Friday, October 10, 2008

Husband-Free Hula

Wow! Husband-Freedom keeps turning up in the most unlikely of places! My own mother, married almost 50 years to the same man, is going on vacation to Hawaii -- without him! Don't get too excited, it isn't as dramatic as it sounds; she isn't leaving him, she is just leaving him home, because he doesn't want to go. Her traveling companion is another similarly situated wife with a stay-at-home husband (he stays home while she goes out and enjoys her retirement) -- a sort of Sisterhood of the Traveling Skirts! How wonderful that they are going, that they are going together, and that they are able to move beyond the pre-fab version of married retirement that mandates traveling as a spousal pair only. You go, girls!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We Don't Get Just One Day -- We Get a Whole Week!

From the Alternatives to Marriage Project website:

"National Unmarried and Single Americans Week – starting Sunday, September 21st – reminds us that society should neither privilege nor penalize the state of being married as distinct from other important caring and interdependent relationships. On average, American adults spend as much time outside marriage as in it. Married couples are a shrinking portion of households, of parents, and of the workforce. Business practice and government policy must catch up: American adults deserve full respect and equal opportunity, not prejudice and clumsy social engineering."

It may be just a coincidence, but tonight the pilot of "Gary Unmarried," a new sitcom is on at 8 pm, EST. As one preview observed, remember when the single dad sitcoms featured a widowed man, not a divorced one? Progress!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

You Can Put a Wedding Ring on a Knocked-Up Teen But She is Still a Knocked-Up Teen

I know, I know, the media (and I suppose that includes us pesky bloggers) are supposed to leave the candidates' families alone -- but if their lives were so private, why do we all know that Gov. Sara Palin's 17-year-old pregnant daughter is going to get hitched to the baby-daddy???

And an even more interesting question -- with a whole slew of absolutely horrifying answers -- is, WHY, oh WHY, is the fact of their upcoming nuptials being shared with the American public -- heck, the whole world -- as though it is a good thing, a wise decision, an honorable plan???

Honestly, readers, if this same situation was happening in some marginalized, under-resourced, religiously fundamentalist backwater, the enlightened, civilized folks here in the U.S. would be tsk-tsk-tsking away about human rights, maternal health and infant mortality; but since the lucky bride is who she is, we are expected to turn a blind eye to the fact that getting married at 17, for whatever reason, seems very ill-advised, even under the best of circumstances.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Husband-Free Film

Hot off the presses -- OK, I'm about one month behind, but what can I say? It's summer and I will always love biking more than blogging -- a documentary about 30-something single women being happy without a hubby is in the works! Check it out at www.seekinghappilyeverafter.com -- I am impressed, excited, and hopeful that the film's producer-people will check out How to Be Husband-Free!

(A big Husband-Free holler to Kristin for alerting me to this one!)

The only (minor) disappointment in the website promoting this exciting venture is in the section that provides bios for the many creators -- and it's the same problem that persists in other media, especially books -- and that is mentioning marital status. Why?

OK, people are nosy, they want to know, or be able to feel like they *know* the director, writer, producer -- but what does one's marital status really say about anyone, especially in relation to a work they are producing, whether it is visual or written (unless, of course, the work is autobiographical)? Does being married (or not) make one a better (or worse) director or editor? Does being married (or not) make one more (or less) able to describe or comment upon a social trend like Husband-Freedom with intelligence and credibility? It seems to me that including marital status in biographical profiles is the back-door equivalent of the using "Mrs." Haven't we moved past a place where we need to categorize and be categorized according to whether or not we have legal rights and responsibilities attached to our romances?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Don't

Yes, it's true -- yet another book casting a critical look at the institution of matrimony! "I Don't -- A Contrarian History of Marriage" by Susan Squire is next on my list, so look for a review in this space relatively soon -- but in the meantime, reviews in more conventional media outlets have been very positive. An added bonus is the very excellent cover -- I won't spoil it with a description, check it out at your local library or bookstore. I will mention, however, that the cover photo reminds me of a joke:

Q: What does a woman say to a man while they are having sex?

A: It depends.

If the woman is a prostitute, she says "Leave the money on the nightstand."

If the woman is the man's girlfriend, she says "Oh baby, just like that, YES!!!"

And if the woman is the man's wife, she says "Beige."

"I think I'll paint the ceiling beige."

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Husband-Free Happiness

"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, not on our circumstances."
- Martha Washington

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Gift That Keeps On Giving

Another tale from the trenches, stranger than fiction, you cannot make this stuff up. I am a little spotty on the details, but according to my source, a Husband-Free woman recently received, from a married friend, as a gift which the recipient neither asked for nor wanted, a six-month subscription to eHarmony. As ever, I almost didn't know what to say about this -- how presumptuous. Really. And the real insult, the real shame of this gift, is that a six-month subscription to eHarmony is expensive, but cannot be exchanged or returned for a credit that could be used for some tasteful accessories or a sweater -- a nice handbag would be so much better!!!

Check out YouTube for some truly hilarious spoofs of eHarmony -- there were so many I couldn't even pick one!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Finding Balance

Sunday -- yesterday -- was the perfect summer day, breezy, warm, not too humid -- and I had the great good fortune to spend half of it volunteering for a program that helps little kids learn how to ride bikes. All of the kids who showed up to learn except one were girls, from which I drew no conclusions, since the sample was so small, but it reminded me of when I first learned and how frustrated I used to feel before I finally got the hang of it -- kind of like becoming Husband-Free, and embracing your single life -- you have to find the balance and fight gravity. And practice, practice, practice!

Bicycling has done more to emancipate woman than any one thing in the world...It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammeled womanhood.

- Susan B. Anthony, American suffragist, 1820-1906

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Guy's Eye View

While we're on the topic (these last few posts) of celebrity marriages that don't work out and what they have to teach us, check out a FASCINATING blog I came across recently for the guy's eye view on why the fellas are not so eager to get hitched these days:

Read it yourself at Men's Guide to Women.

A brief summary of the MGTW position: basically, most men do not stand to benefit very much from marriage, while the risks it presents are substantial. Check it out, and keep an open mind, ladies. Men (or your man, if you have one) might not be commitment-phobic or immature -- they (or he) might just be smart, honest and realistic. Would it be so bad if you were, too?

An excerpt from MGTW:

Men do not marry women in this day and age because legally, marriage is one of the stupidest contracts a man can enter into, though I for one am a happily married man.


