never married, over forty, a little bitter

Month: August, 2013

the book

I have decided not to sell the book versions of this blog. I bought a copy of each part for myself, which will give me something to work from if I ever write a real book, but after reading up on permissions I can’t in good faith put it out for sale. I think most of my uses of other writers’ material would fall under fair use, but I can’t be certain. I’d rather not risk it.

I’ve taken down the former posts with links to the books. I don’t care about selling books but I’m sad that in it’s current form of 1000 plus entries this blog is simply not usable for someone wanting to read it from beginning to end.

I’m happy, therefore, to arrange PDF copies for anyone who may be interested. Just hit me up.


She also wondered whether her longing for a baby would end once her fertility did. Did your body stop sending you reminder pangs when you were supposedly incapable of producing a baby? Was this God’s grace at work to soften the disappointment? Monica couldn’t tell because she felt fewer longings for anything or anyone. She didn’t feel the intense hunger for a man pressed up against her at night, let alone a baby in her arms. She just wasn’t as lonely.

–Sarah Elizabeth Richards, Motherhood, Rescheduled, p. 155

dragging and dropping

The final book should be appearing soon. I’ve given myself five or six days to get these out; school starts next week so this is all the time I have.

The “slurp” function hasn’t been working for me, so I’ve been painstakingly dragging and dropping each entry into the book versions. Nothing is edited. The books are simply the blog printed from oldest entries to newest.

I apologize again about the high prices; they are reflective of “print on demand.” Despite the cost, I think the book versions would be valuable for women who are currently traveling through the tunnel of grief or for researchers writing on this topic.

What will be my future going forward? Spanish II starts next week as does an eight-week sewing class. I would love to stay unemployed through October so I can get through the sewing class and then try to finish the Spanish class while working full-time. If my job search drags on, the bright side will be that I’ll get all the way through Spanish IV!

Although I was hoping not to have to go back to work full-time, I applied for yet another professional position at my former organization. I calculate that I just need to put in another ten years before I could buy back some years and retire. It’s worth it, therefore, for me to continue on that path. I also applied for some other government jobs that would tie into the same pension and to one job that is in the private sector but a little more glamorous (and I’m guessing low-paying).

I’m toying with some self-employment ideas as well, but they are all long shots and probably wouldn’t support me fully. I also keep my eye out for part-time jobs, but I hate to start something I may have to quickly drop for a full-time job. The timing of everything is tricky.

I wish I could pick my date to go back to work, which I suppose is the glory of paid sabbaticals. If I could, I’d pick next June! Yet I recognize that having a job would give me some grounding and a sense of relief that I don’t have to move again.

Moving back to L.A. wouldn’t be the worst thing that could happen to me, but I’m unenthusiastic about the idea, as I know what I’d be getting into this time around. The dream vision of L.A. is gone for me. I’m already in very little touch with my old friends there, and trying to find another apartment would be a nightmare. Having escaped once, it’s also difficult for me to imagine going back to my former place of employment.

I could make it work though; I’ve learned that much about myself.


As I’ve written before, I’m loving this time off work and haven’t felt this healthy in a long time. I have no urge to shop but great urges to get going on creative projects.

One thing I’ve been doing during this time off is taking some fun partner-dancing classes. I was a little hesitant at first as I don’t want to repeat my former life here, but I was motivated by all the music I’ve been listening to in my car.

As it turns out, there’s a big difference this time around. I don’t particularly care that there is little romantic potential for me at this dance studio, and I don’t even care if I get asked to dance. I just appreciate the skill of my instructors and love watching them being creative on the dance floor.

It’s sad when I think about how much of my attention and energy– at least 50%– went into the partner search in my twenties and thirties. Yet could it have been any other way? I can’t imagine there are very many single thirty-two-year-olds who aren’t consumed with the search.

the final chapter(s)

I started this blog almost two years ago at the age of 42. I had just begun to grieve my childlessness and the realization that, while I might marry, it would not be the youthful marriage of my dreams.

Working my grief out through writing has been enormously helpful to me and, hopefully, to my readers. I realize that, with over 1,000 entries, it’s almost impossible at this point to start at the beginning of the blog and read it through. I am therefore in the process of putting it into a readable form through print or ebook options.

