never married, over forty, a little bitter

media relations

I’m in the midst of a big push to secure a job by the end of the year, and as such, I haven’t felt it wise to write about my life in any kind of detail lately. Let’s just say that searching for a job tends to make one paranoid.

I will say that, in terms of my personal relations during this period, I’ve experienced everything from cautious displays of empathy to condescension to the silent treatment. It’s been disheartening, to say the least. I’ve been let down. Mostly I feel like I’m completely on my own in all this. I did talk to a single friend recently who told me she’s had the same experiences in her dating and social life, which helped me feel less alone.

The only thing I feel comfortable sharing at the moment is some of the media I’ve come across on the Gateway Women forum and other places. I did get some relief and laughs out of watching the relationship between Hannah and her gay roommate go to pieces on the second season of Girls. I’ve also enjoyed some recent podcasts in which childlessness has been discussed: (near the end)

Happy viewing and listening!

the wreckage

Mike White is a gifted writer; he crafts dynamic, weird, and wonderfully fascinating female characters. He excels at capturing people who want something different from what society dictates we should want — it can start off as unbearably difficult to watch, and ends in a deep empathy for that person. These characters are for anyone who’s ever cared deeply about something that’s not necessarily what we’re supposed to care about. Year of the Dog is a good example of this; Molly Shannon’s character is considered crazy because of her passion to help animals, but everyone else’s single-minded pursuits go unquestioned because they’re socially acceptable. For example, her coworkers are obsessed with making money, getting married, etc. We tolerate single mindedness when it comes to those things, because that’s what we’re all supposed to want. But when Molly Shannon’s character goes vegan and literally rescues an entire shelter worth of death row dogs, she’s a nut ball. And she IS a nut ball, but there’s something relatable about it*, and endearing about a person striving, sometimes uncontrollably, for something substantive from life.


Enlightened is dealing with the fallout of spiritual enlightenment in a world that’s not setup to support that path — especially if you need a job. White says, “… I felt like it would be more interesting to look at what happens when you come back to your reality with all of these evangelistic notions of what goodness is or how to live, and then try to apply it to a world that isn’t really interested.” It’s like finding out what happens after Dorothy leaves Oz… the wreckage can be more compelling than the initial journey.


The wonderful thing is that White wants you to think in these existential terms. He has crafted opening and closing monologues for most episodes that are achingly gorgeous works of art; introspective and sad, rueful and wise. White dares to have Amy consider truly Big things about the nature of existence, about who we are in these bodies and these minds. I cannot think of another television show, and really only a few scattered movies, that goes so bravely and truthfully to the heart of human matter like Enlightened does. It’s startling when you first connect with it, as if someone finally responded to a signal that you’ve been sending out into space for years and years. I know that probably sounds a bit melodramatic, but Enlightened provokes that depth of feeling. I would hug the show if I could, even though it is often so sad, even though the world it depicts is not necessarily a friendly one. It’s our world nonetheless, and I’m grateful to the show for engaging with it with such graceful and delicate honesty.

seeing the light

I loved that Amy rejects (though not too sensitively) the romantic overtures of her coworker, Tyler (“Enlightened” creator Mike White), despite wanting love and the affection/attention of a man. She realizes that she’s not willing to settle with someone she doesn’t feel that kind of connection with.

Now that’s enlightened.

I love that Amy – despite her desire to get on her boss Dougie’s (Timm Sharp) good side by hooking him up with a hot coworker – realizes that Dougie is lousy date material and tells the woman as much, risking her supervisor’s wrath and any chance of finally getting her women’s group (hilariously dubbed the Women’s Association of Abaddon, or WAA) up and running.

Now that’s enlightened.