On this podcast, at about the 25 minute mark, author Gillian Guthrie explains that childless women often feel like “fringe dwellers”:
This weekend, I attended a holiday party in a wealthy suburb of Los Angeles. As I suspected, most of the guests were homeowners and had children enrolled in pricey private schools. There was lots of cleavage and long blonde hair. One man talked to me about his golf game.
I felt like some sort of Sally Bowles character, a woman from the boho part of town where everyone resides in apartments. At fortysomething myself, I did have to wonder about how different my life is from theirs.
Nonetheless, they were a fun and welcoming bunch, and as it turned out, at least half of them, if not more, were divorced. A few brainstormed to see if they could think up any available men for me (none, as it turned out).
Today an ex-boyfriend from decades ago called to check in. Divorced himself, he inquired as to how I was getting on, and what I planned to do with myself. We discussed his family– parents divorced, father now deceased, five siblings amongst whom three are divorced and remarried, one is single, and another is gay and partnered. We discussed my divorced mother, my divorced sister, and I reflected on my three male cousins– all successful and more conventional than myself– amongst whom two are divorced, one remarried.
I made a joke about people worrying my single state when they themselves have been divorced. He replied that divorce is common now– people last a while, then divorce, then find someone else. I’m starting to think there isn’t much difference between these former marriages and my former relationships, except I suffered through zero paperwork.
I will give this man credit for mainly dating women his age (and in one case, older). His recent relationship with a woman more than ten years younger didn’t work out, and he thinks it was because she was too young. That gives me a little faith.