Posts Tagged ‘mid-life’

Last night I was out for some birthday’s eve drinks with a gal pal. I’m in my late 40s, she’s in her mid-2os. I have a few younger friends and always seem to fall into a mentor type relationship with them, giving them career advice, lending my ear on relationship worries. I enjoy hearing about their struggles and triumphs in the world — the same, and yet so much different from mine, based on being born decades apart. Though I am a nurturing person in general,  I wouldn’t say I mother these young women.

So, I was surprised when my pal and I were mistaken for mother and daughter. A first it was a vanity thing, I suppose. You know, mid-life birthday sensitivity. People never tire of being shocked when they find out my age because apparently, so I’ve been told regularly, I do not look it. (Believe me, I know how old I am when I look in the mirror in the early A.M.!)

AHA, I thought, I caught the lot of them in a lie! I said as much to my friend. Her reaction was to say that she gets mistaken for older than she is, which only made me feel worse! (after all, not too long ago a corner store clerk asked me if my request to buy a transit pass was for adult or senior!!!)

But anyway…

I realized later the true reason why I bristled at the mistake. This innocent observer (who, by the way, was a street person who had sadly, but with savvy, set up a temporary shelter on a very cold night in the ATM vestibule of a bank), couldn’t have known that I am not a mother, and that I’m still getting square with that in my mind. Some days it’s ok, sometimes – and the passing of another year might be one of those times – it’s not.

The truth is, had I brought forth life, he or she may well have been early to mid-twenties by now. I’d be enjoying a companionship whose bond goes way beyond even the best friendship.

There’s no way my young friend, with so much promise and life in front of her, could understand this. It’s my issue and one that comes to roost for  women (and probably some men) who, by choice or by circumstance, haven’t had children.

It makes me sad, but also relieved that I am not so superficial as to be worried about looking at least my age.

Thank goodness for small mercies!

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I wonder, at what point do you stop calling yourself a late-bloomer and embrace your life outside the lines? Doing so entails getting square with your choices.

Now I’m not one of those people who will sugar-coat my life. There are some advantages to the solitary life, and in many ways I choose it since I have come to understand just exactly how much time I need alone, which is perhaps more than average. But I would still very much like to be companioned, to have a soft place to land, someone with whom to share thoughts, ideas,  hopes and dreams, meals and my bed (other than the cat, who does a great job of warming it up for me, but still cannot hold a conversation, cook a meal, move the furniture… though he does a mean job of killing spiders!)

The bravado thing is the hardest part for me to deal with – I just don’t have any buts, as in but I have great friends, a supportive family, my work, my freedom, my dog/cat/garden. I see alot of this kind of covering over or making up for around me (some of it in the form of a great big impenetrable male/female-bashing wall) and it’s a real turn-off. More than that, all I see when I look at men and women who do that is so much pain.

The reality of my life is that I am almost 49, not-yet-married, no kids, no parents and though I have close family,  my life is a world apart from theirs and most people I know. I spend most of my time alone, and there are distinct times when  solitude becomes loneliness. Loneliness can derail you if you don’t learn to understand and cope with it.

So, welcome to The Modern Spinster where I hope to provide an underrepresented cohort some fun, some doses of real life, and a whole lot of comfort in recognition.

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