February 21, 2008

The Atlantic Monthly and Women's Dating, Personal Lives, and Sexuality: Do They Live on the Same Planet I Do?

Yesterday, I saw a whole bunch of evidence that people who write about women's sexuality and women's life choices are delusional, not that there's anything new about that.* People are always getting women's sex and dating lives wrong, mostly by making vast judgments from their own experiences. So I'm going to tackle a few, mostly from that bastion of East Coast elitism (and not a women's magazine), The Atlantic Monthly.

But first I'll refer you to City Girl DC, who actually makes generalizations, but based on her own life experiences. LaurieWrites takes on being single in her thirties, and the concept of "settling." Laurie mentioned Lori Gottlieb's idiotic article in The Atlantic, which I will now comment on (but trust me, most of what the Atlantic, which I normally like, publishes on "women" or "women's issues" is bilge of the worse sort -- trust me, I'll explain).

Laurie refers to The Atlantic's women-should-feel-lucky-to-find-any-man-so-why-can't-our-male-writers-get-laid-so-let's-pay-a-women-to-make-other-women-scared-because-that's always-an-effective-courtship-technique page and a poorly reasoned article by the almost-as-hoodwinked-as-Caitlin Flanagan-but-not-quite-so-mean-spirited-but-definitely-bought-the-bill-of-goods-the-boys-were-selling Lori Gottlieb. The article tells women to marry, even if they don't feel like it, because their marketability will go down, down, down. (Scaring women into bed is almost as much fun as bullying them into bed. Ugh.)

Apparently, Lori Gottlieb never “settled” and now she’s a single Mom who thinks she should have settled, boohoo. She says:

“The dream, like that of our mothers and their mothers from time immemorial, was to fall in love, get married, and live happily ever after. Of course, we’d be loath to admit it in this day and age, but ask any soul-baring 40-year-old single heterosexual woman what she most longs for in life, and she probably won’t tell you it’s a better career or a smaller waistline or a bigger apartment. Most likely, she’ll say that what she really wants is a husband (and, by extension, a child).”

She says this as though this is a fact. Maybe Lori Gottlieb wishes this, but she has half of what she wanted (the child -- and let's be honest, that's the much more important half) and still feels short-changed. Maybe that says more about her than anything else. I had all that she wants, and I’m happy to be rid of the half I tossed out (the Insane Ex). He’s still single. I’ll send him her way. I don’t know tons of women who are pining for men and kids. Okay, CNL still wants a man and she’s not having kids, but Innana is pretty much out of the dating wars (although when she wants a man with her, she has asked, and they make themselves available, oddly enough, because they, I don’t know, like and respect her? Want her even though she’s over 40*** and according to Lori Gottlieb -- and everyone else who writes on this subject for the Atlantic-- not an object of desire anymore). Maybe not, but the guys still like her.

I know many other women who don’t date, not because they’ve given up, but because they have better things to do. Operas to sing. Books to write. Cats to cuddle. (“Men will come and men will go, but these are kitty’s golden years.”) Apparently, these women should be afraid, do things they don’t want to do, and settle, even if they have a good circle of friends, the ability to achieve orgasm on their own, and a firm belief that a partner is only worth it if he is better than the alternative. They simply have full, rich lives, and don’t see the need to date men to fill their time.
And I will say this: these women are doing me, a dating, single woman in my forties a real service. For all the talk about how hard it is to find a man, for a woman who is actually willing to meet and date icky boys (apparently me and one other woman in my zip code), the fact that most woman can’t be bothered+ with the courtship (if you want to call it that) offered by most local men really does work to my advantage.. Most men seem to think telling women that the women will soon be on the shelf and unwanted and unloved will make the women eager. Rather like channeling Mr. Collins of Pride and Prejudice fame.++ Trust me, if you want the women thronging around you panting, Mr. Collins is not the literary character you want to bring to mind. Thus I, according to most pundits, a largely undateworthy female (overweight, over forty, two kids under ten, and broke beyond belief) never have to look far for dates. Some I meet online, others in real life, but guys between age 35 and 65 are pretty anxious to get dates with someone like me, and some seem pretty interested in relationships, not just sex (there is the occasional booty call, but I feel completely free to ignore it unless I feel so inclined).

