thebitterbabe

never married, over forty, a little bitter

Category: Uncategorized

dream life

When I first got to town, I was taking classes at a yoga studio in which there were several pregnant women in the classes and lots of pregnancy talk. I wasn’t bothered by it like I used to be. Progress!

In my small sewing class, there’s a young twentysomething woman who is engaged and several times she has talked to her fiancee on the phone. Lots of “love you” in those conversations. Again, I seem to have a wall up against letting that stuff affect me now.

I can see, though, why I had to get out of here in my thirties.

I’m still having bouts of terrible insomnia, much like I did when I moved to L.A. I try to just accept them these days, but when I’m going through it, I tend to feel self-destructive. I’ve been experimenting with different thought patterns recently, and when I’m tossing and turning I try to visualize myself as surrounded by the love and adoration of friends and family and their soothing embraces.

The sad thing is, I can’t connect to those images. I’ve had to wall myself up against so much disappointment that I’ve lost touch with those expectations and desires.

I don’t think this is all that unusual. Who among us hasn’t been disappointed with our parents, our boyfriends, our friends? I just think that at this moment in time I’m feeling particularly cut off in every area. My mom is getting more difficult as she ages, I’ve lost the bulk of my former friends to marriage and kids, and the dating landscape is a bit of a desert.

Time to rebuild.

domestic partners

My roommate, a gay man, has officially moved in.  He’s gaining a very low-cost place to live, and, at least while I’m out of work, he will be paying for the food if I do all the shopping and cooking.  If we were married, I’d have health insurance, and the pressure for me to get back to work full-time would be completely off.

There’s something to this partnering up.

feeling scroogey

I’ve noticed that a lot of my straight friends have replaced their profile pics with the red equal signs. Well guess what? They are all married! I can relate to this writer (who is gay) in that I’m afraid to say “bah humbug.”

Another one of my gay friends, a male who is single and unlucky in love, expressed the same sentiment to me the other day.

Thank you to one of my readers for sending this along!

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/love-inc/201303/what-if-gay-straight-marriage-is-bad-most-americans

Saying this aloud feels dangerous. My Facebook page, awash in red equal signs, is group think in iconic form. In fact, about ten percent of my 660 Facebook friends have the red equal sign or some version thereof as their profile image and most of these friends are straight. Friends post about how this is the “most important civil rights issue of our time.” I want to be moved by this huge show of solidarity, and in a way I am, but I am also scared of the absolute and unquestioned faith that marriage is good and thus deserving of special rights. I am also puzzled by the gay marriage movement’s refusal to advocate for legislation to support all American families, not just married ones.

Several of my straight friends have chastised me for expressing doubts that federal recognition of same-sex marriage is a necessary goal for anyone who wants a better and more just world. As a lesbian mother for seventeen years now, I find this “straightsplaining” (like mansplaining, but when straight friends explain homophobia and civil rights to their queer friends) both sweet and sickening. Sweet because I am glad all my straight friends care so much about my family’s civil rights that they are really fired up about the Defense of Marriage Act. But sickening because in their hurry to extend marriage rights to gays and lesbians, they seem to forget that I am- like the majority of Americans- unmarried.

2012 in review

Thank you to my top commenters and to everyone who has been reading along!

If you feel comfortable doing so (and I understand if you don’t), in the comments section of this post please share your story, how long you’ve been reading, if you’ve found the blog helpful, if your feelings or situation have changed over the course of 2012, and/or anything else you think is relevant.

And… HAPPY NEW YEAR.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 87,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

storytelling

"There are times in our lives when we have to realize our past is precisely what it is, 
and we cannot change it. But we can change the story we tell ourselves about it, 
and by doing that, we can change the future."

  -- Eleanor Brown, The Weird Sisters, p. 305

me time

A woman I know told me recently that raising her child is actually easier now that she and her husband have split up.  Unlike before, they now have time to themselves to recharge, so that when each one is with the child, they are a more enthusiastic and attentive parent.

This same woman works a lot of weekends but recently had a Saturday off and believed it was the first one she’d had to herself since she’d started dating her now ex-husband.  Which was about, I don’t know, fifteen years ago?

Whoa!

shadows

Considering that all my initial plans to spend this vacation amongst friends fell through, I’ve been managing quite well.  My days are full of activity, I have yet to feel bored, and I’m looking forward to seeing old friends once the reunion begins.

