never married, over forty, a little bitter

square one

A couple of commenters have mentioned that they prefer the personal posts, but I go through periods of hesitancy in terms of revealing my life on a public blog, and at other times I have things I want to write about but feel like a broken record. Especially now, as I’ve started to feel I’m back at square one, waking up on Monday feeling less than enthused about the long work week ahead.

I know a woman who used to work in this area for a good chunk of her forties. She told me she would drive elsewhere on the weekends for a social life, although the temptation to just stick around was strong, as it is so easy here. Another woman, a big reader, told me she thinks of herself as a resident of Los Angeles and acts accordingly.

I’m only at the halfway point in my explorations, but the picture is becoming clear. This is where I work, live, shop, go to the beach, and exercise, but my imagination will likely bloom elsewhere. At the moment the one thing I’m excited about is a small show that occurs on the weekends and is about twenty miles away. The sense of expansion has been worth the trek.

double Ms

Although I don’t have kids, I’m in a care taking profession, and I know I’m going to be tired of it all by my fifties. I’m starting to appreciate the fact that I won’t have that middle M to contend with on top of everything else:

Loh calls these women the triple-Ms: middle-aged mothers in menopause. “You’re losing your nurturing hormones and you don’t feel like taking care of people any more. But you’re at an age when suddenly you’re caregiving.” Loh has two adolescent girls and a 93-year-old dad, and like other triple-Ms, she’s starting to feel like her multitasking is getting out of hand.

Handling my elderly parent might be more than enough. Very interesting quotes here from (childless and single) author Jane Gross’s A Bittersweet Season:

In the space of three years … my mother’s ferocious independence gave way to utter reliance on her two adult children. Garden-variety aches and pains became major health problems; halfhearted attention no longer sufficed, and managing her needs from afar became impossible … We were flattened by the enormous demands on our time, energy, and bank accounts; the disruption to our professional and personal lives; the fear that our time in this parallel universe would never end and the guilt for wishing that it would … We knew nothing about Medicaid spend-downs, in-hospital versus out-of-hospital “do not resuscitate” orders, Hoyer lifts, motorized wheelchairs, or assistive devices for people who can neither speak nor type. We knew nothing about “pre-need consultants,” who handle advance payment for the funerals of people who aren’t dead yet, or “feeders,” whose job it is to spoon pureed food into the mouths of men and women who can no longer hold a utensil.


I know that at the end of my mother’s life I felt isolated in my plight, especially compared to colleagues being feted with showers and welcomed back to work with oohs and aahs at new baby pictures. I was tempted, out of pure small-mindedness, to put on my desk a photo of my mother, slumped in her wheelchair.


There was a fashion just now, Noel complained, of writing and talking about women as if they were some separate, peculiar and rather contemptible species, instead of ordinary human beings, with ordinary human qualities…

“They’re not,” Humphrey put in, with lofty scorn. “They’re impenetrable by ideas. That means they’re animals.”

“We’re all animals, stupid,” Noel crossly returned. “Human animals. It’s people like you, Humphrey, talking that kind of muck, who invent and spread this silly myth about women.”

–Rose Macauley, Crewe Train, p. 211


Arnold thought, lying awake in the night, of the people you can talk to and the person you love. The fact that these are not always the same is an outrage; one of those sardonic flicks at beauty and unity which life loves to give. Men and women have always accepted it, with the cynical, unquestioning patience of their kind. Men go out to talk with other men, come home to woman and child. Girls gossip with girls, take silent walks, locked in dumb affection with the beloved youth. What is talk, that curling of the tongue round air to trap ideas, between two people who would kiss? For that matter, what are kisses, what is embracing, what is dumb desire, between two people who cannot know each other’s mind?

– Rose Macauley, Crewe Train, p. 225-226