I’ve been asked to convert to a new religion so that someone who liked me (PiousMan) could marry me in good conscience. I said, “No, thank you.”+++ I never have to be alone if I don’t want to be alone. Regarding most men, I’d rather be alone than be on a date with them and I don’t feel like I need to spend time with people I don’t like or respect because I’m over forty and less desirable. Because, even if I am – gasp -- over forty, I am desirable and not just as a dating partner and potential sex partner, but as a possible long-term partner. I’m educated (even if I can’t spell or proof-read), funny, not bad looking, and I’m actually interested in men. According to men I have dated, I’m hot, sexy, clever, amazing, incredible, beautiful (okay, he was just hoping to get lucky, that one, but nice try), and (here’s a clearly delusional human being) understated.

Obviously, people see what they want to see and men are people. When they see the dating world, they tell themselves that they (men) are in short supply and we women will fall all over them. But when seeking a woman who will actually willingly go to a public place and dine with him, a man has to at some level realize that he’s part of a glut on the market. I’m not sure how the pay-for services work (E-Harmony, Chemistry, whatever), but a woman saying just about anything on Craig’s List in DC gets over 100 responses. Talk to a man without a wedding ring in a grocery store or wherever and he most often will volunteer early on his marital status (except some of the married guys remain silent – imagine that!) and seems flattered, not like he’s being hit on by women all the time.

So I’m wondering about the experiences of all these single women who can’t find a man, and I blame it on that tool of patriarchal oppression, romance. Almost as non-reality-based as religion. Yeah, I know romance started off with Eleanor of Aquitaine using it to raise women’s status, but nowadays, it, like marriage, is a chain around our necks.*+ People try to sell it to women the way they try to sell men cars. Why? Because modern women don’t have to get married to survive. As long as we feel we can turn down someone who doesn’t suit us and still live a meaningful live, lots of men aren’t going to be getting laid, much less married. No one tells men why they need to get married. They may complain about the alleged loss of freedom involved in marriage, but most men aren’t that dumb. They know that marriage is a very good deal for them. Not for women. For men.

The sky-fairy logic (you know: natural selection doesn't occur despite the exhistence of Tay-Sachs for inbreeders because some guy in the hills of Judea 5000 years ago wrote something in a starvation induced delusion = women want to be married because someone says so, and now someone else is telling women there's a guy shortage) permeates most discussions of the apparent (but really non-existent) man-shortage. It’s not a shortage of men. It’s a shortage of men with whom a delusional and hoodwinked woman can fall in love. Lori Gottlieb actually writes with an apparently straight face about holding out for “true love”. Stop right there. Everyone who expects Hollywood or Harlequin romances to actually be the model for your life: SNAP OUT OF IT. You're an immature nitwit and nothing good will come of your clearly stupid belief. You wouldn’t look to Beaches (I sincerely hope) to determine how to have and be a good friend. You wouldn’t look to The Firm, The Paper Chase, The Devil’s Advocate or whatever to learn to be a good lawyer. You wouldn’t look to Absence of Malice or The Front Page to learn how to be a good reporter. Why would anyone buy that portion of a septic tank to build an adult relationship? Teenagers. And The Atlantic, apparently. Of course, their former editor, Cullen Murphy was the guy behind the most boring comic strip of all time, Prince Valiant (ugh) so that this happened in the past shouldn’t surprise, but guys, it’s time to move out of the Dark Ages. If you can’t manage modern life, maybe the Middle Ages or the Renaissance? But try for the Enlightenment or later, okay?

But in reality land, once one removes the Fabio look alike (ugh), heaving pectorals, biceps of steel, etc. etc. fantasy, there really isn’t a man shortage. If anything, there are too darn many of them. Needless to say, that’s not the Atlantic’s writers’ position. Ms. Gottlieb eventually agrees that one should not use romantic love as an ideal, although she and countless others did until their thirties or forties. She doesn’t question why they ever bought the bill of goods to begin with. Instead of saying: Seeking a lifelong mate (or a medium term, say four- or five-year, mate) should be a practical, rational decision, taking into account one’s tastes and values, she seems to say: “Renounce romance and run desperately into the arms of whoever is willing to take you, you aging hag. I sure wish I did.”

But why? She thinks you won’t see much of your spouse if you’re married, so it won’t matter if you don’t think the world of him. Well, it’s true, spouses don’t see all that much of each other once the pitter patter of little feet are keeping you busy and exhausted. But when you see him, don’t you want to like and respect him? Where are liking and respect (you liking and respecting him, him liking and respecting you) in this mix? Apparently, you’re “settling” (not making a rational choice given the total lack of perfection in human beings as a whole).

