Friday, January 8, 2016

The Dating Game

I loved that show as a kid and as the new season of the Bachelor comes along it reminds me of the overwhelming need for all of us to go two-by-two on Noah's Ark.  As all things in America everything seems connected to the Bible and Christian mythology. Yes it is a myth as we have no true evidence to support any of the tales of the Bible, including a man called Jesus. But I like to think we believe Mulder we do and we can or elect not to, freedom of choice and all that.

But we do have a funny problem when it comes to being single. That scarlet letter "S" has some type of odd mark of odd ball and different, someone who cannot find the epynonomous soul mate for whom we are destined to find, or not.

Never dated in high school, went to a dance or prom nor even participated in graduation events much, including those in College.  I had a ton of men friends in College and one significant boyfriend and really I am not the Cosmo girl of my era where Helen Gurley Brown assured me that Sex and the Single Girl was great, and I never took Ms. as my title then or now. Hmm.  Always the spinster, I guess.  Well I was, emphasis on was, married and with my partner for over 10 years in total.  I think that was my attempt at being "normal" whatever that is.

Current stats on singles are here and it made me laugh that for every 100 women there are 88 men single.  Bridget Jones the odds are not in your favor.  But what I also found interesting is that those 65 and over (an approaching cohort) currently make up 17% of all single people with 34 million of that total number or 28% living alone.  Good to know I am not alone naturally.

But it is a tough slog when you are alone and when I read these laments by the men of NYC I did not laugh as in enough frankly,  as I suspect that there were missing elements in the story as there often are. 

This from the same paper that's wedding pages have such cache that it was an entire storyline in Sex and the City, another celebration of being single until you can no longer be - age, baby, sickness, and simply desire to be married -  as Charlotte, the traditional one, often lamented.  She should of known one of  those guys. The reality in that is there are always Charlottes'.  And the same one's who were once on the Engagement/Marriage page are the same ones later in the Unhitched page. Well at least you can be in both that has to amount to something!

And then I read this in the Washington Post about girls liking nerds and I thought will this is the first thing of actual intelligence ever spoken by Zuckerberg (that I know of).  And no I don't think it  is Hollywood's fault for encouraging women to date/marry attractive men, it is a societal class thing and the idea that nerds are less likely to succeed concept than one Hollywood has conveyed.  The movies she cites are nowhere near as dated and watch a Tracy/Hepburn film to note opposites attract and Tracy was quite married at the time. Also take a look at many films from the 40s, such as Affair to Remember which had Deborah Kerr forsaking her true love due to her becoming disabled. Same thing, no one wants to marry "damaged" goods. That sickness and in health thing, not really.  Same goes for aging, just ask Princess Leia about that one. The Princess never aged, Carrie Fisher, however did not get the memo.

As a woman of a certain age you get used to being independent and the idea of aging brings some concern as the reality is that most women are cared for by another woman in the home, aka their daughter.  I have no children so what does that mean? Do I become a ward of the state? Do they even have such a thing anymore?  The reality is that aging in place is not a reality as the costs and care of maintaining a home independently becomes a challenge.  I have long been a proponent of multi generation co-operative housing which can circumvent this but it has to be a well established cohort of individuals who accept the responsibilities and energies to take time to actually get to know your neighbor and doing so is not easy and do you only find those "like you" or those who  share the more essential values. 

Once again it is like the Dating Game where the contestant picks the best one who auditioned for the role of "date."

I cannot answer nor explain why I am not good at dating or romance or that I would have any clue as sadly my lessons largely came from TV and they were not ones you wanted to emulate.  I spend a great deal of time of late realizing I will not have love in my life unless via a dog, that my trust and faith in man and mankind was seriously ruptured and in reality I never really did, giving up and walking out friendships and relationships on the earliest of opportunity.  Funny how you walk away from people when you think they cannot maintain their end when you yourself have no idea how to either.  It is a dance with no finish.

Dating should not be a game with a final square as in diamond the end. It should be natural fluid and simply just a function of learning about other people.   Americans need to date people more and need to realize it has nothing to do with sex, marriage and babies.  What do I know? Nothing I have none of those! 


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