never married, over forty, a little bitter

Month: May, 2013

the best medicine

Yesterday my old pal and future roommate came over and we caught up and laughed and laughed.

Already feeling better about the move.

the streets

The tale of the teenage runaway is a familiar one– unhappy boy or girl flees an abusive family and heads for the big city only to find predatory strangers waiting to exploit him or her.

As a well-educated, thirtysomething professional, I couldn’t have been farther from a teenage runaway when I moved to L.A. And yet. My family of origin was an unhappy one, and I’ve had dreams since my early twenties of finding a substitute family that would provide the love, support, and companionship we all crave. Instead, like many others, what I found in the “big city” leg of this journey was abusive bosses, fickle friends, noncommittal partners, and plenty of craziness.

Being back at home with my mother (leaving soon!) has made me feel as if there’s little solace anywhere except for that I create myself. Kudos to all us long-term singles! If not broken, we certainly are strong.

This visit home would have been much easier if I’d had a partner by my side and we had breezed in and out together. Along those lines I was looking at old photo albums and cringing at my awkward youth– braces, bad hairstyles, the usual. The Hollywood ideal is that we grow up, blossom, fall in love, create our own families, and then look back and laugh at our awkward youth.

If that doesn’t happen, inside do we remain the girl with the hideous headgear? It can take an incredible amount of self-development not to.


After having spent too much time with my mother this week, I can only conclude that parenting doesn’t necessarily make someone more empathetic.

And now here comes Mother’s Day:

Saturday, May 8, 2010 10:00 AM CDT
a pitch perfect article

Thanks, Ms. Lamott, for this article. I may have spent too much money on flowers for my mom this year, but I’m still sensitive to how strange and pointless this holiday is. A friend of mine recently lost her mother far too young, and I had to stop myself from posting smug facebook updates reminding everyone to get their mom flowers. You absolutely hit the nail on the head when you say that for some people, perhaps even most people, Mother’s Day is an occasion for guilt or grief.

And lest we forget, it’s important to remind ourselves that the entire idea of Mother’s Day was conceived by politicians trying to distract Suffragettes from what they actually wanted, the right to vote. Ultimately, Mother’s Day is about elevating the role of “mother” onto a pedestal while devaluing everything else about womanhood, and it has been from the beginning.

And another good one:


I can already tell that I’m going to miss the great selection of restaurants in Los Angeles and the surprising walkability of my former neighborhood, but I’m managing to stay focused on the core reasons I made the move, and stuff like this reminds me:

Already a couple of people have said to me, “You left Los Angeles for here?” But on another forum I saw someone reply to a similar inquiry with, “L.A. is not what it seems.”


I do also miss my yoga and dance teachers, but that’s kind-of a sad commentary if those were some of my primary relationships. I feel like I failed to find a new career field, a committed romantic relationship, and a core social group. I loved the weather and the restaurants and all the stuff to do, but I don’t think that’s enough for a fulfilling life.


It’s easy to forget just how much work goes into in a cross-country move — how many details, large and small, demand one’s attention. The sheer physicality of moving is exhausting. Just as exhausting are the weeks preceding the move, when your life is in flux and you don’t even know where you’ll land.

In a recent New York Times interview, David Rock, director of the Neuroleadership Institute, talked about the notion of certainty in relation to the brain. Using the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy as an example, he said:

The feeling of uncertainty feels like pain, when you can’t predict when the lights will come back on and you’re holding multiple possible futures in your head. That turns out to be cognitively exhausting.

I cannot begin to compare my own comfortable situation to those displaced by natural, political, or financial disasters. I do think, however, that anyone who has ever moved, for whatever reason, can agree that the months preceding a relocation — with unsettling uncertainties about where one will live, where one will create a life and a home — certainly feels like pain. Certainly it’s every bit as cognitively exhausting as it is physically draining.

baby gorillas

Always good to hear men discussing relationships and parenthood:


I ran into someone I used to work with today and she seemed puzzled by me quitting my former job and moving back and she asked if I was independently wealthy, or something to that effect.


I know if I had left work for a while to have children, nobody would question it. I think people just cannot understand someone taking alternate paths in life.

the neutral zone

I can’t quite relate to the religious slant, but otherwise this describes the zone I’m in:

studies in ambivalence

I take a critical, poststructural, feminist stance within a constructivist analytical framework to suggest that the medicalization, commodification, and bureaucratization of the most available alternative paths to motherhood create the role of the “infertile woman”—i.e., the white, middle class, heternormative, married, “desperate and damaged” cum savvy consumer. By contrast, the women who participated in this study are better described as the “ambivalent childless” (i.e., neither voluntary nor involuntary) and the “pragmatic infertile.” These women experience infertility and childlessness—two interrelated, potentially stigmatizing “roles”—in ways that belie this stereotype, reject the associated stigma in favor of an abiding, dynamic ambivalence, and re-assert themselves as fulfilled women in spite of their presumed deviance.

the campaign

I missed this one last year:

I know that many of you don’t think that I’m average, which is funny, since almost half of all Americans are single. We, too, have gone on dates with funny, smart men who are strivers, who drive beat-up cars where you can see the road through the hole in the floor.

It’s just that we got dumped on that date. We will always hate that movie.


And I am looking forward to a day when American women who are moms and in political life can tell the American people about their Ivy League degrees and their career accomplishments, not just about the deep love they have for their children that only mothers can have, that narcissistic shallow single people will never, ever feel for anyone. Ever.

I’m also looking forward to a day when American women are not defined by their reproductive capabilities by either party.

Until that day, I remain what I have always been: Not Married. Not a Mom. Still American.