Then Ms. Gottlieb catalogues how hard it is to date. Apparently, most men she meets aren’t men she can imagine herself living with, or she can, briefly, but then changes her mind. And this is different from reality how? Is there some rule somewhere that if you meet 10 people, five of them must be people you like and one must be your “soul mate” (gag me)? Newsflash to everyone: most people we meet aren’t going to fit into our lives, whether because we dislike them, they dislike us, or the timing is wrong. And of course, mere absence of dislike isn’t enough. While I reject the ideas of romantic love, true love, and soul mates, I do think real compatibility must exist for close friendships, either sexual or non-sexual, to last. Real compatibility doesn’t grow on trees and it isn’t readily apparent, although the lack of real compatibility might be very evident early on. So most dates are going to end with no further action. That’s not a man shortage or a woman shortage. That’s human nature.

To find someone one truly likes, one has to (1) meet him or her, (2) get to know him or her, (3) continue furthering the acquaintance over years, (4) have a personal crises or three and see who comes through, (5) come through yourself a few times for him or her, and (6) after baking or broiling at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or higher temps (given stress level and number of crises) you’ll know whether you have a lifelong friend or a lifelong partnership. No shortcuts. Oh, and use real butter or olive oil. The fake stuff just makes everything taste bad. And remember (even after having kids), there’s no guaranteed happily ever after.

Sorry about getting sidetracked there. But looking for true love? This idea that male-female relationships need to reach some higher plane not accessible to platonic friends, non-romantic lovers, and rational people everywhere? Go take some drugs and get away from me. If a supposedly intellectual and intelligent magazine like The Atlantic publishes writing about the search for true love with the seriousness one would expect about an article about the search for a cure for cancer rather than the seriousness one reserves for one’s eight-year old’s search for the perfect four-leaf clover or her destiny, something is sadly awry at that magazine. So here, in a nutshell, I will describe what’s wrong with The Atlantic: They’re idiots.

At which point, DestructoGirl pipes up saying: “You said idiot. That’s a bad word.”

Yes, it’s bad to say idiot. But it’s worse to be an idiot. It’s worse yet to publish idiocy, to pay people to write idiocy, and to promote idiocy. Lori Gottlieb as a middle-aged (Yes, Lori, if you are in your forties, you are middle-aged. Doesn’t mean you can’t be hot, or sexy, or even smart. If you’re none of those, it’s really up to you to change that. But you and I remain middle-aged. After that, we’ll be old.) woman, you should know better. Atlantic, and your largely male (and apparently totally clueless) editorial staff: this magazine has been around for over a century and now you’re trying to out-silly Glamour and Cosmopolitan (Women: Lasso Your Man Now Or NEVER Have One! Is that your next headline? Have some dignity. You’re embarrassing yourself, which should be hard to do, since you are, in fact, not sentient and self-aware but are a magazine.), try actually publishng something about the breadth of human experience that allows that women don’t exist merely in relationships with men. Hard as that may be for you to conceive of, it really is something you (or your editors) should try. And dump Caitlin Flanagan. She’s loathsome. I could expound upon Caitlin Flanagan's loathsomeness or the unfuckability of the Atlantic's editors, but I'll stop. Don’t feed the monster.

Here’s the deal. If one is heterosexual, male-female relationships can be a source of real joy outside of regular friendship. Good sex is nothing to sneeze at, shouldn’t be taken lightly, and is something for which to strive. But true love? Infatuation is fun, but it’s temporary. Real love, as opposed to adolescent true love, only appears over time. You know, when you’ve been friends with someone for twenty years. Otherwise, it’s a goal, a wished for occurrence, not something that is there at the starting line.

I like the partnership view of relationships. It’s negotiable (it can be just sex, it can be long-term but not defined, it can be platonic, it can follow gender stereotypes of not) and it’s reality based. Reality is a nice thing.

Being reality-based, I find, that as a mid-forties broke single mother with some attractive features, my biggest dating problem is having enough time to date. The problem with limited time is that I have to winnow the herd, so to speak. There is no man shortage. There is a definitely shortage of people I like, women and men, but that is just life.

