Thursday, January 06, 2005

Marriage and the Single Woman

In the last few months, I have become somewhat obsessed with books, videos and websites about marriage. I've come to the conclusion that if I was still single, I would not read, watch, or surf this subject. As a 30-something year old woman, it is still a stigma in this country to be single. I know many women, feminists included, might scoff at my last statement but it's true. No matter what we tell ourselves about why we waited or why we still aren't married, the unmarried 30-something year old woman is not looked upon favorably.

In any case, as I was purchasing some materials for my workplace, I stumbled upon a documentary called Always a Bridesmaid. It is a film by Nina Davenport, a young, talented filmmaker making her living as a wedding photographer/videographer at the time. On the threshold of her 30th birthday, she laments (to some extent) about her status with her boyfriend (who incidentally is five years younger than she is)and marriage in general. I absolutely love the almost raw unedited way she does the film including interviewing several "spinsters" as she calls these elderly women who have never married. Frankly, if I was still single with no prospect in sight, I would be thoroughly depressed watching this video. But looking at it from the side of a bride-to-be, it's an interesting statement on the status of marriage and the single woman.

I've never been a typical single woman who casually dated. I dated a little bit but always felt uncomfortable in that situation because I was more comfortable with going out as friends rather than just dating. That formula just worked better for me. I think the whole stigma of being single over 30 isn't as bad as it used to be (thanks to Sex and the City) but as I said previously, people just seem to wonder why you can't find a "nice young man." Though I never gave up hope on finding that one person to spend the rest of my life with, I just decided not think or obsess about it. And, lo and behold, when I stopped looking he found me.