FOR US GIRLS (AND SOME OF YOU GUYS)
My sister is getting married on New Year’s Day. That’s my older sister. (I think we’ve already established that I am way north of thirty-five). My younger sister (younger by one year only) just got married in July – to a man who is chronologically quite a bit younger than she is. Myself, I was a relative spring chicken when Art and I got hitched over fifteen years ago (just shy of forty)!
What’s all this got to do with the price of tea in China? Well, I know the myth. The myth in this country is that a woman has more chance of being struck by lightning than she has of ever getting married after the age of 35. I do remember that there was a national magazine some twenty years ago which expounded that theory so persuasively that we all just bought into it. What a crock!
The shame of it all is that there are perfectly wonderful women, some divorced, some never married, who are walking around in despair of ever finding a life partner. They have been brainwashed into believing that they are without hope.
Furthermore, there is another equally fallacious myth in this country. The corollary of the first myth is that women who are single/divorced deserve to be single/divorced. The basis for this myth is the widely held opinion that, in general, this wonderful country of ours presents a level playing field to all, and that therefore, logically, if you try hard enough, you will succeed in achieving whatever you wish to achieve, whether the goal is financial or personal. We then move on to the ludicrous assumption that those who have not been so fortunate have simply not tried hard enough. What a crock!
On top of all of that, we women have a tendency to extrapolate from all these false assumptions that, basically, if we are unhappy, it is our own damn fault. We then look for our fatal flaws that supposedly led to our misery. We are lazy. We are unattractive. We are overly aggressive. We are too withdrawn. We are overweight. We are underweight. We are not sexy enough. We are not bright enough. We are too needy.
Well, of course we’re needy. We’re all needy. As Bruce Springsteen so aptly put it, “Everybody has a hungry heart”. It’s so obvious. It’s as obvious as saying, “Everybody has a hungry stomach” or “Everybody needs air to breathe”. Even our president, who puts on a very good imitation of John Wayne in a bad Western, reluctantly admits that he needs his woman. We are made for companionship. What could be more natural?
So what are the chances that a woman over thirty-five will find true love? Pretty good. As my father-in-law likes to say, “There’s an ass for every seat”, or to put it a little more delicately, “There’s a lid for every pot”. The important thing is not to give up. Each of us is as unique as a snowflake, and somewhere out there is a compatible snowflake. (It doesn’t have to be an exact match). Try to remember that the very thing that makes you feel “different” is probably the very thing that will eventually help you to track down your very own snowflake. And when it all feels like too much, remember my sister – who will be a bride on New Year’s Day.
© 2004, Robin Munson