The subtext of most women’s magazines (by which I mean care-and-feeding-of-men-you-should-want-to-mate-with magazines) and apparently The Atlantic's articles on women, is that there is a proper way of doing things (Settle with a guy, even if you don’t really want him, by age 35! Have a kid before 35, or you’ll be childless – please ignore the example of Foilwoman, starting at age 38 and popping out two the old-fashioned way) and if you do things properly you’re guaranteed success or happiness, or at least have the right to feel you should have it. Don’t follow the rules (or The Rules or whatever guidebook they throw at you) at your peril. Particularly remember that you, as a woman, are a diminishing asset.

I’ll just say: look at me. I married not young, not old, but for love. It didn’t work out. I did get lucky and have two great kids. Not because I followed rules, but because I have good genes and I was very, very lucky. My marriage? Not so lucky. I’m better off single (For one thing: I haven’t been punched by anyone since I left my marriage. That’s a plus, I’d say), even if logistics and finances are more than hard. Nonetheless, in my precarious, impecunious, and (according to The Atlantic and everyone else, except men who meet me) decrepit state, my dating trouble is a scheduling problem. Yes, some men I date do disappear, (I also do the fade on some. Some don’t get my phone number to have me do the fade.) but that’s just the way meeting people and getting to know people works. It’s a numbers game. Most people aren’t going to recognize the wonder that is me. They see me on the street, a tired and cranky woman heading home from work. Some people, men and women, get past that and get to know me. For some of them, getting to know me is not all they would wish it to be. I disappoint or I don’t give enough or whatever. Some disappoint me, for similar reasons. A very few make it past acquaintance stage, and that takes a fairly long time. That’s not a shortage of anyone. That’s just actually getting to know people.

Try that, Ms. Gottlieb. And make friends: especially someone who feels free to tell you when you are being a pissy bitch(or neurotic over-analytical loon, if you will). Your life will be better, and so will your kids. And good luck finding someone you like and respect and who likes and respect you. You just won’t know that until you’ve known them for a few years or so or more. Before that? It’s a gamble. Roll the dice.

If you look around The Atlantic’s links at the side of this article, there are a bunch of other lulus.** The Atlantic seems stuck in the 1980s mindset that women over thirty are past their prime, women under thirty should realize this and settle down. With whosoever. Apparently, preferably, with one of their largely male and undersexed (probably for very good reasons) editorial staff. Okay, that was mean. Not as mean as what they are saying to women, but mean. I should be above that. I’m not.


* But there is something wrong with it. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
** Lulu (and stupidity) examples: Delayed Child bearing, In Search of Mr. Right, and many others.
*** But will only admit to 29, so we’ll stick with that, but for the purposes of this post I want to be reasonably accurate.
+ And let’s be honest, that’s the reality. It’s not that they can’t find a man or men. It’s that they aren’t desperate, and don’t need a man.
++ And there you have it: Atlantic – you’re Mr. Collins (as are all your writers on this issue). And yes, he really was a self-satisfied stupid prat who the heroine was right to reject, even if she had ended up alone.
+++ In the interests of accuracy, I actually said “Fuck no.”
*+ I’ll admit to bias here. It took me over $50,000 that I did not have to unload the Insane Ex, and I didn’t see many of the benefits of matrimony these single women who embarrass themselves all over the Atlantic’s website by accepting money to write about their total and utter lack of desirability (a nice new spin on the whole prostitution thing, but there you are) and apparently believe the bilge they write, no matter how untrue or self-abasing.

14 comments:

anonymous dave said...

See, it's not just Cookie Monster who says you're hot.
Lovely rant. I thoroughly enjoyed that, except for one detail. You made it sound like marriage is only good for men, not women. While my wife might occaisionally want to murder me, I'm pretty sure on the whole she thinks marriage is a good thing for her.

foilwoman said...

AnonDave: I'll concede this much: Marriage can be good for women whe married to a good, flexible, responsible and empathetic man. Good marriages for women are not extinct. They're rare. Most men, in marriage, are happier, life longer, and more free time, etc. etc. Most women in marriages are more depressed than their single counterparts and do more scut work, and have less time to renourish themselves. So marriage for women is not a deal I think we should be striving for no matter what. I think women should regard the institution of marriage with healthy skepticism (Yeah, he'll have clean socks, and I'll nurture his ego. Who'll do that for me?)

All the settle now and marry whoever writing seems designed to misdirect the target woman away from determining will I be better of with a generic man in my life or without one and pushing to discussion to "how should I get a man in my life since I so clearly need one." It's a hard sell of a product that isn't needed by everyone, and thus isn't flying off the shelves. The product being the single man, of course.

Lady Brett Ashley said...

