A few years ago I stumbled across and really enjoyed the filmed performance of Julia Sweeney’s God Said, Ha!, which came out in 1998. I believe she was about 38 then and I recall her talking about being happily single after a divorce:
In one year Julia Sweeney got a divorce (amicable), bought a small bungalow in Hollywood, and looked forward to a life that said, Here dwells a happily single young woman!
A few years later, in her early forties, she adopted a child as a single woman, an experience she writes about here:
OKAY, my friends were right. My conservative, stay-at-home mother friends, many of who live in Spokane and whom I’ve known my whole life. Who were very supportive, but skeptical and tried not to be worried about me when I announced that I was going to become a single mother by choice and adopt a baby. One of them even said to me, “It’s best that the mother stays at home.” And oh how I resented that comment. I figured they lived in the olden days and that they didn’t understand how a big city gal like me would handle it.
Oh I was so naïve. Oh they were so right. So, this is what I think: I don’t think it matters what the sex is of the parents, but I think there should be two parents. Or I should say two adults. And I don’t think it matters what the sex is of the parent who is primarily responsible for a child, I just think someone, some adult should be. CAUSE IT’S A FULL, FULL, TIME; OVER-TIME job, without being distracted with things like…oh…a JOB. Like an actual job. Like a job that brings in money, not just the kind that wipes you out like never before and doesn’t earn you a cent.
Several years after that, she remarried:
One relationship has worked out just fine and she’s getting married soon to a Chicago scientist whose gay brother, Sweeney claims, e-mailed her a marriage proposal on his brother’s behalf after hearing her discuss Letting Go of God on NPR’s This American Life.
I thought of the title God Said, Ha! recently because as much as I’m enjoying tooling about town solo, it seems as if fate keeps placing examples of other people’s miraculous coupling up and childbearing in my path to subtly (and sometimes not-so-subtly) inform me that I’m heading the wrong direction, being happily single. And yet, the gods don’t place appropriate single men in my path, and when they do, as when recently I befriended a man on Facebook who has so much in common with me it actually freaks me out, he doesn’t respond.
The gods have a funny sense of humor, I’ll say that.