Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cinderella & Carrie Bradshaw

Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.
Gloria Steinem

Why is Hollywood determined to categorize single women as oversexed or desperately dreamy? Why does Cinderella continue to search for prince charming when she now has the right to vote and go to college? Surely there are a million opportunities for women that have nothing to do with finding a man? Even the most primitive sexual instincts can be satisfied with batteries and a trip to your local sex shop.

As someone who hasn't been single in 11 years and who on occasion is happily married ( I love you honey), I do understand the beauty of relationships. I'm not anti-marriage. Most days at least. I just don't understand our societies insistence that being single, especially if you're a woman, is a kin to declaring yourself inept. It seems to carry with it connotations such as ; high maintenance, bitch, desperate, whore, virgin, stuffed animal collector. Single women somehow have become feared and pitied all at once. We pity their pathetic lives, and then hope our husbands don't take too much notice of them. In many ways single women have become a lower class. We won because someone agreed to marry us. Really though, so what?

Those of us who travel in pairs aren't living a life anymore meaningful from those in the single lane. We aren't more fulfilled based on the Mrs. before our names. We all have to work at making our lives rich and meaningful everyday. There is not one thing that guarantees instant gratitude from this day forward. I dare say even children don't give instant depth and understanding to a person, even though the baby shower card titled 'Now that your life has meaning' would have me believe otherwise. We all know assholes who are married with children.

There is something so formulaic about our roles in society. Something so dreadfully contrived about the life cycle thrust upon us. So many messages we receive everyday are meant to convince us that there is only one path to happiness. It's rather odd in the face of 50% divorce rates and the prevalence of dead beat parents. Clearly there is a reason most fairy tales end with 'Happily Ever After". How disastrous to show the reality after the happily.

While men are regarded as mysterious bachelors, women live under the neon lights of lonely spinster. If life was truly as simple as romantic comedies lead us to believe, the couple with two kids and a german sheppard would be ecstatically happy. We know this to be a lie. Mother Theresa also managed to lead a life of beauty and dedication without the love of a man and gaggle of kids pulling on her apron strings.

I don't believe there is a right way through life. I don't believe in destiny. I don't even believe in one true love. I do believe though in love itself. I believe love can create wonderful things and come in many forms. You can be crazy in love with your work, your mission, your partner, your children, your garden, your family, your friends, your God, your pets, your home, your meditation, yourself. These are all things that involve work and mindfulness. People in various life situations are happy due to their individual commitment to their happiness. Not because they followed steps 1-10 of 'How to Be Fulfilled for Dummies'.

Life is truly what you make it and it would do us all good now and then to take a moment to climb off our high horses and look at the amazing people standing next to us. We might all learn a little something about happiness and fulfilment from the "crazy cat lady" down the street. We might even be humbled by her impression that we're the loony ones.

"By persistently remaining single a man converts himself into a permanent public temptation." - Oscar Wilde

To be successful, the first thing to do is fall in love with your work.
Sister Mary Lauretta

People call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that distinguish me from a doormat.
Rebecca West, 1913



  1. Jessa, that was brilliant!

    Nicole (the crazy cat lady down the street)

  2. very insightful, welcome observations-- as a single woman and a female singleness scholar (i did a PhD on media representations and lived experiences of single women), it's a comfort to see women (married/unmarried) supporting other women's life paths. thanks for your thoughts, and thanks nicole for sending me here for the great read :-)

    kristie in japan

  3. Jessa, you are such an entertaining and thoughtful writer. I love reading your blogs. Well said!! xx Mel

  4. Thank you everyone!!

    I think it's so important women not only support one another, but start thinking outside the old tattered 1950's box as well. ; )

    Thanks again, J xx


I love your comments & read each and every one of them!!!
Thanks you!!!