Monday, February 07, 2011

Since When Does a Single Woman over 35 become a Spinster?

**A re-post of a note I wrote in 2007

  Since cavemen have been walking the earth women have been giving birth. At that time there was never a ceremony committing one person another either. We then saw at the time of Henry the VIII the importance of religion when it came to being married, and only then would you even conceive of having a child. Back in the 40's and 50’s if you even had pre-marital sex you were considered a tramp and if you didn’t marry and have a child before age 25 you were an old maid. I’d like to think in the 60’s, the time of women’s lib; that we have moved on from that mentality but apparently not, for I’m still asked those very same questions and treated as if I have leprosy if I say I’m not. Yet, men never have to deal with that…they are considered some sort of a prize catch and the woman is considered lucky to land a long time “bachelor” over 40. Where’s the prize in that? He’s past his sexual prime, can’t grow old with someone who’s a ¼ of the way there, and forget having kids…why, since men die before women and that he probably won’t have the energy to run around and play with them. In the end they get stuck with “grampa” as their dad and who will probably only be around for about 10 years anyway! Poor kid.

I think that in 37 years, I’ve pretty much experienced it all… and believe you me, I’ve been on the receiving end of many breakups and have been instigator of many as well. I have given and been given every cheap excuse in the book when it comes to “quietly leaving the morning after” as well as being the excuse maker. What happens if that’s all you really want at this time in your life? The closest I’ve ever come to marriage is living with my b-friend at the time and that took a lot of planning and faith on both our parts. At this point in my life I can’t say that I’d do it again to be honest. Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t a bad or horrible experience, it was sort of fun actually, but I don’t I think went about it correctly and with me- once burned….. Marriage isn’t for everyone; a couple of times I did want to get married but I have to say it was solely based on how I felt about the relationship and those two men. I don’t and haven’t ever thought I was really the marrying type because I’ve always been a bit wild anyway. Settling down to me has always been an excuse to make a habit out of life….Waking up, going to a crappy job, coming home, eating, sleeping…you get the idea…where’s the fun? I’ve always enjoyed the “getting to know you” phases of dating. The butterflies in the stomach anticipation of seeing that person or talking to them on the phone. The finding out that they snort when they laugh, they have laughing fits when tired, or will go out of their way just put into hysterics. I love that!

So it really sticks in my craw when people will ask me or my parents how I’m doing, inquire if whether or not I’m married and have children, then act like I must have put on skunk perfume if told that I’m not. I’m constantly told that I should hang up any thoughts about it anyway because I’m too old. What?! What dead male aristocrat made up that rule? The sad thing is that from time to time I actually feed into that bullshit! I never hear that about men? What my biological clock is ticking? Really? I know of many women who have had babies and have gotten married in their 40’s and in some case their 50’s. If neither person has issue what is the issue?

What I’m wondering is; are we still living in the 1950’s? Since when is 37 too old? Why is this a stigma that’s only put on women and not men? People will actually imply that it’s a lack of femininity, compliance, and meekness on my part, as if it’s my fault that a man can’t like me for who I am or that I’m some sort of man hater-which I’m not. I love men, but unless they possess my top 3, there’s not much point in spending an evening listening to some attractive guy drone on about the hockey game, when I can go home, watch it and get the play by play…. He could really put himself to good use by rubbing my feet...just an option.

I really have no regrets when it comes to the choices I’ve made. If I were to choose between the loveless certainty of never having dared to be in a marriage/relationship, or sour of a marriage gone wrong, I’d choose the door number 1. Thing is that I haven’t been “know to the bone" certain and I know that you need to be before you delve into this kind of commitment. I’m certainly going to take it very seriously and once I’m in, I’m in. True love IS a gamble anyway. I’ll certainly take the risk if presented; I mean I’ll never say never. I’ve done that and been proven wrong every time. I’m certainly not going to take the solitary route either. I did that for a number of years and found that it doesn’t suit me. So until then, I’ll be here, doing my “thing”, dating the datable along the way and see where that leads me. I really feel that I need to take some time for me these days. Sounds clich√© but it’s true. After being in an “off/on” relationship with someone for 10 years, it’s time for me to take the time to concentrate on me: my home, my job, my education, hobbies, health, read some good books, and soak my head in some hot baths. To delve into the things that I want to do. I spent 10 years compromising and now I don’t have to, so why should I? Spending a great deal of time in an intense relationship, one tends to spend their time focused on catering to one’s partner, not oneself. Being good to yourself is a skill like any other and as you know with any skill, if you don’t practice, you get rusty. You need to work it out and often. So I'm working it out and taking the time getting reacquainted with me. I’m hopeful that within this “reassessment” I’ll find that I’m a pretty good person when I get over myself, and then I can share that with someone else. Until then, I’ll be the one to decide when it’s time to enter the world again and I’m sure the world will be there and waiting when I’m ready.

Everything happens for a reason. I believe that everyone is meant to take a certain path and if you challenge that you will be corrected. I spent a portion of my early twenties fighting my fate and the bull shit you go through to fight it is worst than just going with the flow and accepting it. You may not know the "why" at the time but the reason will make itself clear eventually. It’s the security I feel in this idea that gives me peace of mind, at least enough to allow me to sleep better at night. With this I know I haven’t found the right person to be eternally committed to, or else it would have happened already-right? So to claim that one is too old is just plain ignorant in so many ways I wouldn’t want to waste your time naming them. Besides the time I’m taking getting to know myself, will benefit someone in the long run.
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