And gentlemen, if you've come over to this blog from the MGTW, feel free to point your girlfriends in a Husband-Free direction -- it may get you both on the same page, although from different perspectives! And comments are MOST welcome from the other side of the side of the marital divide -- weigh in with where you're coming from; open dialogue can only help.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Three Strikes and You're Out

I don't want this space to turn into a post-mortem on celebrity marriages, but I cannot let the follies of famed baseball player "A-Rod" go unnoticed, only insofar as the sordid details illustrate so well that the truth of the matter is that getting married is no guarantee of happiness -- to the contrary, it is a huge gamble, with a lot at stake. Did "A-Rod"'s wife ever think -- did she ever even suspect for one single second -- that the sacred union with her beloved would culminate in such a humiliating spectacle? I doubt that she did, or that Chrystie Brinkley did, any more than any of us regular non-famous gals would when getting ready to marry a regular non-famous guy. Who gets married thinking their spouse will cheat? Drink? Get addicted to gambling, porn, drugs? Work too much? Work too little? Ignore them? Refuse to go to counseling if things are clearly falling apart?

This is not to say that no one should get married because it might not work out -- but it should make any rational person realize that NOT taking on that amount of risk is not a bad thing, not at all.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Movin' Out

I can only imagine that this Uptown Girl's latest divorce makes her split with Billy Joel look like a walk in the park -- it turns out that retired super-model Chrystie Brinkley, soon to return to the ranks of the Husband-Free, was married to a grade-A SUPERFREAK. Who knew? Her louse of a spouse looks so vanilla on the outside, and it turns out that he makes Rick James look tame (I think, in New York State, it's called "Pulling an Elliot Spitzer"). An underage mistress on the payroll, three grand a month on porn, and tacky screen names ("hornylad"???) -- if this is not enough to make her swear off the altar and buy her own damn diamonds, I don't know what will!

It brings to mind a timeless quotation I came across recently:

Marriage is a lottery, and the more [a woman] thinks about it, the more she feels the independence and safety of a single life.
-- Charles Dickens

Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence Day

Happy Fourth of July! What better day to celebrate your independence than on the day our Founding Fathers (and Mothers!) claimed freedom for all of us?

We hold these truths to be self evident...

Independence is happiness.
- Susan B. Anthony

Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either.
- Benjamin Franklin

Independence is loyalty to one's best self and principles, and this is often disloyalty to the general idols and fetishes.
- Mark Twain

Now get out there and celebrate your Husband-Freedom!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Lord, Hear Our Prayer

Now that wedding season is in full swing, I expected some great dispatches from the trenches, but nothing quite as wonderful as what popped into my in-box recently: in sum, a dear Husband-Free friend of mine went to a wedding, and during the church ceremony, was seated with some other Husband-Free gals. Imagine their shock, when during the Prayers of the Faithful, along with prayers to end the war and heal the sick, they heard "...and we pray today for all single people, that they, too, may one day know the joys of holy matrimony..."

I don't even know what to say to this!!! I had no idea that Being Single had been added to the Seven Deadly Sins view the deadly sins here -- although, if you stop and think about it, being single (instead of being Husband-Free) could be construed as Lust, and perhaps even Envy and Sloth as well. Silly me, I thought that God helps those who help themselves...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Wedded Bliss"


I don't know how he would've felt about Husband-Freedom, being a married man and all (twice, if I'm not mistaken), but I couldn't let the passing of famed comedian and social critic George Carlin this week go unnoticed in this space. See obituary here

I can't claim any detailed knowledge of his substantial body of work, but, like most Americans, I am familiar with his observations about the internally contradictory and/or inaccurate phrases that pepper our culture, like "military intelligence" and "jumbo shrimp." I'd like to think that he would be pleased to add "wedded bliss" to that list. Rest in peace, George!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It Takes a Village to Buy a House

One of the hallmarks of advanced Husband-Freedom is home-ownership. Fiscally, owning your own home can be the foundation for financial security and stability, but getting a downpayment and closing costs together usually takes time and effort. Socially, home ownership says "I've arrived!" but emotionally and psychologically, it can be scary, even downright terrifying.

This is where friends and family come in, at whatever stage in the process you might find yourself. It can take real courage to ask for the help and support that you need, whatever that help and support might be -- but just think of the housewarming party you can have once it's all done! You can cash in on all the weddings you've been to over the years and register for all of the gifts you've given but never received in return: mixers, monogrammed towels, sheets, place settings, flatware, etc.

Also, don't hold back if you know someone who is Husband-Free has started to move toward home ownership -- offer your help, ask about the process, and reinforce that what they are doing is so terrific in every way that you can -- no one will be offended! And not many people can do it alone.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sometimes, You Get What You Pay For


Excerpted from Marriage Ain't Prozac by Susan Jane Gilman in "Single State of the Union -- Single Women Speak Out on Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness" edited by Diane Mapes:

Thanks to our culture, many of us view marriage through a mindset of scarcity. We're told that if we don't "hurry up" and "find" a husband, all the "good ones" will be "taken." So our search for a partner becomes like hunting for a Prada blouse during a one-day sale at Neiman-Marcus. We race to the store, tear through the racks like maniacs, looking for something that "fits," and hope that we'll beat the other shoppers to the best bargain before closing time. The fact that we have to choose one outfit to wear every single day for the rest of our lives just makes us even more insane.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Halving It All

I think it's commonly assumed among women-who-want-to-wed that getting married means half as much housework, or at least, a lot less than you have to do on your own. There was a women's movement, after all, and most couples nowadays are dual income, so sharing the housework is part of modern marriage, right?

Wrong. Check out this NY Times article published this past Sunday.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Singles' Table

On Saturday night I went to wedding reception as the guest of one my Husband-Free gal pals (skipped the ceremony -- too far away from the reception for public transportation) and had a lot of fun, especially by being the only girl-girl couple at the singles' table -- heck, we were the only same-sex pair at the whole reception -- and by leaving our nature of our relationship (friends since graduate school) wholly unspecified, in a sea of heterosexually normative behavior reinforcement.

Despite having a really pleasant evening -- drinking, dancing, good food, nice people -- I was nevertheless struck by the incredible sameness of it all. Maybe it is just this sort of uniformity and tradition that is attractive to prospective spouses -- you get to join and participate in something larger than yourself that connects you to generations of married couples, etc. -- and in these rapidly changing times, there is something sort of comforting about the few traditions that have survived. But I still couldn't help but wonder, if each and every couples' love is so special, so unique, why filter it through such a uniform process?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

My Momma Told Me

I had a lovely, Husband-Free evening with one of my favorite Husband-Free gal pals, and in the midst of drinking and snacking, she shared with me a funny anecdote -- when she was getting married, right before the wedding, she asked her mother, "Mom, aren't we going to have The Talk?" to which her mother wisely replied, "Honey, I don't think there isn't anything you don't know already," but my friend persisted. "C'mon, mom, isn't there something you want to tell me? This is going to be my wedding night, after all." And her mother replied, "Well, let me tell you, there are going to be times when he comes to bed and you just don't feel like it. When this happens, whatever you do, DON'T MOVE. Even if he snuggles up next to you and puts his arm around you, you have to act like he's not even there. If you even twitch, then all bets are off." I LOVE THAT ADVICE. What an honest answer!!! If we could all be so honest...