As soon as I put my head on the hotel pillow at night, however, that old familiar unease resurfaces.  It has followed me across the country.  Just like at home, I have to go through a half hour to an hour of feeling ill-at-ease about my aloneness before I can fall asleep.

It occurred to me today as I was tooling around that if I had gone to college in my home state and settled there I would likely be married with kids just like all those people from my youth.  Or if I had stayed in this state after college and kept the same lifestyle, perhaps it would have been easier to meet someone. Of if I had headed to Los Angeles for college and then worked my way up through the Industry right after, I would definitely be much further socially and personally.

Instead I am living the proverbial nine lives.  I’m happy to have experienced so much, and yet the dark shadows won’t leave my bedside.

plummeting

http://jezebel.com/5929139/americans-arent-having-kids-because-the-economy-sucks-and-kids-are-money-gluttons

According to USA Today, the fertility rate has plummeted to its lowest point in 25 years and isn’t expected to rebound anytime in the next two years, meaning that if the economy keeps sucking because it refuses to learn some good etiquette, America’s birthrates could be stunted for a long time. In 2007, birthrates were at a peak of 2.12 children per woman, but, as soon as the economy passed out naked on the coffee table, those rates fell 12 percent. They’re expected to hit 1.87 this year and 1.86 next year.

more babitz

Finishing up Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz and wanted to post two last poignant passages.

p. 74

Driving home, with my back against the giant orange bat of a sunset, east on Olympic Blvd. in the rush hour, I decided enough was enough, I would be satisfied with just the sunsets in Los Angeles and forget finding the someone I didn’t mind.

 I had a collection of lovers to keep me warm and my friendships with women, who always fascinated me by their wit, bravery, and resourcefulness, and who never told you the same story twice. Now, women I didn’t mind.  I mean, you can go places with a woman and come back just fine (or as my agent, Erica, plowed right in and said:  “You know that when you have dinner with a girlfriend, you’re going to come home a whole human being”).  I had a third collection of associates who were men but not lovers.  “Just friends,” they’re called.  An American distinction if ever there was one.  Only we would say “just” about a friend.  My “just friends” were more reliable than most of my “just lovers,” since “just lovers” were always capable of saying, “Gee, you’re puttin’ on weight,” or “Are those the shoes you’re wearing?”

For over a year William was my closest “just friend”… since my decision on Olympic Blvd. to give up on finding someone I didn’t mind, I’d become much more resigned to lackluster events, or going with a “just friend.” Before, I’d always go everywhere alone.  Being there with someone makes you hounded by details, like what time the other person wants to leave; details that drain energy when you are trying to discover the core of an event. Being there with William put a damper on glorious possibilities.  But I’d given up on those, which was why, I suppose, I went so many places with William.

p. 170-171

But it wasn’t just the money.  I knew it couldn’t be just the money.  It was that she was afraid of getting old without living out a girlhood fantasy of one day marrying and having children and a house and a business-husband.  She had always been conventional, that was what was so great about her.  She was almost thirty.  I had thought about it myself; getting married and calling it a day, but then, after San Francisco, I knew those songs of love were not for me.  There was very little precedent for not getting married, I’ll admit, and the women I knew who weren’t were all going to analysts and wondering what was the matter with themselves.  But if Mary wanted to get married, then I would have to think seriously about it because Mary always knew when to do things and how.  So now, suddenly, she wasn’t doing clothes anymore and she was closing up her petals.  I felt cold in the Arrow Market parking lot, looking at Mary’s plain face and ordinary hair and sensible clothes.  Did it mean that we were going to have to be gloomy now that we were about to be thirty? 

…so there I was, putting my groceries in the back of the car, waving good-bye to Mary.  Alone in the twilight outside the Arrow Market, all at once not knowing, at the age of twenty-nine, what any of the main givens were:  love, money, or beauty.  To say nothing of truth, of course.

remembrance of statements past

A few vivid memories that I feel are undeserving of individual posts but that have stuck with me all these years:

1.  My college roommate telling me that she couldn’t envision me as a wife and mother.  That stunned me, as I loved kids and had been babysitting for years.  Still don’t know what she meant by that or if she herself has had children.

2.  In my late twenties, while I was in another transition, I told a male friend that I wished I could get married and have kids.  His reply was, “I can’t believe you want to be a hausfrau.”  I was taken aback by his sneering disapproval.

3.  A well-educated and quite independent friend in her late thirties telling me she had met a single fortysomething woman who was involved in numerous groups and athletic clubs and that she didn’t “want to end up like her.”  Her statement surprised me into silence.