Single is Not a Four Letter Word
The most offensive thing I have ever seen in my entire life is a book called “Find a Husband After 35 (Using What I Learned at Harvard Business School)”. Rachel Greenwald, a prolific writer on the subject of dating and the ever so popular topic of how to get a man by whatever means necessary, wrote this book about ten years ago, helping the defenseless women who have hit that horrific age of 35, when everything metaphorically, or literally, goes downhill and you no longer have anything to offer the world. This woman purposely set out to apply her hard fought Harvard elitist education to help poor, single women fulfill their destiny, in becoming someone’s property. We’ve got to have goals right? I guess at Harvard, they don’t go over the history of marriage in Eastern traditions and the mere 100 year old romanticized notion of marriage in a Wasp society hasn’t been tainted with the truth for New Englanders, or else, let’s face it, why would she be encouraging us “senior women” to get hitched? I mean, since we’re old enough to need her help, all of our fathers are probably dead, so a dowry isn’t real likely in getting one of us as a prize. So what’s the point?
She is not alone, however. Apparently, everything a woman over 35 attempts requires a book or self help guide, directing her in the proper ways to lose weight, have a baby, or make oneself look younger. Just do a search on Amazon. Go ahead, I'll wait. Men, however, only appear to have one book on the topic of being 35, “Date Younger Women: For Men over 35.” I take it back; that’s the most offensive thing I’ve ever seen.
When I began approaching “35,” I wasn't thinking, "OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO DIE ALONE!!!" What I was thinking was more along the lines of how I have to check a different box on those stupid medical forms now, and I have to say I’m in my “mid-30’s.” and not my early anything ever again! I had no idea that the entire world saw me as the plagued demographic, female-like lepers and hermits walking the path toward eternal spinsterhood, the darkest of all evils with my many a cat in tow. (Yes, I have a real cat, but it’s utterly irrelevant). I wasn’t worried about finding a man, or if I had wrinkles that made me look like the witch from Looney Tunes, or the complications of having a baby after 35, which is seemingly only an issue if you are not famous, since the women of Hollywood have babies over 40 every day and it’s a non-issue; though, it is celebrated as the greatest feat ever, so kinda the same thing. "Gwen Stefani pregnant at 46!" has recently made headlines, as opposed to Blake Shelton knocked up Gwen Stefani at 39, his swimmers are still stronger than ever! (It's a miraculous conception that all of her eggs haven't quite dried up yet rendering her completely useless!)
I was married, once. In my twenties. And I was a very different person then. Thankfully, divorce is an option. Because marriage is set out to be such a high priority goal for women, starting at such a young age, women who haven’t matured, found themselves, or even ever had time to be alone, marry every day to men they feel will protect them, honor them, and never leave them, because that would be just ghastly. But one thing that is rarely, if ever, pointed out in the discussions on the necessity of marriage is that we have romanticized the notion surrounding marriage for the last 100 years, making a partnership into something intimate and long lasting, but we haven’t adjusted our ideals of marriage against the changes in the way men and women relate to one another on a regular basis. The Grace Kelly’s, Audrey Hepburn’s, Rock Hudson (yes, I know), Cary Grant’s of the world no longer exist. We are not those people! The moral yardstick against which we measure ourselves to these romantic masterminds no longer exists. That is why we end up failing, miserably, constantly, and creating offensive self help books for women who have changed, and may not want Cary Grant showing up at her door with flowers to take her for an early night of dancing and a late carriage ride through the park. Women have changed. (And frankly so have men). And I am damn proud to be one of the women who, I prefer, have evolved. I face better choices, more choices. I get to face them on my own, and there are some of us who's own mothers can't say that. We are miles away from where we need to be, but we are light years from where we once were. Thank some deity unknown that I was born when I was, I could not have conformed to the likes of any other era. Hell, I struggle enough with this one.
I started this blog when I was in a dark place. Everything was ending for me. And so I wrote it out. And I am glad I did. It was very cathartic. But the cloud has lifted and I can’t write about things ending all the time anymore. I decided to change it up, write about something I do know very well, and that affects me every day of my life; being a single woman, by choice. The stigma surrounding the choices I have made for my life over the past few years astounds me still, and I want to share them with you. I want to create a discourse for the “single” life and make an attempt at taking it out of the category of “bad words” and putting it into a category of “neutral words.” I am a single woman. And that is not a dirty word. This new blog is going to be my journey of self-discovery of my single-dom, how it came to be, and how I knew it was right for me. Please join me. It isn’t a propaganda piece on trying to make everyone against marriage, I swear. It is a piece that will try to help you understand yourself better, and become more comfortable in your times alone. Always remember, there is a big difference between being alone, and being lonely. And once you know yourself, and learn to love yourself, there really is no better company to be had.