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Broken American Male


...is the title of a new psych/self-help/relationship book by Rabbi and radio star Shmuley Boteach, the thesis of which seems to be something along the lines of "men are emotionally shut down at work and in life, so this is why they are shut down in relationships," etc. (I'll be checking this out of the library ASAP.) The unfortunate sub-title of is the good rabbi's book, however, is "How to Fix Him." Why doesn't he fix himself? Why are women responsible for men's brokenness? Don't we have enough work to do -- AND we have to fix the men at the same time? I'd be happy if someone would just fix my windows...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm Your Handyman

One of the very few times I have wished I had a man in the house is when I encounter a task better suited to Mr. Fix-It than myself, usually involving home repairs or improvements. This past winter, for example, I discovered that my front windows were drafty, and that my efforts to remedy the situation were fruitless. So, I did what any reasonable, fiscally-responsible gal would do -- I called a guy (in this case, my guy) to come over and help. A brief word about the B.F. -- what a gem! Smart, funny, patient, kind, supportive, trustworthy, and utterly incapable of fixing my windows.

As I watched him struggle and wrestle with these uncontrollable squares of glass on one of the coldest nights of the year, while the freezing air poured into my house, I was reminded of a conversation I'd recently had with another modern, well-educated fella -- the conclusion of which was this: men don't know how to fix things anymore. My dad, his dad, your dad, can probably repair anything from a hair dryer to a spaceship. They paint walls, they change oil, they mow lawns, they install major appliances. Today's men? Not so much, unless the item in need of TLC is related to audio, video or internet.

My point? Whether you have a husband or not, you are going to have to hire a handyman. Check out this cute site: Husband-for-Hire. And try to find one in your geographic area -- your married friends can probably recommend one...

Monday, June 09, 2008

In Sickness and In Health

Thinking about voting for McCain? Think again:

McCain likes to illustrate his moral fibre by referring to his five years as a prisoner-of-war in Vietnam. And to demonstrate his commitment to family values, the 71-year-old former US Navy pilot pays warm tribute to his beautiful blonde wife, Cindy, with whom he has four children.

But there is another Mrs McCain who casts a ghostly shadow over the Senator’s presidential campaign. She is seldom seen and rarely written about, despite being mother to McCain’s three eldest children.

She was the woman McCain dreamed of during his long incarceration and torture in Vietnam’s infamous ‘Hanoi Hilton’ prison and the woman who faithfully stayed at home looking after the children and waiting anxiously for news.

But when McCain returned to America in 1973 to a fanfare of publicity and a handshake from Richard Nixon, he discovered his wife had been disfigured in a terrible car crash three years earlier. Her car had skidded on icy roads into a telegraph pole on Christmas Eve, 1969. Her pelvis and one arm were shattered by the impact and she suffered massive internal injuries.

For nearly 30 years, Carol has maintained a dignified silence about the accident, McCain and their divorce. But last week at the bungalow where she now lives at Virginia Beach, a faded seaside resort 200 miles south of Washington, she told The Mail on Sunday how McCain divorced her in 1980 and married Cindy, 18 years his junior and the heir to an Arizona brewing fortune, just one month later.


Maybe he thinks he is Wife-Free. Click here to read the story.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Size DOES Matter

...and sometimes bigger is better, and longer can be better, too! Especially when the extra-large, extra-long thing in question is that extended-episode-being-marketed-as-a-movie called -- yes, I'm still on this -- Sex and the City! Yet ANOTHER review has got it all wrong, although at least this time the critic is a man, so maybe he gets a waiver of some sort...YES, SATC is exactly like a super-sized episode -- and that's a GOOD THING, Mr. Anthony Lane of the New Yorker magazine, not a bad thing! And why in heaven's name would be it be anything else, if what the fans want is more of the same? (If it ain't broke, don't fix it!) Does Michael Patrick King fancy himself the new Quentin Tarentino? And did he submit his masterpiece to Sundance and Cannes??? I DON"T THINK SO!!! Film critics, I beg of you, open your over-educated, overly-serious minds to the possibility that this film, as an extension of a (wildly popular and utterly unique)television series, cannot and should not be measured by the same yardstick as arty, effete foreign films, let alone the same standards by which we judge classic literature (WHO THINKS COMPARING SATC TO ANNA KARENINA MAKES ANY SENSE WHATSOEVER? RAISE YOUR HAND!!!....I didn't think so...)

Lastly, and on a Husband-Free note, do not, I repeat, DO NOT criticize these characters as being "obsessed with a ring" and "defining themselves...purely by their ability to snare and keep a man" -- first of all, because this only describes Charlotte, and secondly, because OUR CULTURE IS OBSESSED WITH THIS AND DEFINES WOMEN THUSLY. It is not the fault of Michael Patrick King and the products of his imagination/observation that this is true. Nor is it his fault that -- at least there was some truth in this review -- you [men] are not worth it. Try harder next time, Mr. Lane. Harder can be better, too.

Click here to read Mr. Lane's review

Saturday, June 07, 2008

I Don't Have a Horse in That Race

In honor of the final triple-crown race today, I invite you to click the following link: Marriage Race Horse.

This should take you to an audio file on a site called Odeo. Just press play and enjoy!

Friday, June 06, 2008

"The Wife"


...is the title of a novel by Meg Wolizter -- one of my Husband-Free gal pals loaned it to me, and I have been enjoying it immensely. I am struck, however, by the inherent stupidity and pointlessness of this statement about the author from the back cover: "She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons." Who cares? It may as well tell us that she has a mortgage instead of a lease, makes her calls from a landline instead of a cell phone, and goes to a doctor who is out-of-network for her insurance plan -- really, who cares? And the irony of this, on the jacket of a book that calls into question much of what is traditionally valued about marriage. Regardless, I love this passage:

[My husband] once told me he felt a little sorry for women, who only got husbands. Hubands tried to help by giving answers, being logical, stubbornly applying force as though it were a glue gun. Or else they didn't try to help at all, for they were somewhere else entirely, out walking in the world by themselves. But wives, oh wives, when they weren't being bitter or melancholy or counting the beads on their abacus of disappointment, they could take care of you with delicate and effortless ease.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Only Part I Didn't Like Was the End

And that's all I'm going to say for now, until my self-imposed, fellow-movie-goer-sensitive, moratorium on discussing details of Sex and the City is over -- I think it needs to go another week -- BUT, instead what I would like to do right away -- in fact, I wish I had done it sooner -- is trash the NY Times totally unfair, inaccurate and mean-spirited review. Yes, Mahnola (Dargis, the hater/reviewer), these 4 gals still look Uh. May. ZZZZing. (Extra Z's for extra zing!)(KIM! You b*tch! What is your secret?????) They have lives that none of us have, and that not one of the 8 million plus real New Yorkers have -- and that few of us would actually want -- but it's called ENTERTAINMENT! It's not about life lessons or role modeling -- anyone old enough to be admitted to an "R" rated movie should have figured out better sources than HBO for wisdom and guidance by now! And if you think the jokes "fell flatter than Carrie's six pack"-- well, I don't know what funeral parlor you saw the film in, Mahnola, but in the theater where I thoroughly enjoyed (almost) every minute of their celluloid finale, each witticism, sight gag and pratfall was met with unrestrained peals of female laughter, with just enough recovery time in between. Run, in your four-inch heels, don't walk, to take in this cinematic summer gem. It sparkles as brightly as Carrie's crystal-encrusted cell-phone. And while you're at it, cancel your subscription to the NY Times.

