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DAY 16 – CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN

June 16th, 2008 by stephanie

If you haven’t seen the movie, Cheaper By the Dozen, you should. It travels through the journey of a family with a very full house. And if you don’t remember this old saying, “With six you get egg-roll”, that became the name for a movie as well. Check out those two flicks some night. They’re just cute. And of course, what girl doesn’t love to catch My Big Fat Greek Wedding when she can. All that to say, there is just something to be said for big families. We love stories about bustling kids with mishaps and victories, harried moms and ultra cool dads. The excitement, the drama, the angst. Whatever the case. We can’t seem to get enough. For some reason, many girls grow up planning for or dreaming of that very big family. Angelina Jolie is on that track of late I would think.

If anything, I can give it to my children someday. Thus the words that exited from my single friend’s mouth when I casually asked her about the craziest purchase she made while on her dream trip through Italy and France awhile back. She had just recently told me that she didn’t see herself ever marrying by the way.  (This from a size-2 cutie pie.)

 

So. What exactly was my single friend’ss zaniest purchase?  “A gorgeous table cloth with matching linen napkins  — for12!  she exclaimed. (What is it with us single gals and the party of 12 thing?)

I smiled when the words about posterity slipped from the mouth of this non-married, childless beauty. But I didn’t say anything until much later. I didn’t want to lose the moment. She didn’t even catch it at the time. And, I didn’t bring it up until months later. So, I just nodded and smiled and encouraged her to talk. Why? Because that story was a reminder to me of what is inherently in us as women.  We don’t plan to grow up and get single. We just do. And if the truth be told, we plan to have families.

See you tomorrow.

S.

 

DAY 15 – SO, WHY AM I SINGLE?

June 15th, 2008 by stephanie

Some people can just chalk it up to bad karma I guess.  I don’t know. But things happen. Life happens. Just because we get engaged or married, does not mean that happiness is part of the contractual agreement. This true story, relayed to me by another single friend really shocked me.

A 37-year old working girl finally met Mr. Wonderful Man.  They dated, got engaged and began planning their wedding. One day while he was at the gym Mr. Wonderful heard a loud pop in his brain.  Heading home, to do a bit of research, he went online only to discover that it was an aneurism. Walking himself immediately to the nearest hospital upon arrival, he went into comma. And died.

 This is not something we can understand or explain.  Trying to figure out why things happen or why we are single is beyond our finite minds.  This woman did nothing wrong.  And there is nothing odd about her. Circumstances happened and her journey took a very surprising path. In that same vein, Singleness is not something we can necessarily understand or explain.

 This woman, and all of the women I have introduced you to thus far are attractive, smart, talented, fun. They love life. So, don’t beat yourself up trying to figure out the formula. And don’t wear yourself out trying to plan the future.  If you want to read The Rules and Mars and Venus on a Date, do it.  But don’t continue down the path of “Why oh, Why?”  It will only drive you crazy.

 Congratulations. You have made it to the half way point of this little experiment.

I hope you will take time to review back through any of the entries you may have missed.

It’s all for you!

S.

 

DAY 14 – IF ONLY I WERE THINNER!

June 14th, 2008 by stephanie

I have girl friends that are married, happily married that are not size two and gorgeous. As a matter of fact, one friend of mine looks like a mid-west farm girl. Big and strong. No make-up. Can fix her own water heater, and more. No frills. As real as they come. I adore her. She is VERY happily married. (It’s a second marriage by the way.)

Another gal I know is a basket case. I don’t see how she gets through the day. Overweight. Extremely insecure. Great husband. And he is successful. Hmmmmm.

Now, let’s take a look at the beautiful women of today. The “it” girls. The successful uber women of our day. Think of the women in the news, in Hollywood, in your wealthy areas.

Ok, now, think. How many of them are currently married, or, are in a long-term relationship? Are you thinking?

Ok, now, how many of them are not married?

Now, how many of the married ones are truly happy?

Are you seeing what I am seeing?

No amount of starving yourself and counting calories will assure you happiness.  A designer closet will not secure a long-term marriage.  If you truly believe you are not married because of your weight or your clothes, then why on earth is most of Hollywood single?

Here’s what’s interesting. Women in the early 20th century, in a way, fought for freedom from men. The freedom to vote. Wear short skirts. Have careers and own property.  And now, we spend most of our time and money on trying to attract a man that will come to our rescue, love us, and take care of us forever and ever, amen.

