never married, over forty, a little bitter


The date.  He was prompt, polite, paid for coffee, had all the requisite social skills.  We had a stimulating conversation and some potential for chemistry.  He is dissatisfied with his current career and uncertain of new directions–not ideal, perhaps, but I can hardly blame someone for something I feel myself.

At the end of the date, a surprise factoid.  He is divorced after a long marriage.  Well, not technically divorced; the paperwork has been filed and separate residences established, but the divorce has not been finalized yet.

Perhaps at this age this complication is relatively inconsequential; I don’t know, but it was definitely dampening.


Speaking of physicality, I am trying out a new type of intense yoga that is known for being a bit “cultish.”  I have written previously of the overwhelming feelings of sadness and negativity that I’ve been experiencing before falling asleep each night.  I decided I needed some kind of “reboot” before my emotional state goes further south.  When in Rome and all that.

I certainly am experiencing the weak social bonds that would make me susceptible to a cult, but hopefully my inherent skepticism would keep me safe.  I do have to wonder what our society has to offer that is so rewarding as to keep the appeal of cults at bay.


There’s a small group of four women, of whom I am one, who are over forty and have been hanging in there in a particular ballet class for several years.   Only one of the four of us is partnered (married with a child).  It made me wonder if part of our devotion to ballet is our desire  to explore our physicality– to push our bodies, play with them, see what they can do– in the absence of an ongoing sexual relationship.

I did read a book a few years ago about a woman, a wife and mother,  who became a yoga devotee; obviously single women are not the only ones who want to explore their physicality through dance and exercise.  But I do think the absence of a partner, and perhaps the experience of giving birth, could be one of my motivators.  I didn’t become seriously addicted to movement until my thirties, but since turning thirty it has been one of my real pleasures in life.


This past week I forced myself to go to a dance.  I love the idea of dancing– the dressing-up and touch and music and skill involved.  As I’ve written before, though, I’ve enjoyed it less and less over the years and resent getting dressed up and taking the time to go out and paying to get in somewhere, only to spend most of the evening on the bench.

Despite these misgivings, I made the effort once more.  The entire drive there I kept considering turning around and going home, as I was tired and feeling like I’d been down this road enough to know it probably wasn’t going to be worth the effort.  I will say there are one or two places where I do get asked to dance repeatedly and do have fun, but for the most part it’s been a losing endeavor.

I arrived and took a seat and a nice woman in a darling dress sat down next to me.  We sat and sat.  At some point she leaned over and said, “Look at all those men just standing around over there, not asking anyone to dance.”  Every one of them was a decent dancer but I guess preferred to sit out a bunch of numbers due to fatigue or fear of asking someone new or disinclination to dance with anyone they considered beneath them.  The woman next to me said she used to regularly attend this particular dance but had quit out of frustration and hadn’t been back in a long time.  I shared her frustration, as this is something I’ve observed numerous times– men standing around not dancing, oblivious (or not) to the long row of women who have been sitting, sitting, sitting, waiting to dance.

I kept thinking that this is why I only participate in  ballet and belly dance and other solo dance endeavors now– because when I go somewhere intending to dance, I want to dance!   Somehow this seems like a good metaphor for my whole life at this time.  If I want to do something, it’s entirely up to me.


I live in in a city with endless recreational and cultural opportunities.  Endless.

So it’s amazing to me how the social scene consists of such thin gruel.  Yes, I have a handful of friends (each living a half-hour to an hour away and only casually knowing each other), but I have nothing even close to what I would consider a community.  I once heard a man with an exciting career say on a podcast that the only time he felt a sense of community in this city was around his children’s school.  I wish he had elaborated, because honestly, if he feels that way, I am fucked.

Despite all, I have kicked my physical activity up a notch and with a renewed sense of energy and purpose am planning to take advantage of what this city does have to offer.


love this:

Right now, I have 28 men I’m ‘communicating’ with, which is to say I’ve approached them and all but two are apparently ignoring me. They haven’t written back to say ‘thanks, I’m very flattered but not interested’ and they haven’t ‘closed the match’, they are just refusing to respond. Like cactus or some small, terrified animal who has decided that if they stay very still and don’t make any sudden moves, the scary, size 10, age-appropriate woman who isn’t hideously unattractive or strangely deformed standing before them might take the hint and go away.


and further:

meeting needs

Yesterday I was thinking about how difficult it can be to get basic needs met in our society and how the marketplace rushes into the vacuum, dangling carrots so as to make money off our confusion.

Take finding a job.  If you don’t have connections, you are at the mercy of methods that may or may not result in any kind of success and are sometimes money or time sucking scams.  Job boards on the internet, Craigslist, the want ads in newspapers, career counselors, job fairs, job placement agencies… all in the service of finding people jobs, but how often do they work?  I’ve been down those roads and after much trial and effort and time and money finally ended up with some temp jobs that eventually led to (low-paying) job offers, which is why I go back time and time again to the profession I am credentialed in.

I feel like it’s the same thing with intimacy needs.  Matchmakers, dating agencies, Meetup, singles events, online dating sites, dances, singles vacations… yes, you might get lucky, but considering those entities exist to bring people together, “you might get lucky” is not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Despite all this, I am going on another date from online today and hoping for the best.  If anything, he has thus far shown good manners.


In my review of the movie Young Adult, I wrote:

I heard one male reviewer discuss the film with a female reviewer, and in his opinion, Mavis had a chance to change, failed to take it, and was doomed to a downward spiral.  I am guessing that he believes she needed to change to be more like the people living in her hometown.  The female reviewer had the opposite reaction, seeing in the final scene confirmation that Mavis did indeed have a lot to be proud of and that she just needed to see it.  From interviews I’ve read, I believe director Jason Reitman agrees with the male reviewer, but I fall somewhere in the middle, and I would bet so does Diablo Cody, the writer (also unmarried and childless). 

I was wrong.  Diablo Cody is married (for the second time) and has a son.  Whether that changes where she falls on the ending, I can’t say.