Click here to read the review

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Husband-Free Dudes

No, a Husband-Free dude is not a gay guy who doesn't want to get hitched -- it's any man, gay or straight, single or not, who can clearly see that marriage is just a contract, and one that neither proves the value of a relationship nor improves its functioning. Why not "Wife-Free" for men who aren't thrilled by the idea of marriage? It just doesn't pack the same punch, I guess; it doesn't seem fresh or new to suggest that men don't really want wives. To the contrary, it seems self-evident.

But I just have to give a big Husband-Free HURRAY! to my friend Jeff, a Husband-Free dude if there ever was one, who suggested taking the title of this blog one step further -- his suggestion was actually "If You Think You Need a Husband, You Need Your Head Examined" which is way funnier than what's up there, but I didn't want to scare off any potential converts.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Yes, Virginia, There IS a Santa Claus!


...except in June, we call it "Sex and the City" -- FINALLY!

I will not ruin the plot for those of you not hardy or determined enough to brave the opening weekend, but be warned, the film was so chock-full of Husband-Free moments, sentiments, statements, etc., I cannot predict how long I can hold back!

But in the meantime, enjoy the below excerpts from the Washington Post, online:

But if romance -- finding it, losing it, getting it back -- is "Sex and the City's" major preoccupation, the movie also honors women who prefer independence to compulsive couple-dom...It's about women in their 40s who might have been raised on happily-ever-afters but who have long since stopped believing in fairy tales...These are, after all, women who were once told that their chances of getting married were worse than getting killed by a terrorist. They survived that punitive prediction, and 9/11, too...The "Sex and the City" women endure their share of heartbreak, but they embrace their mistakes as emblems of a life well-lived. If one or two of them know how to marry a millionaire, they've also been around even the best block enough to know the importance of financial independence. Most important, the operative question is no longer the passive "What will become of me?" but its dynamic corollary: Who am I choosing to become?"

Click here to view article

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Can't Judge a Book By Its Cover

Sorry for the radio silence this past week -- I was in my hometown visiting my folks, and mom's computer is so old and slow, I just didn't have the patience (Aquarians, such as myself, are notoriously impatient).

Anyway, I'm back and bursting with news -- hardly know where to start, so I'll just start here. While home, I had the unusual experience of having lunch with one of my high school classmates (hi, Laura!) whom I have not seen since graduation, 25 years ago! It turns out that her work life has consisted primarily of employment in the matchmaking field! For seven years she taught an adult ed course called "How to Meet Your Perfect Spouse" and then went on to work for a matchmaking agency. So, when I told her that I moonlight as the Anti-Matchmaker, promoting Husband-Freedom, I didn't expect the level of interest and enthusiasm with which she responded. Basically, she observed that many of the people she met who were seeking a spouse were looking for another person to complete them, while it was their own independent incompleteness that stood in the way of partnering up (did I get that right, Laura?). Anyway, there was a definite meeting of the minds, which I thought was very exciting -- even a matchmaker can support being Husband-Free!!!

While sitting in the airport waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for my flight to board, I listened to some podcasts on my iPod, including one from a group of chatty Southern gal pals calling themselves "The Divas" I was taken in by their title while selecting my podcasts, thinking they might be Husband-Free-ish, and a nice addition to the resources and references on this blog -- wow, was I wrong! In one of the selections, they explored the importance of BEING SUBMISSIVE (!!!) to their husbands' decisions -- in fairness to them, they did express "having issues" with this submissiveness, and stressed that they did get their own point of view across before they submitted -- and who knows? Maybe they are handsomely rewarded (jewelry, vacations, remodeled kitchens, central air conditioning) for their submissiveness and it is a trade-off that makes sense to them. BUT -- to my mind, this description of married life is arguing from the negative in favor of being (what else?)Husband-Free!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Celebrate This, Part II

Thinking about yesterday's post, I decided to take action above and beyond blogging about the problem of publicly celebrating engagements, weddings and births without also celebrating academic, professional and other other types of accomplishments -- accomplishments which are often much more rare and difficult to attain than getting hitched and reproducing. The following letter is being sent to the Head of School at the high school I attended - Sacred Heart Academy.

Dear Head of School:

I was pleased to receive the Spring 2008 issue of the "Cordecho" and I enjoyed reading about the various pursuits of my fellow alumnae. However, I was not pleased to see that, as an institution that prides itself on developing the spirit, mind and body of its students, so little emphasis is placed on alumnae accomplishments involving the mind. Specifically, I refer to the fact that the newsletter inappropriately and inaccurately classifies significant academic and professional accomplishments as mere "News," while awarding a much more approving and positive heading to the listing of engagements, weddings and births: "In Celebration."

For example, in reading the "News," I learned that not one but two graduates have received Fulbright Scholarships, and that another has recently defended her PhD dissertation, while yet another is a Chief Medical Resident who will soon join the faculty of a prestigious medical institution. These accomplishments are amazing, impressive and even inspiring. Are these not worth celebrating at least as much as private, familial developments (which, while no less satisfying and celebratory to the people involved, are certainly less rare and often take much less effort)?

I understand that headings used to organize alumnae updates are not intended to diminish or downplay the many wonderful things that our alumnae are accomplishing beyond the domestic sphere. However, going forward, I would urge you to consider correcting this outdated oversight by embracing a more contemporary and worldly view of what is worth celebrating. As a school community, we should be celebrating our leaders, our scholars, and our professionals just as much as we celebrate wives and mothers. As a practical matter, this could be easily remedied by adding the subheadings "Academics" and "The Professions" or even just "Awards and Accomplishments" to the existing subheadings, and adding mortarboard and diploma images to the baby pacifier, wedding-cake topper and engagement ring images presently displayed.

As we continue forward in this groundbreaking year, when a woman is making more progress toward our nation's highest office than ever before, we should be nurturing, encouraging and enthusiastically celebrating womens' accomplishments in the world no less than their accomplishments in the home. When young women who are hardworking, service-oriented and capable of leadership graduate from Sacred Heart Academy, they should be ready to engage with the world in positive and meaningful ways, secure in the knowledge that when their efforts are successful, they will be acknowledged.

Not only would these improvements be more in keeping with the mission and values of the school, it might encourage more alumnae involvement, communication and support from women who are proud of their accomplishments and would like to see them celebrated, such as myself.

By the way, you might also consider using the salutation "Ms." rather than "Miss" on alumnae mailings. At the very least, please change mine to "Ms." Thank you very much for your consideration.