Ironically, on the flip side, married women think we have it made.  They envy all of the time that we have. The freedom. Our schedule being our own, of course. (Not really, but we won’t tell them will we girls.)

 I do fully understand. While they are knee deep in dishes, evening bath time, and homework it must seem like I am lounging in my bubble bath with a chardonnay and classical music. Or, they think I am out in my high-heeled shoes having martinis with the single set. (Just like on Sex and the City). But that could not be farther from the truth.

I have a full-time job. I clean my own house, and I do my own laundry. Here’s to the good life.

And a great weekend!

S.

DAY 13 – SINGLE ISLAND.

June 13th, 2008 by stephanie

If you think about it, the life of the single gal is like one of those vote-someone-off reality TV shows. The twist with this TV show of ours is that we want to get voted off!  It would be great if once a week each of our single friends were actually voted off of our show, or “island” and into the land of happily-ever-after, wedded life. But the only way you get voted out of this lonely hearts pack, however– is to get engaged.

 

When my girlfriends and I get together for a chat we laugh about this. Everyone is trying to be voted off Single Island.  My inner circle schemes during our coffee chats about how to find the best way to perhaps graduate if you will. I have to tell you, we have not yet unearthed the secret. We are all still single.

 

But back to reality. TV that is.  The reality show, dating thing is quite amazing if you take a good look.  It proves that we could actually begin calling America Single Nation if we wanted to. 

 

For example, each season producers and directors select yet another group of women that will be paraded in front of a presuming he-man on any given reality-style, love-a-muck show.  I mean, come on! If that many women in America alone are willing to expose themselves (and their heart) on national TV in search of a mate–every few months — there’s a problem. Ladies. Think about it. Thousands of singles audition to be on those shows –and don’t make it!  When you do the math, that’s a lot desperate available women. And they’re usually thin and not bad looking either!

 

Remember that U.S. Census Bureau I referred to earlier?  In 2005 there were approximately 89.9 million singles in America. (Some reports say 110 million). And in 2006 there were close to 300 million people in the U.S.. Once again, reader take note: practically 1/3 of America is single!

Lots of singles. Lots of TV about singles. And alot of them are thin! (That’s a big deal to us girls.) 

We’ll talk more about the “weight” issue tomorrow.

S.

DAY 12. BIRDS OF A FEATHER…

June 12th, 2008 by stephanie

OK. Let me say this now.  Please listen very carefully.

Divorced, widowed, and not-yet-married are not the same. Single. Yes. Same? No.

 If the women you spend the majority of your time with are married, and you are not, you will begin to see that on many matters and emotions, you just can not relate. Nor should you be able to.  And too, if you have not ever experienced marriage to this point, and your friends are divorced, you will not be on the same page in this area as well.

It’s not that you don’t adore the women in your life, but in time, you might come to assess a bit better that those you commiserate and share certain matters with during your week might not be the best pick. If truth be told, there might be a call for some adjustment. Point I am trying to make? Your intimate friends, those with whom you share your heart, need to include girls that are on the same wave length or at the least a similar path as yours.

Let’s be honest, do your married friends really want to hear about how you dropped everything in order to head out for dinner and a movie with your best girl pals while they were at home bathing the kids, cleaning up after dinner, and throwing in another load of laundry?  Or, better yet, how you had such a terrible day at work you are going to forego all house work or the to-dos on your list and just soak in a hot tub before retiring early? Hmmmmm.  Probabaly not. Might want to save that for your single friends.

Just some food for thought as we prepare to head into the weekend.

Talk soon.

S.

DAY 11. MEET THE GIRLS

June 11th, 2008 by stephanie

Now that you are hopefully seeing a bit more of the bigger picture, that you truly are not a freak of nature, and that you are not alone, allow me to introduce to you a few of the fabulous gals in my life that are doing exactly just that.

These friends of mine will hopefully become  sisters and mentors to you as we journey together ahead.  Let them be of comfort to you when you wake up one day and find that you have grown up and gotten single. 

SOME DAY MY PRINCE WILL COME.

