never married, over forty, a little bitter

Month: March, 2014

the unsuitable“Where+Are+the+Suitable+Men”+PART+2

I take a deep breath. There is this blanket rule of blaming single women altogether for their circumstance. But the truth is, most men don’t want to settle down, at least not until they are in their late thirties or forties. And women are told to pretend they don’t want to be married because it will scare the men off. A woman is labeled “desperate” to be married if she admits she wants to be married until she meets a man who is ready to be married. It’s a rather disingenuous way to live for both genders.

It somehow became unnatural for a woman to want to be married and have children. Women are walking on eggshells with men, as if even this hint of marriage might deem her “crazy” or “desperate.” Even checking the box on an online dating site in your twenties or even early thirties saying you want to “get married” makes you seem as if you’re coming on too strong. And yet, before you know it, you’re deemed “too old” to marry.

the bacon

After a surreal job search last year in which I was unable to land even a part-time job paying $11 an hour, I now find myself in a position that, in terms of salary, places me in the top five percent of full-time working women.

I have to work hard for this salary, of course, and have to cope with a lot of demands on my time and energy. In addition to that, I try to get to the gym as often as possible, to dress well, to wear make-up and have my hair professionally cut and colored, and so on.

On the rare occasions I date, I often do the driving to meet the guy and pay half the expense, or I keep the date casual so that if the man pays, he doesn’t have to pony up a lot of money.

In all this, I would just like to meet someone with whom I feel compatible and with whom I can have good conversation and make plans for the future.

And yet, that dream remains elusive. I work hard, work out, primp, meet men halfway… only to play the typical female waiting game, where the man is given all the power to make the decision, and I’m made to feel lucky if chosen.

It goes without saying that I’d hate to be stuck in a bad marriage or forced into poverty as single women can be in other countries, but it does feel like, although (some) women are doing everything now, the traditional rules of the dating game haven’t budged a bit. It’s hard to find the justification for putting myself through it any longer. I have to wonder, what does it take ?

the unavailable

When a Mr Unavailable or assclown rejects ‘you’, it is actually more about rejecting:

having to love

having to communicate

having to be emotionally available

having to care

having to empathise

having to recognise someone’s needs other than their own

having to be trusted

having to be relied upon

having to be respectful

having to recognise your boundaries

having to be committed

having to be expected or needed

having to deliver on the words that come out of their mouths

having to make an effort

and having to think.

This is not about you – if he is a Mr Unavailable or assclown, he doesn’t want to do these things with anyone and you could substitute a different woman, and you’d get same problems, different package.

the floor

Kundalini yoga and meditation provides me with a floor. A floor to frustration, anger, sadness, and despair so that I don’t fall into the abyss.

Even when I consider men who’ve treated me badly, men with whom all the foundations of a good relationship were present (similar education, interests, and personalities as well as physical attraction) but for whom that still wasn’t enough, my anger has a floor, and I can feel compassion. After all, they wouldn’t reach 45 or 50 still single if they weren’t struggling too.

I’m grateful to have a job, I recognize the kindness of my co-workers and other associates, and I appreciate the beauty of my surroundings. I repeat these things often.

And yet, I often feel brief, lightning flashes of anger. Anger that I’m back in the same old scenario– in a stressful, demanding job with little in the way of intimate support– and that there seems to be no exit. Anger that I no longer have a single reliable friend with whom I can speak to about my anger!

Regret is something I also feel. Regret, perhaps, that I left my last job, because many of my fears about leaving have turned out to be true. Even more so, regret that I left the job and city I was living in before moving to Los Angeles all those years ago. The experience was incredibly enriching, but with no one to share it with, it’s ephemeral. It feels like I might as well have just stayed in the same place, because essentially, that’s what I’ve done.


The invisibility phenomenon couldn’t come at a worse time. “The costs of compromises made to manage work and family . . . are coming home to roost,” Cannold says. “That we aren’t going to get as far, soar as high, achieve as much as we planned, is a bitter enough pill to swallow. Losing our youth at the same time, and the potential for the second chances and happier endings it conjures, only rubs salt in the wound.”

Read more:–20130119-2czy8.html#ixzz2wEE89Cc5


Yes, I’m angry. I’m angry with a world that still doesn’t acknowledge how hard women work, in and out of the workplace. I’m angry with men for dumping the childrearing problem in our laps. I’m angry with women for refusing to admit it’s too much, that we can’t do everything all the time.

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just thinking

Despite all the red flags, I let the recent dalliance play out, and play out it seems to have done. I continue to be surprised that people aren’t more polite/ respectful, especially with a like-minded peer who circulates in the same professional world, but at this point I shouldn’t be. In any case, it feels as if my last link to my old self and interests and lifestyle has been cut.

So I can no longer avoid facing up to my current circumstances. Alone here, lost in a place that, for better or worse, is not quite in sync with how I’ve spent the prior three decades of my life. This weekend I considered going to a small literary breakfast that I attended in the past, but I couldn’t cope with an hour plus drive and the two freeways I would have to take to get there. It was a fairly stimulating event, but last year I had to go alone and nothing came of it socially, so it was hard for me to justify the drive.

The fact is, most of this country is suburban and social life remains modeled on the nuclear family pattern. I’ve been lucky/savvy enough to live in the center of the handful of cities that break the mold, and even so, I got tired of going out by myself and began to feel like I was aging out of a lot of it.

Now I’m living in a very pleasant place that would be nice to settle down in with a partner, but I’m sans the partner.

I decided to just stay in this weekend and clean and take care of paperwork and cook and restore my sanity after a hectic week. I had a blissful dip in the ocean and finally got back to my Spanish. This could, conceivably, be how I spend the next ten years.

Writing. And thinking. Just thinking.


Ever since I read their emails, I’ve been haunted by their stories. I asked older women in my life and found the same was true. Once a woman reaches a certain age or if a woman is not considered beautiful or outgoing or charming, she often disappears in the eyes of her community. She still has a rich and meaningful life, don’t get me wrong, but they all said, sadly, that yes, they are well-educated or experienced or wise, and yet, they are never asked, they are never invited, they are rarely noticed. Many of them told me that they were “back-stage” while the beautiful and young were celebrated from the front, so they worked and they served in beautiful obscurity and they found that God was faithful there, too.

missing adults

What really struck me was that for women, particularly in the United States, particularly now, they spend almost all of their leisure time with their children. And that led to this other crazy finding that has since really helped to alleviate a lot of my guilt: that working mothers today, even when they work full time, the time studies are showing that they spend more time with their children than stay-at-home mothers did in the 1960s and ’70s … because they’ve given up personal leisure time and time with adults.


We are all familiar with how a celebrity like Angelina Jolie can make motherhood seem endlessly easy and fulfilling. She has, of course, endless funds and numerous nannies.

In the same way, single and childfree celebrities can make that lifestyle seem appealing. They have fulfilling careers, relatively few money worries, lots of time off, and plenty of admirers.

The average woman has to pick her poison. Should she go the stressful, harried route of full-time career combined with motherhood or risk being a stay-at-home mom and hope her husband never deserts her? Should she forego motherhood and even marriage altogether and risk being socially marginalized and economically vulnerable?

Choices, indeed.