I'll let you know if I get a response...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Celebrate This

Alumnae newsletters -- such joy! Especially the ones from high school -- as if it weren't awful enough the first time through, I still get periodically reminded of the four years I spent surviving in the Big House! (Catholic, all-girls -- need I say more?) And then they have the audacity to ask for cash...

The real highlight of all this, though -- better even than the fact that my name is preceded by "Miss" instead of "Ms." on the address label -- is the "Celebrations" page!!

Getting hitched and the births that result therefrom are under "Celebrations" -- separate from the rest of the "News" or "Notes" sections. Yes, getting married is worthy of a special, specific heading along with photos of a nicely-manicured woman's hand bearing a HUGE rock and a plastic bride-and-groom cake topper. Kool & the Gang pulse brightly in the background, "Celebrate good times, COME ON!!!"

So, if you got your PhD in biochemistry from a Ivy-League institution, where you are now on the faculty, that's only "news," but if you landed a man (never mind that he very well may be a paroled felon with no job prospects and bad hygiene) -- bust out the champagne! Or if you've worked hard, saved money and bought your own house -- sorry, that's novel, but we're not going to celebrate your REAL financial security as well as the fact that you accomplished it through your own efforts -- we will, however, get all excited now that your primary purpose as a woman on this planet has been fulfilled -- WIFERY! WIFEDOM! WIFEHOOD! We can all rest easy and feel happy because -- hallelujah! -- there is one less slatternly spinster out there.

Now, what I'd like to know is, why isn't there a special page for divorces?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place

So why don't men want to marry anymore (if they ever did)?

I ask this not to try to solve the problem or fix the problem people, but rather, to shed light on why modern women might wish to re-evaluate the extent to which they will tie themselves into knots over tying the knot...

One answer is that (most) men are stuck between a rock and a hard place -- the rock that wives-in-waiting want to waive around, and the hard place in the mens' pants.

The typical fella, under the influence of the hard place, wants variety, spontaneity and frequency -- whereas women, well, we tend to put a much higher premium on exclusivity and permanency (as represented by that ever-coveted ROCK).

Read the following article -- and the comments that follow -- and see if you don't rethink the issue, even just a little:

"The Affairs of Men: The trouble with sex and marriage"
* By Philip Weiss
* Published May 18, 2008 -- New York Magazine

Click here to view article

Monday, May 19, 2008

"Who Wants Marriage Anyway?"

I read this post on Yahoo's new "Shine" site -- it really moved me, because it shows how conditioned we are to want marriage even when we already have all the things that we think marriage is going to do for us! The woman who wrote this post, Donna, sounds really nice, and I really felt for her situation...read on for her post and my response:

In this fast paced times, when everything can be automatic, ready made, and instant, questions of quality, permanence and commitment often comes out.

As an open-minded individual I am often confronted with different views from different people and sometimes I begin asking myself, too.

I grew up attending weddings. I was usually asked to be a flower girl back in those sugar coated days. I have been in different kinds of wedding small and simple, intimate and sweet, grand and extravagant, name it. But as a young girl it never occurred to me that I would be a bride someday.

After some time the little flower girl became one of the bride’s maid and once or twice I was asked to be the maid of honor. I came to realize the gravity of weddings, entourage and all the things that make up nuptials. But then again I never saw myself walking down the aisle in white.

As I grew up, talks about dream weddings, wedding plans, and ideal husbands always occurred. I thought about the different things I heard and learned from other people. I thought, “Maybe I don’t really need to think about it, too.”

It’s not that I’m loveless or a man-hater of any sort. I actually had one serious relationship before meeting my one true love. It just never occurred to me that a wedding or marriage is something to be pondered upon.

I know a lot of couples, and saw a lot of them throughout their relationships. Some of them grew apart and parted ways; some walked the journey together and tied themselves in marriage; while some of them enjoyed the journey and hang on, they didn’t marry and yet they’re still together.

Our society’s way of thinking regarding weddings and marriages differ. Others think that everyone is entitled to have a lifetime partner and get married (well, at least those who don’t have religious vocations of any sort). Others think that the type of wedding doesn’t matter (whether civil or in church) as long as the couples are married. And a very few believe that marriage is just a piece of paper, what is important is the relationship and how they will be handling it.

As for me, I had an unplanned pregnancy. I almost resorted to abortion. But my better sense and my faith in God took hold of me, I carried on. Growing up from a Catholic family and having attended a Catholic school all my life, it’s odd that I never felt I owe anyone an explanation for what happened. Even if I get different reactions and see mortified looks in other people’s eyes…I was unmoved.

I have my reasons. I am confident with my partner. I know that we love each other. Unfortunately he can’t marry me during the time that I got pregnant. He was in an institution which forbids him to do so while still in it. We had our plans beforehand. We even thought of getting married right after his graduation.

From then on I suddenly saw myself often daydreaming about a white, flowing gown, walking down a white carpet (take note, not a red carpet!), with fresh flowers on my hair as well as my hands. I would always give a second look on gowns on display in malls and in magazines. Sometimes I list names of would be bride’s maids and groom’s men and my maid of honor as well as our sponsors.

But then my daydream would be cut by a gentle tug at my hands and a cute voice calling “mama” would get me back to my senses. I am not a single parent. My partner and I live under the same roof. Both of us are well accepted in our respective families. We are considered husband and wife by everyone except the law and the church.

Often times people ask me, “Are you married?” I smile then I am tempted to answer, “Yes, I am…” but when I open my mouth a simple, “No, not yet” would come out and my smile would fade.

Graduation came and as much as I am happy that my partner has already graduated, my anticipation and excitement about the foresighted wedding can’t be contained.

I often make hints to obvious questions regarding our wedding, from which I receive a shrug or “later…” as an answer.

I am not holding any grudges from my partner, I love him and whatever reasons he has I understand and am willing to accept.

He loves me so much and has proven it a thousand times. However lately, I have been wondering if my daydreams would be a reality, though.

I started to steer clear when topics about marriage and weddings come out. I often find myself blushing when my friends talk about they’re civil or church weddings.

I started questioning myself…

Who wants marriage, anyway? We are like husband and wife who make a budget every month. We talk about our salaries and compensations and how much is our share for daily expenses. I ask help from him and he asks help from me.

Who wants marriage, anyway? Our families love us. His parents and relatives treat me as one of the family and love our son dearly. My parents and relatives do the same thing to him.

Who wants marriage, anyway? He religiously does his responsibilities as a father and a husband. He provides for us and takes care of our needs as well as our wants.

Who wants marriage, anyway? We have shared plans about our future: our future house, future car, maybe a daughter, 2 or 3 years from now.

Who wants marriage, anyway? He introduces me as his wife to everyone and I do the same thing. He never fails to acknowledge that I am his and he is mine.

