never married, over forty, a little bitter


As he skated home, Jacob says that for the first time he had wondered if maybe he never should have come to Hollywood in the first place.  Out of desperation, he had wanted to believe the guys he played basketball with every week were his friends on some level.  He knew now that it wasn’t so.  They would not miss him.  In fact, he couldn’t think of anyone in the city who would really notice if he got in his car and drove back to North Carolina that very afternoon.

–John Albert, Wrecking Crew:  The Really Bad News Griffith Park Pirates, pp. 51-52.



Or at least one reason– the childfree:

Could these childless women be harbingers of a new world, one in which parenthood is considered an active choice and not simply the default state of adulthood? As the Pew research shows, childlessness was once the domain of the highly educated, but now every other segment of society is catching up. Perhaps future generations will look at phenomena like the Jennifer Aniston tabloid womb obsession and wonder how it was possible that anyone could have once cared so much if some women chose not to have babies.


Ironically, in my very unscientific survey of “Girls”-watchers, teens and 20-year-olds didn’t register the fight as being as significant as viewers 30 and up did. Why? One reason might be that while the fight begins with accusations of selfishness and not listening, jealousy over having a boyfriend — something girls accuse each other of all the time — the underlying issue fueling the blow-up is money and power, something that, as you get older, you realize is a huge deal. In college, we’re all for the most part equal, and because this is America, allegedly have the potential to achieve the same level of wealth. However, outside of college the scale is different as personal worth becomes equated with financial worth…

We know that these women are going to grow, and in different directions as they must. However, no matter who they grow up to be, they were becoming who they will eventually be, together. That shared history and intimacy belongs to them and one time, and it won’t be repeated. Not only is it impossible. It’s too intense.

In those early friendships we learn what it is to be in love. We learn how badly we can be burned by another person, how easily a friendship can be extinguished. In the future, we are, for better and worse, more careful with our hearts.

the secret

One of my intentions for the coming year is to “wobble” less, and I’ve already been challenged on two fronts.

First, I attended a party at the home of a woman just a few years younger than me.  Her house is large and lovely, her husband is cute, and her kids are adorable, while I am currently living in an apartment with a sheet over one of the windows because the blinds broke and I haven’t found the time to deal with it.  Surprisingly, though, this situation didn’t knock me off my center, as this woman is sensible and gracious and, I realize, has worked much harder on developing a high-powered professional career than I ever have.

The second situation did wobble me a bit.  I am acquainted with a man around my age who is not quite financially solvent and has some health issues but is nonetheless charming, sweet, intellectually stimulating, ambitious (in his way), and in possession of that rare ability to treat a woman like an equal conversational partner.  He went through a breakup with an amazing woman last year and fretted about finding another girlfriend.  It was hard for me not to say, “GIVE ME A BREAK.  You will have another girlfriend in five minutes.”  And so it has come to pass.  In less than a year, he is with another woman, someone he is very excited about.  Not someone whom he finds uncomfortably older than him, or whom he likes but does not find physically appealing, or any of the other compromises that women are routinely expected to make.  Someone who excites him.

Yes, wealthy men will always find partners.  But the truth is, interesting men, wealthy or not, will always find them too.  Sometimes I think that all a man has to possess to be a hot commodity is the ability to truly converse with a woman and recognize her humanity.

This brings me to my second intention this year, which is to let go of my pessimism.  It’s not that it’s unwarranted, but in the end, it doesn’t do me much good, and it seems to have a negative impact on my health.  So although I will forgive myself my situation because I feel that the dating odds are skewed, I will try not to dwell on it, hope for the best, and enjoy myself in the meantime.

This is where yoga, breathwork, and meditation has helped me.  I feel soft and relaxed, more physically flexible than ever, and more able to focus my thoughts.  I always had a lot of beef with the “laws of attraction,” believing that it was a blame-the-victim mentality.  I still don’t buy that one can change one’s material circumstances through “thought.”  Yes, being more content and less stressed likely makes a person more attractive, but it doesn’t guarantee anything.  The only thing I believe one can hope to gain is to simply feel better, regardless of one’s circumstances.

Which, of course, is no small thing.