Today is National Old Maids Day.
Old Maid refers to an older, childless woman who was never married. For sure I thought I was headed towards spinsterhood (and happily so) until I met the love of my life at age 42. (Now pushing 52, we’ve been happily married three years and together nine!)
Thank God the world wised up and realizes that women are worth so much more than a ring on their finger and banging out kids. Some of us (me!) were late bloomers and didn’t even realize our potential until later in life. In the above photo I’m selling art in Union Square. I didn’t even realize I had that talent in me until I temporarily baby sat a 9-year-old girl!
Then in the summer of 2008 I started my own business (https://peartreeenterprises.wordpress.com/) which was at first a variety of things, now honed to my greatest loves: writing/journalism, ghost writing/book editing and public speaking.
As a young working woman in the 1980s, life was a little more difficult. There was severe pressure to get married. Everyone was expected to be paired up like Noah’s Ark. And, yeah, while love is the greatest quest for all, I wanted even more in life. I wanted it ALL! I wanted someone who not only adored me, but respected my dreams and aspirations.
I worked very good jobs in the 1980s, at corporate businesses. But that’s not where my head was at. My desire to be creative and make money doing so outweighed any desire to marry and breed. So once I was able to be a full time writer, that’s when I was able to fully concentrate on love and being with someone good for me.
In my recent book “Love Cats” (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YBGVJQS/) I address the “old maid” issue via my character Janey.
Janey starts out as a smart character who wants a guy with substance. Though when she meets one, her insecurities get the best of her and she subconsciously does everything she could to kill the relationship. Though the difference between me and her is that while creative success is what drove me, Janey doesn’t need any kind of success as she’s already a wealthy trust fund and she’s simply driven by her own selfishness.
Whatever motivates us to stay single (work, fear, waiting for the right one, etc.) I think it’s super cool that in these modern times women are viewed as so much more and we no longer have to live in “shame” because we aren’t hooked up.
I tell everyone who asks my advice, to wait. Wait until you meet that one of a kind soul mate who rocks your world. There is no need to settle. Nor was there a need to settle 30 years ago either, we just took more shit from people for not settling. I’ve avoided certain relatives for years because they were more interested in who I was dating and how serious it was. Not my career, not my interests, not my dreams or desires. Just who I was dating and if marriage was in the cards.
I dreaded those horrible questions, yet stuck to my guns and never settled.
Mind you, when I say “never settled” while I did date a ton of jerks, I also dated some really cool guys — just not right for ME. I am still friends with some of these guys and my husband likes them too. We are so blessed that we have such an honest relationship with each other. And his ex-girlfriend’s brother is my favorite of all his friends! And that’s another cool blog for a later date, how trust is the most beautiful thing in a relationship.
But back to Janey …
In “Love Cats” Janey’s live-in maid, Lucia refers to her as an “old lady” for not having a ring on her finger — and she’s not even 25 yet! But that’s how it was in the 1980s. So much pressure for a young girl trying to find herself. Too much noise from the peanut gallery. Urgh!
It’s so cool that it’s acceptable today for women to live at home longer, concentrate on their careers, and not even marry at all if they don’t want to. Even though I’m married, I can sigh with relief that there is no pressure on me to bear children and raise a family. My husband and I are perfectly fine with our little love cat, Derick. Life is so good when you don’t have the rest of the world throwing their desires in YOUR face. We’re so blessed to exist in a live and let live time. Let’s keep it that way!
We’ve come a long way baby!