Who wants marriage, anyway? I have an ideal partner who loves me unconditionally, who stays with me even if I am irrational and unpredictable at times. He respects my decisions and I respect his. He is faithful no matter how many times I saw temptations pass by and my loyalty for him has been tested and proven. We are very good friends, we joke a lot, we have fun together, we like each other as much as we love each other. Whenever people talk about happy couples our names are bound to come up. So what more could I ask for?

After all, marriage might cause trouble in our relationship. It might cause too much pressure that we can’t handle yet, so far we’re doing great in this kind of set-up. I don’t want to be like other couples who spent so much time, effort and money on their weddings but not with their marriages. I want to be different, I want something that lasts.

So tell me who wants marriage, anyway? … Well, I do...


My response:

You have a child with this man and what sounds like a relationship that really works for you -- be happy about that! The reality of the situation is that, these days, LOTS of men (perhaps even MOST) don't want to get married anymore (if they ever really wanted to in days gone by) -- and that's OK. It doesn't make them incapable of love, commitment and support.

Once you already have the love, commitment and support, it is tempting to give in to the social and cultural conditioning which tells you that the next logical step is marriage and that if it isn't happening, then Something Must Be Wrong!!! And you must Feel Very Bad About It, because Other People Are Judging You. This is not correct. I understand wanting the big party, the validation and praise and social approval -- who doesn't want that? And I understand wanting to fit in and feel validated. And I understand the desire to feel truly secure -- who wouldn't want these things? And who wouldn't understand wanting these things?

But the point I'm trying to make is that if you step away from these desires and stay focused on the day-to-day lived experience of being with this person, in a loving relationship, you can see what is really important. Also, remind yourself, if you are afraid he might not want to marry you because he secretly might want to leave you someday, do you think being married would make him stay? And even if being married would make him stay when he might want to leave, is that what you want? For him to stay with you even though he doesn't want to? What do you think the quality of such a relationship would be? Do you think it would still be loving and supportive? I doubt it...more likely, it would be lonely and toxic, for both of you and your child.

I can recommend a really good book, called "Unmarried to Each Other" -- about being in a long-term committed relationship without formal marriage. It may help you feel better and appreciate your present situation.

As you may have guessed, my boyfriend and I are unmarried to each other, and I struggled with that for a long time, but have grown to embrace it and feel both proud and grateful, to the extent that I want to support and encourage everyone to think about possibilities beyond those which have been handed to us and which may not work so well anymore, anyway (50% divorce rate holding strong!) -- you are not alone, and you can change and grow through this experience!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Coupling in California

The wheels of justice move slowly, but in California, they moved this week -- let's hear it for EVERYONE having the chance to become spousally-encumbered if they so choose!

When I was little, my mom worked in a doctor's office on the weekends and would often bring home issues of The New Yorker that were even too old to sit in a doctor's waiting room. I would pore over the cartoons, reading each and every one as though they held the secret to life, if only I could understand them. Now, I understand a few more than I did then, and one of my favorites is by Michael Shaw, originally published in the March 1, 2004 issue. It features a man talking to his wife and asking rhetorically "Gays and lesbians getting married - haven't they suffered enough?":


Prominent divorce attorney Raoul Felder, quoted this week in the New York Observer:
"You want my advice on marriage? I got three words: Pre. Nuptial. Agreement."

In the same article, another commentator observes, "I think gay marriage is going to be great for gay divorce lawyers."

Wise men say, only fools rush in...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hot and Husband-Free Hollywood



Did everyone check out the updated "Husband-Free and Famous" sidebar, Cameron Diaz?

As quoted in the June issue of U.K. Cosmopolitan Magazine:

"There are a lot of ways to approach commitment and relationships - and marriage is just one of them...I think partnerships are a wonderful thing in whatever form they take, and I definitely want that in my life, whether or not its in the traditional sense".

There's something about Cameron...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Top ten things I love about my Husband-Free household

10. I can spread out my stuff – clothes, crafts, cooking, etc. – and really occupy the space.
9. There is no unwelcome media input – no sports, no porn, no channel-surfing.
8. I can emit gas from either end with total impunity.
7. Any messes are my own – to ignore, to deal with, or to expand upon.
6. All decorating and design decisions are all mine.
5. All closet, drawer and other storage space is all mine.
4. No one else ever eats or drinks the last of the [insert favorite food here].
3. Which is really just another way of saying the food is all mine, too.
2. Basically, it’s all mine, and that’s pretty cool.

And the top of my list is...
1. When a man is in my house, he’s there because he wants to be, not because he has to be or because he has no place else to go.

And that’s pretty cool, too!

Monday, May 12, 2008

What She Actually Said

After trying to describe to a friend what Calista/Kitty said at her gay brother's wedding, I reviewed the episode on abc.com and hurriedly transcribed the following:
(Kitty speaking about her brother Kevin to the guests at the wedding) "When we were kids, we used to play wedding...I was the mom and Kevin was the dad because that's what our family looked like and that was all we knew. And now here we are at Kevin's second wedding and the rules are different and the things that we thought were true turned out not to be and it seems that when we give up on what was, well, that's when things that we thought improbable or impossible, even, happen right before your eyes."

Pretty good, right? When you give up on playing wedding in your mind (because that's all you ever knew) and you accept that the rules have changed and things aren't the way you thought they were, that's when good things, wonderful things, can happen...like finding yourself happy, healthy, whole and Husband-Free!!!

Unfortunately for the episode, a mere one minute and fifty-nine seconds (I set my stopwatch) passes and we find an older, divorced sister ruefully lamenting in the kitchen to a younger sort-of-sister, "Looks like you me and mom are the only single girls left..."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Brothers and Sisters and Singles



OK, I know I said I'm not a big TV person, but what I am is a big cross-stitch person (hobbies are VERY Husband-Free!), and cross-stitch goes better with background noise, so...Sunday night, no cable, it's ABC, DMC (does anyone get the cross-stitch joke?) and me. Anyhoo, tonight's episode of Brothers and Sisters features a gay wedding, and last Sunday's New York Times featured gay weddings on the cover of the Sunday Magazine, and I thought, well, we have evolved to the point -- THANK THE GODDESS!!! -- where we can see gay marriage on mainstream TV and in "all the news that's fit to print" (hell, the NY Times even includes gay couples in their wedding pages!) but being single is still lamentable...some nice sentiments applicable to Husband-Freedom in the episode, though, I recommend it -- check out the character played by Calista Flockhart's speech at the wedding ceremony!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Husband-Free Betty


I came a little late to the game and I'm not a big TV person to begin with (no cable -- can you believe it?) but ABC's Ugly Betty is a treasure-trove of Husband-Free tidbits! From tonight's show -- Betty's papa (LOVE HIM! Who wouldn't want a papa like Betty's papa???) is taking her horn-dog boss Daniel for a walk so they can *TALK* about his self-defeating womanizing, and papa says "It wasn't until I felt good about myself that I met someone special." Then he explains how he used to be a lot like Daniel, looking for happiness in all the wrong places but then discovered his passion for cooking, etc., etc., and then he says to Daniel "What makes you feel good about yourself?" -- a very important question! Much, much more important than "What are you looking for in a partner?" Now, why does ABC also air The Bachelor?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

"Are you married?"