My friend Sadie and I are both Screen Actors Guild members. Sounds impressive, but when you realize that only 2% of the union’s acting members rarely make over $5000 per year from this profession, it isn’t such an elite group.  But I digress.  My friend is a doll. So cute. Red hair. Vibrant personality. She has been a musician, actress, and dancer.  We both have done the Hollywood thing. (Well, Ok, the starving artist thing if you must know.)  You get the picture:  get an agent, act, do commercials and theatre, write music, record, travel etc. It’s funny, because when I talk with her about certain celebrities that we both have met or come to know through the years, she will say, “Oh, yes, I worked them”, or, “I sang with them.”  Or, ” I knew her when she was getting ready to marry husband number two”. Sadie has a PHD and has had a successful music business for years. She is 57  and has never been married.

My friend Chloe is adorable.  She finally turned 40 this year. (A right of passage in my opinion). She is a size 2 and could model.  And I am not kidding. I recently returned from a trip with her that took us to Sydney, Australia.  The men (who weren’t gay) looked at her.  They didn’t even see me! Not only that. She got kissed by a koala, and I got kicked by a kangaroo.  But that’s another story.

She works with authors, travels internationally, does video interviews, etc.  A true southern belle, she knows how to play the game and play it well. What I mean is she is great under pressure and with people. I so wish I could be like that.  But I’m not. Chloe doesn’t blab her problems to anyone who will listen like I do. She internalizes them. Whatever comes into my mind, usually exits my mouth.  After that, I realize what I said. But Chloe doesn’t do that.  (The one thing we do have in common is that we are both only children. Sans siblings.) Chloe is just cool. She too, has never been married.

Gracie is an adorable blonde. And I mean cute. Five foot three. Tan.  Sporty. Loves to listen to sports talk radio. Exercises religiously.  Spent 2 years in Russia teaching English.  Has been down the Amazon River.  Did a couple of weeks in India. Shall I go on?  Not surprisingly, her family is giving her quite a bit of pressure of late. She is the eldest of two.  Her younger brother is happily married, with five kids!  She has now been very involved with an online dating service for over a year now. She has had plenty of dates.The guys love her. But nothing is clicking for her. Gracie is always bubbly and incredibly positive.  She could scale Mt. Rushmore if she wanted to. I love her zest for life and can do spirit.  She is 41 and not-yet-married.

 

 Noel is tall.  Blonde. Sharp as a tack.  She could model too. Her mother did. Her dad was a flying ace. Noel was raised in the military world. Moved a lot.  Very patriotic. She has her own company and literally knows, or is connected to just about everybody.  She is very humble, but has worked with many celebrities.  She is quick, a sensitive listener and a good encourager. I know Noel will play it straight with me.  If I need to hear something, in time, in a tactful way, she will lay it on me. Like the day I was complaining about something and she stopped me short. You need counseling. Here’s a number.

She just got back from helping a friend with a housing situation in another state. On the way back, she saw the car in front of her suddenly flip multiple times.  It was a college student heading back to campus. Long story short, the teenager didn’t make it. This has been a very traumatic week for my friend. But she is good about making the right decision in this type of situation. She contacted the funeral home (Which was states away) and ended up connecting with the girl’s mother.  She assured the grieving parent that the girl was not alone when she died.Noel had gathered up all of the girl’s belongings and made sure they got back to the parents.  The mother ended up calling Noel to thank her and to say that she was most grateful for all she did.  My friend is confident enough to go to counseling for a few sessions over this. She knows she needs to deal with it and isn’t about to waste anytime. She wants to do it right.  She is always the professional.  I admire that. As I write this, she is aboard a United States aircraft carrier –teaching!. She is 41 and has never been married.

Elle is one of 7 children. Raised Irish catholic, she has the very groovy spin on life that can only come from that type of zaney familial environment. If the world ended tomorrow, “L”, as we refer to her, would be there to clean up, offer counsel, and then rise like a phoenix from the ashes with about 5 fabulous stories to tell afterward that would leave everyone in stitches. She is truly a role model to me. She eats completely organic and is always on a detox of some sort. She is incredibly healthy and doesn’t need a drop of makeup.  Her father is living with her as I write this. (Yes, the single sibling has the dad and they are having a ball.)  An artist, she is a hand illustrator by trade and too has her own business. Elle has managed not only to buy a new house but I think at last count has two rental properties. When I grow up, I’d like to be her. She is 46.  She has never been married.

So, these are just a few of my very fab friends. I assure you, if you joined us for coffee you would want to schedule them into your calendar for weekly girl time.  They just plain rock.

In the days ahead, you will meet a few more.  It is my hope that you might feel a connection to one of them and that perhaps you will feel that you have found a support group of sorts that you can relate to!

S.

Day 10 LOOKING FOR THE MISSING PIECE.

