never married, over forty, a little bitter


In the book Southern California: An Island on the Land, the author Carey McWilliams explains that houses in Los Angeles were often shoddily built because people didn’t know if they would be staying long.  They wanted to “try out” living in Southern California but were unsure whether they would become permanent residents.

I found my apartment in a hurry and took the place because the rent was low.  I didn’t think I would be here more than a few years;  I figured I would either get into a relationship and move in with someone or would move back to my former city in a few years.  I transported my hodge podge of furnishings from my former residence out here and decorated the new place halfheartedly.  I haven’t bothered to change the carpet or blinds, although they need it, because I think of the place as temporary.

Well, temporary is dragging on so that it’s no longer temporary.  In another year I will need to decide if I’m moving back, and if not, I should think about getting a nicer place.  Finding a nicer place here means staying longer, though, and I’m still unsure about that.  Betwixt and between, once again.

The book:


I’ve noticed a new “standoffishness” in myself when it comes to making friends.  I suppose, based on bitter experience, that I’ve become wary of friendships with other women because of the likelihood I will get ditched for boyfriends and/or babies, particularly if the woman in question is younger than me.  An over-forty, ever-single friend told me once that she didn’t want to become friends with younger women, saying, “I’ve been dumped enough.”

The thing is, I detect this same wariness in other single, childless women my age, the few times I come across them.  There’s a wall up, one that I recognize.


This past month a former intern of mine, a woman in her early twenties, announced her pregnancy on Facebook.  No big surprise, although she had been in the midst of a professional job search.  Perhaps she figured she might as well get pregnant since she hadn’t found a job.

At the same time, an acquaintance of mine from my years spent living abroad, a woman just past forty, announced her pregnancy, also via Facebook.  That one was harder for me.  She was one of the last of that group to remain childless.

As I’ve written before, I’ve lived several lives and have been part of multiple communities, from high school to college to grad school to living abroad to dance to theater to all my various jobs in various cities.  It seems that almost all the people I have known from those diverse phases have gone on to marry and have children, leaving me feeling a bit alienated from each community I’ve participated in.  Sometimes I feel painted into the loneliest corner on earth.

I finally got around to creating “categories” on this blog (see bottom of page) and have been slowly slogging through over 300 entries this week, categorizing them.  I’ve barely made a dent, but going back and starting at the beginning of the blog has been enlightening.  I definitely feel that I’ve gotten to a better place as this year has moved along, but those late-in-life pregnancy announcements still have a way of dragging me back.


Lately I’ve been immersed in listening to a Raymond Chandler novel on audiobook.  I’ve never been a reader of the mystery genre, but now I do see the appeal.  Detectives tend to be loners, and the genre’s mood feels adult in a way that is becoming absent in our culture.