At my job, I am still meeting and getting to know a lot of the people who work there, and I have noticed that one question that comes up a lot, and early, is "Are you married?"

I have also noticed that it kind of drives me nuts when this happens, but I don't want to scare anyone off, since we are all still sniffing each others' butts, trying to weed out the friends from the foes. And announcing, "I'm Husband-Free!" might start a follow-up conversation that is longer than I have time for in a lot of these brief encounters.

What to do? I came up with an answer that works equally well with men and women: when asked, "Are you married?" respond with a smile, feign a blush, look coy and say, "My goodness, are you asking me out? I'm so flattered! Let me think about it..." It gets a lot of laughs and seems to gently yet succinctly, point out the stupidity of the question, unless someone actually DOES want to go out with you...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A Little Bit of Fiction to Tell the Truth

"For a marriage to last, Ronald believed that both partners should possess a stubborn will, fear of failure and a strong sense of shame of breaking from convention--mind you, this was not a recipe for a happy marriage, but it could make two people stay married. If two people had a lot of sex, that was helpful. Having many children did not keep a marriage going, despite all the for-the-sake-of-the-children talk to the contrary. In fact, the more kids there were, the more likely the man would cheat and the woman would be too busy to notice or too tired to care. Men left when the children were not so adorable, and the women were too old to marry again..."

This passage is from a novel written by a woman whose back-flap bio mentions that she lives with her husband and son...go figure.

And why do author bios almost always include mention of a spouse, if there is one? How does this help us understand and appreciate their literary contributions?

Monday, May 05, 2008

A Few Words About a Few Words

In this time-starved culture, my posts have been wwaaayyyy too long for a single blog entry, so I'll try to cut to the chase. Words matter. Ask anyone who's ever been teased about some feature of their physical appearance (Four-Eyes right here) or subjected to derogatory slurs based on ethnicity, race or gender. As we move into the "wedding season," it's more important than ever to know who you are and assert your dignity as a Husband-Free woman of substance and value, not some pathetic Cathy-cartoon-caricature or sexually repressed spinster. Fat-free. Smoke-free. Hassle-free. Husband-Free!

Husband-Free Habit -- if you're really not happy for a couple who has invited you to their wedding, just don't go. And if you do decide to go (whether or not you're happy about it), bring a gift that you can actually afford, or, if you're crafty, something handmade. They have each other; they don't need you to participate in the involuntary transfer of wealth. Lastly, a Husband-Free way to wish newly-weds well, instead of the traditional "Congratulations!" (as though they have accomplished something already) try a heartfelt "Good luck!!!"

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Unmarried Untruths

Take a moment to consider virtually any word that commonly carries the “un” prefix. The condemnation conveyed by the combination of these two letters is unavoidable. From tacit disappointment to bitter disgust, the speaker feels superior when uttering an “un” word. Most “un” words derive their meaning from referring to what they are not, and they are negative almost without exception. There are dozens of them – unhappy, unfashionable, unfeminine, unsatisfying, unworthy, unsuccessful, unattractive, unfulfilled, unappealing...unmarried. Coincidence? I doubt it!

Gender, race and age are just about the only characteristics that precede marital status in our identities, and none of these have an “un” form. A woman may be described as female, but not as “unmale”. An African-American person may be described as black, but not as “unwhite”. A senior citizen may be described as old, but not as “unyoung”. Yet with marital status, married is quickly and easily altered into its opposite, unmarried. While you can say that a person is single, once they marry, they do not become “unsingle”.

Clearly, married is the standard whereas unmarried is the deviation, the failure, the problem. If you are unhappy, it goes without saying that you would rather be happy. If you are unhealthy, you do what you can to become healthy. If you are unmarried, of course you want to get married. However, any single woman knows all too well that there is an inherent double standard in this belief.

For a straight man, being unmarried generally makes him sought after, fawned over and revered as if he is on the brink of extinction. He is intriguing and his unmarried status is enticing, like a mystery waiting to be solved, a question begging for an answer. Who’s the lucky girl? Many plausible explanations are offered for his unmarried state. He has not found his better half so he is still searching for The One – an incurable romantic, Romeo. He is not ready to settle down – adventurous, sexually desirable, a real James Bond. He is a career man – ambitious, driven, the next Donald Trump. The unmarried brand might as well be an “S” for Superman emblazoned across his chest because he is perceived as just that. He has his whole life ahead of him to find a bride in a sea of ready, willing, and eager women who are perpetually hoping to find the proverbial needle in the haystack: the unmarried, heterosexual, emotionally available male.

For the single woman, however, the unmarried brand is quite the opposite, a scarlet letter “S” for spinster! Face it; describing yourself as unmarried, particularly as you age, is akin to announcing that you have decided to join a leper colony. You know that look you get when you describe yourself as unmarried. It starts off complimentary – a slight tilt of the head with an inquisitive smile, as if to say “You are such a great catch, why are you still on the market?” However, in the absence of a satisfactory explanation, the look quickly transforms into a perplexed, furrowed brow with pinched lips, clearly conveying “Wait a second, what’s wrong with you?” or, more likely, “Something must be wrong with you!” They try to figure out what that something could be – Lesbian? Frigid? Infertile? Abusive childhood? Depression? Drug addiction? Man-hating? Feminist? Man-hating feminist? Promiscuous? Lazy? The possible diagnoses are endless. As an unmarried woman, you are mentally unhealthy, unbalanced, unfeminine and unchaste.

The look then becomes one of pity once you offer an explanation (because, of course, you always offer one) and your questioner then tries to comfort you with lame clich├ęs of encouragement (“Don’t worry, there’s a lid for every pot!”) or to hook you up with some male misfit (“I can introduce you to so-and-so’s nephew’s stepson’s cousin once removed from a wasteland.”). You often play into this ridiculous game by saying “unmarried” like an apology for being unfinished, uncooperative, unconventional.

Even unpatriotic and un-American! The government has contributed to the stereotypes that continue to plague the single woman. Politicians unveiled strategies to address the surplus of single women throughout the 19th century – from shipping them off to other states, to literally selling them to other countries. In his pre-presidential heyday, Theodore Roosevelt accused the unwed woman of contributing to the demise of the Caucasian race by failing to produce healthy white infants while the immigrant population continued to rapidly multiply. Later, during the Depression Era, it was widely believed that jobs were only for men. Thus, the single working woman was seen as a job thief – uneconomical and unprincipled to say the least, rather than a resource.

Today, the government still actively promotes proposals as public policy. Attempts to force marriage on the population at large are commonplace. The Family Protection Act of 1981 sought to promote marriage and motherhood as viable career goals for young women, and the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 touted matrimony as being the antidote to welfare dependency. The not-so-subliminal message is that marriage is normal and anything else is deviant.