June 10th, 2008 by stephanie

Even family and friends, whether unaware, or not, relay the impression that if you are single, you are half a person waiting for, if not desperately seeking, your missing part.  Or, they leave you wondering if you are perhaps incapable of properly developing  and maintaining a relationship. They, perhaps inadvertently, sometimes have a way of making you feel that you are finding yourself in this situation because you have simply brought it upon yourself.  And who knows, maybe they’re right.

 

No wonder women run around on a daily basis acting as if they are a walking jig saw puzzle with a glaring person-shaped-hole as the missing piece. If some of my recent conversations with a few of my friends are any indication, many adorable and talented gals are frantically searching for and trying to stuff members of the opposite sex into their “incomplete” life-picture.

I find it interesting when, I, the “incomplete” person, come across married people that are “complete” wrecks.

 

So here’s the deal.  If this is the accepted form of thinking (my being incomplete) in the new world of singledom, how on earth is a perfectly functional, intelligent being supposed to survive, if not thrive – if even exist?

 

Well, for those of us still alive and well, I say hang in there. My goal is to come along side of you in hopes that you will not freeze in paralysis, bemoan your lifestyle of freedom, and question your past decisions.  Stop mourning your ice cream and DVD infused dateless weekends my friend and join me in discovering that:

 1) You are not alone,

 2) There is a world out there that awaits your brains and beauty, and

3) You will not only survive this stage of your life but will find yourself a fulfilled member of this not so new, but very trendy, people group.

Tomorrow, you will meet a few of my very adorable, successful, single friends.  See you then!

S.

Day 9. “YOU’RE SINGLE, RIGHT?”

June 9th, 2008 by stephanie

Don’t you get tired of answering that question? If you are anything like me, I would imagine that you have, many times more than not, come to feel that you are the quintessential fifth wheel in your little corner of the world.  But if the statistics that I shared below are any revelation, you just had the epiphany that you are actually becoming part of an increasingly well-noted majority. You are becoming the norm.  Not that you planned it this way, not that we wanted it to be this way. The truth is, however, the world of  “coupledom” that civilizations were built on, and that many of us so winsomely long for, is rapidly dwindling in size and popularity. Singleness is on the rise and the experts are beginning to frantically search for answers.

In 2002 alone there were already 904 dating services. Did you see that? Almost 1,000 back then. You know those elite dating expert advertisements in the Airline magazines that are in the seat pocket in front of you on the plane? I just love those. I always look to see if the gal in the photo that runs the company (and it’s usually a woman that owns the business) is herself sporting a diamond ring.  Note to self: rarely if ever.  Hmmmmm.

My 94-year old grandfather and I were chatting about this recently. He believes that there were more opportunities to mingle back in his day. There were get-togethers, picnics, parades and more. The church social was an expected and a-must-attend event. Their culture was built on a type of fellowship and social-gathering mentality.  That is why he feels they married more.  He reminded me that he met my grandmother at a dance (where they served punch!). He feels it’s not like that as much today.  That our generation is more isolated and alone most of the time.

He’s right. I for one work at home.  If I want to socialize, I have to make the effort.

But back to our single stats.  Perhaps it is the divorce rate, or the fact that people are marrying later in life, or just flat out marrying up*, whatever the case, there is a lot of singleness going on. Not sure we have concluded the exact reasons, at least on a national and cultural level. But there is one thing I know most women view singleness not only as a disease or illness, but if the truth be known, they see it as a curse.

* Marrying Up:  The art of disposing of one’s current spouse for a better, sleeker, or richer model.

See you tomorrow!

S.

Day 8 YOU ARE NOT ALONE

June 8th, 2008 by stephanie

Many of you are familiar with the TV show Sex and the City? (Recently released as a movie.)  That show was not a hit because all of the women were married, but because they were single.  It was the same thing with the sit coms Friends and Seinfeld. If you take a good look you’ll notice that very few TV hits from the last two decades were the Leave it to Beaver or Father Knows Best type of series. These newer, hotter shows reflected the single culture and that resonated with people for a reason.

 

 If you look at the statistics, it’s not a surprise:

 

America hit a new record in 2005. That year the total number of single adult men and women made up 41% of the national population for adults 18 years and older. What that means is, for every 100 adults you met that year 41 were single. (Girls: that’s 4 out of every 10!).

|Now, to make it a bit more interesting, 60% of those singles (you met that year) had never-been-married.  (Ok, if you don’t do numbers like me, that’s a bit over 2 of every 10). Pretty amazing, huh?