You seem very angry. And maybe, one day, I will be too, when I am older (and so-called "wiser"). But for now, I look at my parents, married for 28 years and still in love, knowing that they've worked to keep the marriage going, that they're both smart, and compatability and chemistry count for something... and I've still got hope.

I've been through the crash and burn, and hell, I'm young, I'm gonna do it again. But you've got to be somewhere pretty good to fall just as hard.

avocadoinparadise said...

This is a very interesting take on this article. I thought that the Atlantic peice did make some good points, but you're right that it started with the basic assumption that a woman is better off with a man.

I guess the author makes that arguement by talking about how difficult single parenthood is, and how she advises us to pick a helper (any helper) rather than try to do it alone. I would never try to do it alone, but have been cautious about picking a partner, since I view it as forever (hopefully) (like my parents).

I realize nobody's perfect and think that articles like the Atlantic's can help us remember that fact. It's difficult to decide how much imperfection we should settle for. Articles like this one remind us that we have to settle for some imperfection. As you mention, nobody's perfect. A lot of women and men stay single against their will because they have unrealistic standards. That makes nobody happy.

Your post is heartening, as her article was depressing and scary but may be what some people need to read. They're not actually that far apart in message.

CyberKitten said...

Now *that* should be in a magazine!

Brilliant rant.

Foilwoman said...

LadyBA (And why, oh, why, would you pick that literary character for your online persona? Being a Hemingway female character means you (1) never will have a full interior life, (2) never will have comprehensible motivation, and (3) as Lady Brett Ashley, will never have sexual satisfaction with your true love, since the guy in question is clueless on use of fingers and tongue. Really, pick a character with more, I don't know, character, and half a chance at sexual fulfilment -- okay, that's not fair, but I've always found that character annoying): I don't think I'm angry, except at gross deceptiveness and intellectual barrenness in a supposedly high brow (or possibly merely slightly-above middlebrow) publication. I don't like people lying to women.

Maybe you'll be angry when you're older because you bought a bill of goods you shouldn't have. Maybe you'll be liberated by realizing it's all hogwash. Maybe you'll live your life by Hollywood, Cosmo, Glamour, and Atlantic rules, and never realize that you're living your life on other people's terms and according to their mythology. If not accepting received wisdom is "angry" in your book, I hope you get angry someday. It's not necessarily bad to question things people say.

Of course you must be cautious about picking a partner. Only the people trying to tell you that your youth is your only asset will tell you to jump the gun on this one. But you'll never know, whoever you meet and connect with, whether you'll have the many-year connection that your parents have until those many years have come and gone.

And of course you're going to crash and burn emotionally. But as you age, you learn to regulate your emotions (and one hope, your intellect) and while a sixteen year old may value the "giddy dancing way you feel" when "in love" above all else, a thirty-year old, one hopes, will value actual virtues above infatuation. Not to settle, but to live in the real world, with the real choices we all make.

Avocado: The piece assumed that (1) basically all single women want a man (this is patently false), (2) that single women need men (not if they can earn a living and buy a vibrator and a donation from a sperm bank and have good friends), and (3) that as women age we rapidly decrease in desirability (now I may be a big exception, but I can only say I am much more in demand now at 46 than I ever was in my teens and twenties, and those women of my age of my acquaintance who seek to have a man in their life and pursue that goal have more than enough candidates -- the problem is merely the eternal problem human problem of the difficulty of making true and profound connections, not a glut of women or a shortage of men).

As for emulating your parents, it's a nice goal, but not something you can know until you've discovered that you've actually lasted as a partnership that long. A lot of luck involved. As well as respect and good will.

My problem with the Atlantic article isn't that nobody's perfect, of course nobody's perfect. It's the tone: Marry now before no-one wants you! Bah. Sort of a better to marry than to burn argument. This isn't help. It's fiction, and rather mean-spirited (and totally false) fiction at that.

Just remember, it takes a heck of a guy to be better than none. Of course, it takes a heck of a woman to be better than none. And for each person who is a heck of a man or woman will vary. It's a numbers game and a crapshoot, and all the rules all these people throw out there won't help you win.

KittyCat: Thanks. I probably should work on the proofreading, but anyway. I emailed this rant to the Atlantic Monthly, figuring I shouldn't bad mouth them without giving their emasculated editorial staff a chance to man up and prove they aren't trying scare women into dating them. I don't think we'll be hearing from them, but that's just me.

laurie said...

