Bridget Jones dubbed a new category of women a few years ago in her much loved novel and the subsequent movie version ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’. I just love the definition:
Singleton – 1. A single woman in her early 30s who at times is either an empowered, confident, content, feminist professional; or, 2. an insecure, self-image-loathing, job-hating, fool-acting (where men are concerned) whiner who will “end up all alone, half-eaten by an Alsatian.”
And of course the Smug Marrieds – Former Singletons whose first question to current Singletons is “Why aren’t you married yet?”; also referred to as “smug, prematurely aging, narrow-minded morons” by ranting feminist friend of Bridget’s.
But what happens when the early 30s woman moves into her late 30s (or to her 40s…’what is wrong with her?’). These are women who now have established careers and are starting to seriously think about their ticking body clocks and whether they will ever find that illusive man. A friend in her late 30s recently told me that she is thinking of doing the single mother ‘thing’ by choice if she has not met anyone by the end of this year.
And then there is the other category. The former Smug Marrieds… The ones who are divorced and looking around for a second time. I have loads of friends in this category. I don’t know what you call them (some can probably be called cougars!), but most of my friends are in their 40s, have mostly successful (and hugely demanding) careers, children that they are bringing up predominantly by themselves, who would love to find a like minded man that can handle an independent woman.
Cause let’s be honest. A lot of men out there still have issues with women earning more than them and being more successful than them. They still hang on to the age old dream of being the Boss in the house (or being lead to believe they are the Boss in the house – with their wife’s permission).
Anyway, I fall squarely into this category (the former Smug Married AND the Boss in the House…). So where to find someone in a city like Joburg??
The workplace is not an option. Full stop. I can’t even start imagining trying to pretend to be this high powered woman once the man has seen me in my birthday suit!
Of course a popular option is dating websites. But dating websites come with huge warning signs. Lots of married men looking for a little excitement on the sideline, or single men looking to see how many women they can wow with their eloquent and witty sayings. I know, I had my fingers burnt and now I am ‘once bitten, thrice shy’….
The pub thing is not quite my scene. For starters, I am (calculated after several glasses of wine last weekend…) just over 5 feet tall or rather ‘short’. In metric terms, that is 1.53 meters. Or simply put, damn short. Which puts me at a huge disadvantage in pubs. If I don’t wear high heals and end up hopping from one foot to the other like a penguin after a couple of hours, then I end up staring into mens’ chest all night. Of course I can climb onto a bar chair (emphasis on climbing, not gently sitting down), but then I am stuck there. Not so easy to gently ease yourself out of an unwanted conversation when you are stuck to a (or on a) bar stool…
And then of course there are the dating agencies. You see the billboards everywhere. But somehow I am not sure if I want to sign up and pay R3 500 a year for just some dates…it seriously feels a bit like a watered down version of the Russian Bride… Maybe I am wrong, but I somehow expect only men desperate-to-get-married-soon to join a dating agency. Maybe someone who is looking for a mother for his children….and I have my own, thank you very much!
So, a friend stumbled across a singles wine club. Now there’s a combination for you. Food and wine, two of my favourite things in the world! And with the added benefit of possibly finding an intelligent man who loves music and reading and has an established career. Okay, so I won’t get ahead of myself. At worst, I thought, it will end up being an evening out with some girlfriends over good wine and food…not too bad for a ‘worst option’?
Off we go to a restaurant in Montecasino for dinner and a wine tasting. And? The wine was good (Villieria wines), the bubbly was great and the pasta was yummy. The three single men who joined in and the one married man who organised the do, were sitting at the other end of the table, a ratio of like 30:3…. I did, however, meet a lady who is a fussier eater than my ex-husband (very surprisingly!). And we had some good laughs.
Maybe I will have better luck striking up conversations in the Woolies queue next time! No more online shopping for me!