 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Facts and Features, 54% of those singles were women.  Can you see where this is going?

 

For every 100 single women, at that point, there were only 86 unmarried men! (And we know not all of those were heterosexual!)  Are you seeing what I’m seeing?

 

For a bit of a twist on the single set, if you want to talk about savvy, 36% of the voters in the 2004 presidential election, you guessed it – were single.

 

You’re single, right? If so, please tune in tomorrow.  And if you can, skim back over days 1-7 (below) so you don’t feel lost in this equation. I’d love to bring you up to speed on this little 30 day experiment I have launched.  In the meantime, know this, we have only yet begun.

S.

(Research taken from: http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/007285.html)

Days 6 & 7 – “DO YOU WANT TO GET MARRIED?”

June 7th, 2008 by stephanie

DAY 6

Don’t you want to get married? I love that question. Or, there’s always the “Don’t you think it’s because your expectations are too high?” That coming from the mouth of a divorced flight attendant recently as he leaned over the seat in front of me pouring out his wisdom of the ages.

I had to wonder, do people ever ask themselves if their expectations weren’t high enough? Hmmmmm.

“Well, you surmise, it’s obvious. Your situation never posed a male/female, family environment. You were not ready for or groomed to be capable of marriage. You had no training.

You know, that’s fine. I can appreciate that thought. But I don’t know that I buy it. Not when I personally see a lot of marriages that consist of two people who did not evolve from a Beaver Cleaver household or environment and they are making it work. And too, I never wanted to be single. Family is precious to me. I always planned for and wanted one.

So, you ask me again in frustration, “Why aren’t you married then?”

Like I mentioned earlier, I just have not yet found the person I really want to grow old with and who mutually wants to grow old with me. It’s that simple.

As I write this, I am caring full-time for my 95-year-old grandfather. He in turn, cared for my grandmother for 5 years. She had alzheimers. And I watched that man personally handle her until they both collapsed of pneumonia and had to be admitted. He to the hospital, and she to a private facility. He then drove to see her every day for 6 hours until she died. 3 years later! To be honest, I just don’t find a lot of men out there that show signs of willingness to care for me the way my grandfather role modeled . I know. Sounds harsh. But I think about it.

Now you might be saying, “But you’re not getting any younger. True. But, I also do not have that ex-wife factor in my life, fatherless children, and in-laws living in my basement – yet. I am not living with a man that makes me secretly wonder if he will care for me should I go senile and, I don’t follow a husband around wondering where he is at night, and with whom who he is spending his time. Someday, perhaps. And so be it. But for today, it’s just me and the dog, and we’re doing pretty good.

Before you write me off as anti-marriage or negative, hear this. I think people are finally beginning to realize that marriage is work. Hard work. And it is work that I want to do with a partner who wants to work at it just as much as I do. Call me crazy, but it’s as simple as that.

And too, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to avoid getting married just to be, well, married.

You’re single. Right? At least, you probably wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t. Then again, you may be that concerned mother, friend, or relative who is beginning to panic about that single girl or woman in your family or life. You are sincerely trying to figure out what is wrong with her. Or, heaven forbid, trying to determine if she is gay!

Well, good news. Many of us out there in single land are still very, VERY, heterosexual. Trust me. (Well, at least those that will be reading and enjoying this blog-time together, I should say.)

🙂

S.

See Day 7 (below)

DAY 7.

I am amazed at how singleness (especially for those who have never been married) is still viewed as a potential disease, illness let’s say, or worse yet, some type of curse. Odd indeed when you realize that 110 million Americans alone (as of this writing) are single. And the number is growing. Stranger still when you look at the celebrities that are plastered on our magazine covers, TV and movie screens every day. By the way, have you ever noticed that the majority of them are not married. Hmmmm. Now there’s a moment of enlightenment. And, if they are legally bound, it isn’t usually for too long before they wind up, or want to be, oddly enough, single again. But that’s for another blog. In the meantime, this one is about what it’s like – for me – being single.

That said, please hear me. Life as a single isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s actually been pretty good of late. I would love to be in a healthy, happy marriage. But, what I want to make very clear to you is this, if I can survive this phase of life, so can you. You are going to be just fine. Really! And you are not only going to be just fine. You are going to be great. Come back tomorrow. It’s only going to get better from here!

Hugs,

S.

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