February 29th, 2012 Leap Day

Feb 29, 2012 by

Leap Day occurs every 4 years, that extra day added to the Gregorian calendar in leap year. It is also considered the one day of the year that women are culturally allowed to ask a man to marry them. You can thank St. Bridget for that as in 5th century Ireland when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick about women having to wait for so long for a man to propose. According to legend, St. Patrick said the yearning females could propose on this one day in February during the leap year. Gee, thanks St. Pat! The first documentation of this practice dates back to 1288, when Scotland supposedly passed a law that allowed women to propose marriage to the man of their choice in that year. Tradition states they also made it law that any man who declined a proposal in...

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Valentine’s Day Observations

Feb 14, 2012 by

Want to know how folks in relationships spend Valentine’s Day? From DINKS to polyamory, check out the guide from CNN on how people spend Valentine’s Day. While interesting I admittedly, I skipped to what I thought might be the juicier bits regarding the relationships with multiple romantic partners. I learned nothing new other than the author’s advice ‘If you are in a couple, you should consider stepping up your game.’ Then when I was looking around for Valentine’s Day chocolate ideas on Facebook my friend Constantina posted this: NYC sewage plant to offer Valentine’s Day tours. Evidently, each tour ends with a Hershey’s chocolate kiss – not the chocolate I was seeking, I assure you. As you can see recently, I had the opportunity to absorb more data about dating and romance than one should. I was on a road trip with my...

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Wedding = Universal Symbol of Hope...

Oct 26, 2011 by

Shakespeare’s comedies frequently end in weddings, the universal symbol of hope, even in the face of mankind’s dark side. We single girlfriends honor that emotion when those we care about take that step.  Even though divorce happens after about one half of marriages there’s the possibility the couple, two sexes or one sex, can do whatever it takes to make a joining of separate human beings function better than one human navigating life solo. So, when Cate Edwards married her college sweetheart Trevor Upham, M.D. many of us were rooting hard for both of them. Edwards, like members of the Kennedy dynasty, has experienced more than the average amount of suffering at a young age. Her brother was killed in a car accident.  The marriage of her parents, so seemingly idyllic, foundered on the...

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Five reasons I want a husband (or at least a partner)...

Sep 7, 2011 by

It takes all kinds to make the world go round, or so they say.  Girlfriends don’t always agree and as much as many of the women writing for this site are avowedly single, I want a partner again. Partnered relationships aren’t for everyone.  They take a lot of energy, they require compromise and sometimes a commitment beyond what seems reasonable.  Just look at the biblical Sarah, a woman married to a man whose search for meaning brought her a pregnancy at age 90!  She laughed when she heard this prediction, just as I would have laughed if told what my marriage would help me grow into by midlife. Thus, I respectfully submit to the Girlfriends my list of what I have learned about long term relationships. A stable relationship frees my energy How do...

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Marriage The Institution

Aug 22, 2011 by

Perhaps we single girlfriends here in the U.S. should start a national Single Pride Day.   There is now concrete evidence showing that we took the road which savvy educated women around the world are increasingly traveling.   How that is playing out in Asian societies is the cover story in the April 20th issue of THE ECONOMIST. Sure most of us know that for women in European nations, marriage has been a declining institution.  For example, in Sweden, 55% of births are to unmarried women.  In Iceland, the number is 66%, reports THE ECONOMIST.  In the U.S. the institution isn’t doing too hot either.  Now we find out that pockets are Asia are also experiencing the female disinterest in tying the knot.  Not for me, Asian women saying. For example, as THE ECONOMIST notes: “The...

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The Royal Wedding Fairytale

Apr 29, 2011 by

When we first discussed the idea of an All the Single Girlfriends post regarding the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton not surprisingly there was a diversity of opinions amongst the Girlfriends regarding the Royal to-do ranging from yawns to disgust, and everything in between. This is not all that different from the rest of the planet except that in my observation of  the media coverage of the event, the Official Royal version appears to be speaking the loudest. According to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll just 28% of Americans are under the Royal Wedding spell but as Kathryn Shattuck notes in the New York Times, the other 72% of us might plan on Netflix streaming for home entertainment on April 29th. ABC News (yes, ABS News) is apparently not only...

