On sex, chat lines, diamonds & why I’m not married

Well, I thought I had read nearly every inflammatory, ridiculous theory on women in their 40’s who aren’t married until I recently had the ‘experience’ of reading this writer’s perception on the Huffington Post. Let’s not pretend the Huffington Post is a harbinger of taste and cultural insight, but this article did do what it was supposed to: elicit a reaction.

Go and read it then come back to me.  ‘Why You Aren’t Married‘, by Tracy McMillan.

So, let’s just get on the same page again. Tracy has been married three times, so I guess this makes her an expert. but, oh wait, isn’t marriage supposed to be for life?

Do you, ____, take , ____, to be your (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. I, ____, take you, ____, to be my (husband/wife). I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

Uh-huh. Then we’re clear on that. So Tracy, the marriage expert, is saying that the reason I am not married is because I am in permanent PMS mode and simply not able to be that soft, accommodating, oh sorry, ‘giving‘, partner that every boy/man is looking for? I mean, I think this is the gist of what she is saying? Am I wrong?

Let’s just narrow it right down even further to so I can remember, when I am out, sitting across from a man who just needs me to be more giving, why he won’t marry me, as in ever. Because I am a bitchy, slutty, lying, shallow woman without a sense of self.

Good. Now we’re getting somewhere. Let it sink in. It’s my fault for sure. It’s my fault that I see marriages all around me that are complete shams. It’s my fault that over half the men that come on to me are, in fact, already in a relationship It’s my fault that when I completely give, and give, and give, I find out inevitably that all that giving was for not because silly me, it was my vagina, not my character, he was interested in. It’s my fault that I won’t have a threesome to keep my boyfriend happy. It’s also my fault I can’t play dumb enough so my dates can feel better about themselves. I guess, as Tracey astutely points out, I just wasn’t ‘nice’ enough to them or they would have married me.

Oops, I am ruining my dating chances even as I write this because I am sounding angry, or…is it just too darned feminist for everyone?

Guess what? You will not hear anything more lonely than a single man in his 40’s on a sex chat line in the middle of the night. You wanna know how I know that? Because my friend used to work at a company and monitor these calls. That was his job. And it chilled me to hear those stories. The depth of loneliness was astounding to me. And yet, they can’t connect with real women wanting real connection. Why?

Because we’re angry, shallow, selfish, bitches with low self-esteem? Right? Right.

That is the articulate poultice for this situation for sure. Why, I would ask, is there such a disparate relationship between the amazing women I know (including myself, yep, I have healthy self-esteem, crazy eh?) who are not married and lonely, sad, men on chat lines? If men were choosing women on their character, as Tracy posits so eloquently, then why do all the men trying to date me and all my amazing women friends, act so angry, shallow, and slutty? Is it because they’re looking for amazing character? Oh, man, I missed that in their letters to me. Here’s one I recently received from a guy on one of those paid dating sites, you know the kind, where more intellectual, non-slutty, professionals find marriage material? I  hate to even quote from it but after reading Tracy’s post, I’m just so angry and apparently shallow enough now to do it so enjoy this man’s cry for character, connection, marriage:

“I have to say….. there is nothing I find more exciting and sexy than an assertive girl, especially if she loves playing dress-up and using a strap-on Given what you are looking for I think you will be quite interested in what I propose. I’m looking for someone who is confident, assertive and can be dominant without being bitchy or bossy, someone who is very sexually persuasive and knows how to get what she wants :).”

There are no spelling errors so that’s a start right?

The thing is, despite being hit up in this fashion all the time, I completely still believe in true love, big love, kissing in the rain kind of love (thanks Ryan Gosling). I adore and want love. Marriage though, as a goal, should be reviewed by all women in my opinion at this point in time. Because Tracy’s view of the sad, 40-year-old professional doesn’t really compute for me. Most of my happening, sexy, 40-plus friends are making more money than the men I know, own their own houses, and live a pretty great life. I don’t hear any complaining about a need to get hitched. We need to set an example for those younger women who are reviewing marriage, committment, career, and children. Don’t we? 

What I do hear from women my age is that they can’t find men who are interested in love. Not marriage. True love. Not bound by vows, or rings, or mortgages, or even by location. Because true love is rare, a lovely gentleman recently told me, like a diamond, a star, that is in fact so rare to find that when it is lost, there is only darkness.


2 Comments

Filed under Dating, Relationships

2 responses to “On sex, chat lines, diamonds & why I’m not married

  1. Wow. a loaded post here Margaret.

    I think the best line from her post was ‘You’re just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won’t. Once the initial high wears off, you’ll just be you, except with twice as much laundry’
    and the best line from yours was ‘Because true love is rare’.

    I do think men and women today (of all ages) are protectively selfish of their ‘me’ time. Finding love is hard enough but in order to make love last you have to get up every day and WORK at it. Every day, for the rest of your life. That is how love lasts and marriage works.

    It is a lifetime commitment for a lot of people but so many get married with the attitude that they can always divorce if it does not work out.

    Remember, marriage is not a word. It is a sentence.

    • Thanks for this insight and thoughtful response. I think you just get to an age in our society when the perceptions get a little more frequent about your status as a single woman and I fear that articles like these, even in their highest intended moment, throw a few more pieces of kindling on the fire. Because as women, of any age, the goal should not be about marriage–ever–it should be about ourselves, our own development as people. If we are inherently as good as we can be, then I suspect it will be easier to meet someone else on that journey. Framing it in the context of marriage as reward is defeating the purpose of relationships. True love is rare but pretty impossible if we contort ourselves as women into an ancient institution because society will like us better if we do. Instead, better to imagine ourselves as our own true loves and as Gloria Steinem said, ‘Remember becoming the men we wanted — some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry? Well, we figured out that not enough men are becoming the women they wanted to marry.’
      I think therein lies the gist of what I was hoping to get at in this post, hopefully I managed to, albeit with a bat that was swinging hard. 🙂

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