving” sign.

One Giant may be off the market, but let’s just say that the shelves in the singles aisle are still very much full.