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Royal Weddings: The Agony And The Ecstasy...

Apr 29, 2011 by

Royal weddings can be for the single woman what Christmas tends to be for everyone: The agony and the ecstasy. The magic is being played out on the small screen of a young golden couple who found each other, adjusted to each other, and made it to the day when they would commit themselves to each other for life.  We watch and wonder how come we couldn’t pull that off. We couldn’t even manage the feat with a commoner. Of course the old chip on the shoulder returns that we weren’t born to the noble class.  Had I been, heck, I could have had a shot at my special day being gawked at by millions around the world.  The times I had been engaged, relatives on both sides would have had to have a...

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Kate In The Royal Spot Light

Apr 29, 2011 by

There has been more than the fair share of chatter about the impending nuptials of the young prince William and his fair Kate. Not just simply because of the fact that it is a ‘royal’ wedding, but because he is marrying a commoner, Kate Middleton. Remember the tales of a young Diana, born into an old aristocratic English family with royal ancestry, she was so far from common, the mere sight of her through throngs of crowds into an uproar. She was scrutinized before, during, and after her marriage to Charles – their marriage ended in August 1996. She struggled with her weight, postpartum depression, bulimia, the deaths of dear friends like Gianni Versace, and raising her children in a very almost blinding public spotlight. Her wedding was merely televised. And at a time...

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Invisible

Apr 26, 2011 by

“Old age takes everyone by surprise, and no one really ever comes to terms with it.” That’s what Jill Lepore writes in THE NEW YORKER’s March 14th article on aging “Twilight.” Lepore is referring to the thinking of G. Stanley Hall.  Ahead of his time, Hall was looking at aging from all kinds of angles in the early 20th century.  Back then, aging was still a novelty. Most people didn’t live long enough to experience it. Today, as the first wave of the 76 million Baby Boomers hits 65 years old, aging has become embedded in society.  Of course, as Hall observed, it does take us by surprise.  Since most of my dysfunctional family dies young, I never anticipated being around much after 50.  Yet, here I am.  And unlike what Hall says, many...

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Five Reasons I Don’t Date

Apr 25, 2011 by

(No, Not Because There Aren’t Any Men) Sure, as I get older, the available pool of men gets smaller.  But, even if they’re available – would I want them?  Would they want me?  By this time, we’ve all got lives and baggage; it’s difficult to make a space for someone else.  Many men wouldn’t be interested in me, for reasons you can infer from the following five reasons I don’t date. 1.  That Deadly “Story Of My Life” First Date.  Hey, I love me; I’m my very favorite person.  I can navel gaze with the best of ‘em.  But after – oh – 25 years or so I’m sick of talking about my hometown, what my parents did, where I went to college, my favorite authors, my hobbies, etc. etc.  Why not just hand him a...

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Is Marriage Passe’ ?

Apr 21, 2011 by

“When are you guys finally getting married?” That’s a favorite opening line for family and friends, lately. Tom, my significant other, and I have been together a long time now. We became engaged shortly after meeting – both of us were very sure of the relationship and having the ‘ring’ to prove we were serious, just seemed natural. Over time, folks began to give us that squinty-eyed look that said they were suspicious of this living together thing – without the benefit of ‘marriage’ (you know who you are!) The squintiest looks (no, that’s not a word, I made it up) come from folks over 50. They’re of a certain age, they grew up in the previous century and are sure that living together isn’t merely sinful, it’s wrong. Sinful, you understand, is more...

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Living a Dangerous Life

Apr 20, 2011 by

Everyone knows it’s dangerous to, say, ride a motorcycle or eat saturated fat, but somehow we miss the inherent danger of being alive. My husband died of acute leukemia.  In June of 2008, we were living ordinary lives.  In July, I took Dave to the doctor for what we thought was diverticulitis, common to 45 year old men and easy to cure.  In August, he was trapped in the hospital on chemotherapy and by the end of September, he was gone.  The whole hospital episode, from diagnosis to death, took six weeks. Is it any wonder it seems to me that we barely control anything in our lives?  Trouble will find you, even if you’re perfectly still.  What kind of world is this?  The raw truth is that it’s a world where the person...

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