Part I is coming soon. It’s proved too big an undertaking to produce the entire blog in one book, but I might be able to squeeze it into three parts.

I currently feel at peace with my singleness and childlessness, despite the occasional flare of worry or grief. My problems now are both old and new: how to make a living, how to build community, and so on. As children age and marriages break up, these issues will no longer be the sole province of those of us who never married or had children.

I’m currently putting my energies into creating the book forms of this blog, but I’ll be back with an epilogue. Hopefully I’ll be reporting on a good, or at least decent, job, and I’ll be settled in this city for the long haul.

straight no chaser

Was I so late joining the game that I needed to go straight to babies and worry about finding a good marriage later? Or should I be looking for the “good enough” guy now?

Over the next couple of years, I went on a seemingly endless number of dates. I had lots of mini-relationships. In some, I became wildly infatuated and got dumped. In others, I plodded along with nice guys I could barely stand to kiss. Maybe one of those Match men would have turned out to be a wonderful husband, and I would now be settled in the suburbs enjoying the comfort of mom clogs and Saturday mornings with Claire at Costco. But I never fell in love with any of them. I knew without a doubt that I wanted to be a mother someday, but I didn’t want it badly enough to overlook my heart.

–Sarah Elizabeth Richards, Motherhood, Rescheduled, p. 17

judgment days

Having just started The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman, I’m so glad I’m no longer experiencing the fraught dating years of my thirties.

I remember how much pressure I felt to “get out there” and “make it happen” while I still had time for marriage and babies. It is nice to be able to concentrate on other things now without feeling like I am “missing my chance” by doing so.

More on the book here:

ask the dust

When I went to my college reunion, which was held in a beautiful but smallish city, I had a casual conversation with a yoga teacher that I wrote about on this blog. The teacher had relocated from New York City and said that, while at first she missed being away from the “center of things,” eventually those feelings faded.

I’ve only been gone from L.A. for four months and I feel the same. For the first month or so I too felt like I had left the center of the universe, but now I barely think about L.A. at all. I’m only in minimal touch with a small number of people; that probably has a lot to do with it.

I’m still glad I went though. It’s like I was granted this other life that was carved out of time. If I do end up back in my former organization, my retirement plans will be delayed by the six years I was gone, but I think it was worth it.

playing fields

In its pencil and paper and online self assessments, positive psychology assumes that it is personal characteristics that are being assessed and that they are modifiable with the advice and exercises that the workshops and the books provide. The emphasis on character and character-building is neo-Victorian. Positive psychology assumes that life is a level playing field except for the advantages or disadvantages that people have created for themselves. It is not circumstances that matter, so much as what we think about them.


I try to look on the bright side of the roommate situation. He doesn’t cook, so I have the kitchen to myself. He’s quiet. He rarely has people over. He always pays his rent on time and is good about splitting all the other household expenses.

The internet addiction, and the anti-sociability it results in, continues to try my nerves though. I hit a point every week where the entire days he spends on his couch or bed staring at his iPad make me want to scream. I myself spend too many hours on the internet, but he neglects everything else in his life for it. He does read news sites but I think a lot of his time is spent looking at photos of attractive men.

I’ve also been miffed by his new habit of saying he just might apply for every desirable job that comes along that I’m interested in. He usually tosses in, “Then you can go for my job.” Oh thanks. I’m glad to know that my entire job history has somehow been erased and I’m now relegated to positions he plans to be promoted out of.

I gave him one chore around the condo– to clean the bathroom. I take care of everything else. Eventually the bathroom trash started overflowing on the floor, with no signs that he was planning to empty it. I had to remind him about it. He left the rest of the bathroom uncleaned. Sunday evening, after a day he’d spent mainly in the “recline” position, I finally burst. He whined, and I responded with, “You are the laziest person I know. For the record, I used to do everything I do now when I held a job. And I think you have an internet addiction.”

The only sentence I regret is the first one.

He is now looking at buying a condo for himself. If he moves out, the financial pressure will increase on me, but the emotional pressure will release.

It’s sad that I had been looking forward to having a roommate, but it’s another situation where I have to let go.