Talk about history repeating itself! It is not just you. You are not paranoid. The bottom line is that there is a historical basis for the unfair stigma associated with being an unmarried woman. This brand places unfair, underserved and unrealistic expectations on you and then you are left to deal with it, unsupported, unsure, unwanted.

"Husband-Free" is starting to sound pretty good, isn't it?


As Featured On Ezine Articles

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Husband-Free to Be You & Me

So, you’re still "single."

You’re not married, you’re not engaged, you’re not living with someone. You’re not in a relationship that is “serious,” “committed,” or “going somewhere.” You may be dating a lot, a little, or barely at all, but in any case, nothing has happened.

You are ready for the real thing. You’ve finished your education, your career is underway, and real life is waiting to begin—all you need is someone to share it with. You’ve made your mistakes, learned from them and moved on. You know what you want.

You’ve done your homework. Like a modern-day Margaret Meade, a Diane Fosse of dating, you’ve carefully analyzed male mating behaviors. You’ve studied the books and obeyed their instructions with the discipline of a Marine Corps cadet. You followed the Rules, broke the Rules, and then followed them again. Still nothing.

You’d make a good wife. A best friend, lover, and equal partner. You’re not looking for someone to rescue you or bankroll a lavish lifestyle; just someone to be by your side, to share whatever life has in store, and maybe even start a family. You’d make a great mother, and you know you shouldn’t wait too long to start. You worry about your waning chances and wonder if it’s already too late. You’re not looking for perfection, just someone who’s pretty darn good, or at least, good enough. It’s not too much to ask, is it?

The prospects seem grim. As time races by faster and faster, your chances of finding Mr. Right are decreasing as swiftly as your mother’s annoying questions are increasing. Your friends, neighbors, coworkers, siblings, and ex-boyfriends are all hooking up, getting hitched and having kids. Meanwhile, you suffer the indignity of one directionless date after another, alternating with lonely and boring nights at home. You attend a seemingly endless stream of engagement parties, weddings and baby showers, and while you are genuinely happy for your friends, your patience is wearing thin. It feels like it will never end, and you can hardly imagine a worse fate. You would not wish this upon your worst enemy, yet you cannot fathom how, why or when it happened to you. Where is he, already?

Ladies, this is no way to live! You know it, we know it, any woman who’s ever been "single"—yes, that means every woman—knows it, and knows it well. (All those smug marrieds used to be singletons, too, don’t forget!) When it comes to romantic relationships, you want more, you deserve more, and you should have more. But the only way to get more is to get married, right?

Wrong.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? From a strictly legal perspective, your marital status is completely straightforward. You either have a marriage license or you don’t. You’re a wife or you’re not. You have a husband or you don’t.

True enough. However, we all know that being married means much more than not sleeping with other people and filing joint tax returns. In a culture where keeping up with the Joneses has replaced baseball as the national pastime, being married means having more—more friends, more fun, more joy—and being single after a certain age means having less. Taken to its extreme, there is a sneaky, hidden place inside where you believe that being married means having everything—a home, a family, children, love, security—and being single means having nothing. Everyone can plainly see that in the game of love, there is no second place. No silver medal, no runner-up, no honorable mention. You are either a winner or a loser, either a wife or still single. That’s how it has always been and how it will always be, right?

I disagree.

“Single” is not only a state of being, it’s a state of mind. It’s the way you think, what you think about and how often you think it. It’s the way you see things, choosing to highlight this and ignore that. It's what you believe and what you question. It’s how you feel, and how you act on your feelings. It’s what you say and what you mean when you say it.

“Single” is not only your marital status, it’s how you live your life. It’s what you do, what you avoid doing, and the reasons behind those choices. It’s who you spend time with and how you spend time with them. It’s how you treat yourself and expect others to treat you. It’s how others reach out to you and how you respond.

Unfortunately, your state of mind and way of life as a woman who is "still single" may leave you feeling denied, deprived and sometimes even demeaned. You don’t like it, you don’t want it, you wish you could change it and yet, you are blamed for it. Even if you don’t feel deprived and denied all that often, or even not at all, it’s hard to avoid feeling demeaned by other people’s opinions about your love life or the lack thereof. “Single” says you’re missing something. “Single” says you are incomplete. At its least flattering, “single” implies all kinds of dysfunction, disease and disaster, even if none of them are true. In this day and age, “single” is an insult, an inaccuracy, or both. This, in a nutshell, is the essence of being single. Who wants to say they are still single? Who can feel good about it? As a way to describe yourself, “single” is simply awful. It is almost an accusation, practically an indictment, and over time, seems like a prison. It’s time to move beyond the limits of “single” and into something new!

I am here to tell you how to stop being “single” without getting married.

Be Husband-Free!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Truth Will Set You Husband-Free

Two years ago, I started writing a book about being Husband-Free. It was an exciting, even heady time -- I wrote a book proposal and even landed a contract with a (seriously) big-time literary agent.

I loved saying "I have an agent" only slightly more than I loved the possibility of moving beyond the single stigma. Everyone I talked to about it was interested and enthusiastic about Husband-Freedom, particularly other single women, and I could hardly wait to get the word out about being Husband-Free.

To make a short story even shorter, my agent was unsuccessful in getting a deal and I lost momentum. But people kept asking me about Husband-Free -- both the book and the lifestyle-- and I knew I couldn't give up. So, here I am -- let's get started!

It's a simple idea. Unmarried adults are the fastest-growing group in America today, with numbers approaching ninety million. However, many singles feel more alone than ever. Fifty-three percent of singles are women, most of whom lament and resent their situation, primarily because being an unmarried woman is still regarded as a major social and personal failure. Single women are often blamed, and even blame themselves, for circumstances over which they have little control. It’s time for something better.

By changing the way you think about it, you can re-claim your dignity, your value -- and your sense of humor!!!

You are not single. You are Husband-Free! Say it loud, say it proud, live it, love it, be it -- no more pity, no more whining, no more tolerating nosy questions and unearned criticism. This blog is my gift to wonderful, worthwhile unwed women everywhere.

FACT: Many women want to wed but can't find a willing accomplice, and very often feel distressed or even depressed about their "predicament."

TRUTH: This madness must stop!!!!

TRUTH: Being married is not better than being single, it is only different. Being unwed is not a predicament.

TRUTH: Your life as a woman has meaning, purpose and value, whether or not you have a husband.

TRUTH: Feeling sad and sorry about being single is wasting the time you could spend having fun.

TRUTH: You are more than your marital status -- so much more!

TRUTH: You may be single by chance, but you can be -- and should be -- happy by choice!

Look, I know it's not always easy, but it gets easier if being single is not the problem, and getting married is not the solution. You have to try it out for yourself -- the next time someone asks if you're "still single," I want you to bust it out and burn it up, with a big smile -- "No, I'm not married, I'm Husband-Free!" Let me know how it works and what happens. Stay posted! There's so much to talk about!