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Hey, Where's the Ring?

Hey, Where's the Ring?

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Meet Daniel and Glenn, two of the people we interviewed on the streets of Washington D.C. about what you'd want to know about your partner before tying the knot.View photo gallery � hide caption

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OK, OK, we know. Valentine's Day is a made-up, commodified, Hallmark-sponsored holiday. But, we love it! Since we are journalists as well as romantics, we decided that this was an occasion for digging into one of the more interesting facts to come out of our country's rich database of census information, which is that married families with children are now a minority of U.S. households. Those of us who study social-science trends have been aware for some time that marriage rates have been declining among African-American households. But now it's all households. Why might that be? While we know that a lot of social scientists have addressed this question (and we asked one), we were equally interested in what the thoughtful non-experts had to say. So, we asked two writers — one married (E. Ethelbert Miller), one single (Yolanda Young) — who have written about marriage.

They were both a bit downbeat (to be honest), so we also asked Dr. Linda Malone-Colon, co-author of report, The Consequences of Marriage for African Americans, who has taught a course on marital relationships, for her view on why marriage still matters. Also, we wanted to get some man- and woman-on-the-street wisdom. A team of our producers went to Dupont Circle here in Washington, D.C., to ask: What should you know before you tie the knot?

And because not all of us are married, or partnered, we thought it only right and fair to get a take on Valentine's Day from Jasmyne Cannick, someone who is not only single, but newly single, for a very complex reason: Her beloved was in the closet and she, well, wasn't.

We hope you get roses from somebody. And yes, Happy Valentine's Day.... Smooches....