Hi there - Thanks for the link. You're right, no one's perfect, and that is what responses from women are getting twisted into to a certain extent: "You want perfect or nothing."

No. What Gottlieb wrote and what I responded to was that far from choosing someone "not perfect" it was acceptable to choose someone as a partner who you didn't even really LIKE or care about. That's the part I found unacceptable. (You know, in addition to the whole thing about me being so hopeless and unable to attract anyone now that I'm all ancient and whatnot. ;))

Foilwoman said...

Laurie: Exactly. There's this whole bunch o' scare tactic literature about dating and having kids, saying "Women, grab anyone, no matter how marginal. You may not be desperate, but you should be desperate." Newsflash, scare tactic writers, I'm here to tell you: "Nuh-uh". I freely admit I was lucky having kids -- lots of angst and miscarriages and all that, but I produced them the old fashioned way. And once I dumped the Insane Ex and became and single mother after the fact, my life got easier. Now, it isn't easy.

But the only the hard about dating is fitting it in. With a modicum of effort (not a ton) and putting myself out there, I have more dates (and not just first dates) than I ever had in my twenties. So I read dreck like Lori Gottlieb's piece (and the other misogynistic pap produced by the Atlantic) and wonder: Atlantic has a lot of trouble getting women writers (well, they sure as shit don't have many). Is it a job requirement that these poor women have low self-esteem and toe the party line that women should be grateful for the crumbs from the entitled men's table?

I want to see an article about the complete lack of adjustment by men to the reality that women don't have to marry, fuck, or date anyone once they have economic self-sufficiency (or a reasonable hope thereof) and the only men who are having any success with human females mature enough to be called woman have mastered the art of actually courting and pleasing a potential partner. The rest are discovering that women really would rather wash their hair, and can learn again how to masturbate to pornography. The final point of the article would be: Guys, you actually do need to figure out how to please, not women in general, but a woman you are courting. If you can't please her, unless she has the low self-esteem we have been unsuccessfully been trying to induce in women in society at large, you will have no luck. This would be followed by ideas on how to please women (please see a future post of mine for tips). That's an article I'd read.

City Girl DC said...

Thank you Foilwoman for being willing and able to critique this sad article by Lori Gottlieb. It's unfortunate that women are told and some believe that our very worth, attractiveness, desirability, etc. decreases as we age. As mature women should know, that is so NOT the case. It is unfortunate that many women (especially women under 30) don't know this. I have more options with men now than I ever did in my 20's.
The saddest statement she makes in that article which says a lot about American society, the socialization of girls and women, and dating/relationships: "They, like me, would rather feel alone in a marriage than actually be alone." Quite unfortunate.

Lady Brett Ashley said...

Listen, I think the Gottlieb article is horrid as well. I would never settle. And yes, things make me angry. But I am not an angry person.

And, just for the record, my NAME IS BRETT ASHLEY. Nickname is Lady, thanks to the name. And no, my parents did not name me after the character.

foilwoman said...

Brett: I assumed your name was a pseudonym because you've been writing about problems you've been having on the job, and even though you've resigned effective in May, using your real name in writing about your employment is not a good way to keep your job, or to get yourself a new one (potential employers won't like seeing you writing about your boss, however horrible she may actually be, in a negative way). You need to protect yourself, your privacy, your current work, and your future ability to work with discretion. You might want to delete the how-bad-your-boss-and-job-is posts unless you really do want future employers to see them. Or consider blogging anonymously. It can be done. Takes some effort, but thinking through the consequences of attaching your name to potentially career-limiting statements would be a good way to start.

Anonymous said...

I have to state, since no one else has, that the Atlantic piece of tripe does not mention that you might go ahead and settle and marry and restructure your entire life -- and you will have about a 50% chance of the marriage breaking up and the restructuring to do all over again, and perhaps children that will be traumatized as well, now.

Innana

Foilwoman said...

Innana: Well, since you're one of the people bailing me out of the disaster of my marriage to the Ex Mr. Foilwoman at a not-insignificant cost, I think you'll agree that the whole "nothing's worse than loneliness" scenario is just inane. You're never lonelier than when you have a partner you don't respect, who doesn't respect you, not to mention liking. I haven't been lonely since I moved out of the Former ChezFoil. Not like I was when I would wake up at night, listening to then Mr. Foilwoman breathing and wonder "does he even know I'm here? If he knows I'm here, does he have any inkling who I am?"

That was lonely and bereft. I'm not going back there.

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