I don’t have a “scary” age. I’ve never had one and don’t ever plan to have one. I am, however, in the age group where many of my peers are at their scary age, quickly approaching their scary age or they’re depressed because they’ve long ago passed their scary age. Let me explain the concept of the “scary age” for you non-Sex and the City viewers. The scary age is the age at which women start to panic if they haven’t married and/or had children and it usually coincides with a woman’s biological clock. The scary age is viewed as the entrance to spinsterhood. If you aren’t married with kids by the time you hit your scary age then you may as well start making doilies and buying cats.
The main reason I’m opposed to setting a scary age is because women who are nearing their scary age become neurotic. They do some of the most insane things you’ll ever hear of. Take for instance the 46-year-old woman on the We TV show “Bridezillas.” She had an adult daughter but had never been married. On the reality show she married a 38-year-old “salesman.” She paid for the entire wedding with no assistance from him. This “salesman” was away from home for four months at a time because he was traveling “on business.” I’m not the only one who thought this sounded a bit suspect. Her adult daughter and sister both thought it was suspicious that his job didn’t even allow him to come home on the weekends. When he was in town, his hometown also, he lived with her, drove her car (because he didn’t have one) and used her cell phone (because he didn’t have one). Let’s just ignore the housing situation. What kind of salesman doesn’t have a car or cell phone? Most companies supply these items. And even if the company doesn’t supply the car, the employee is required to own a vehicle. Despite the protests of her family the 46 year-old ignored her fiancé’s shortcomings and married him anyway. She married him despite the fact that he first failed to show up at their wedding, leaving her at the alter. He finally showed up at her house the next day, apologized and they went to Vegas to get married. I don’t set a scary age because I don’t want to be so desperate to make it happen that I settle for a “man” like this one.
I also don’t want to be the chick who shows up to a relationship with a timeline. (The following is a true story) A 32 year old woman gave up a, by all accounts, perfectly good man after a year and a half of dating because he was not ready to propose to her by a given date and married to her within six months of that date. After having dated for a year she informed him that a proposal would be required by the 18-month mark, exactly six months from the date of the conversation. When the date arrived, and he had not purchased a ring or made a proposal, she presented him with a prepared statement advising him that if he was not willing to make the proposal that day, and commit to a wedding date on that same day, that she would be leaving the relationship. He let her know that he would not be making the proposal. They ended their relationship that very day.
Then there’s the woman I refer to as “Atomic Clock.” This woman would meet a new guy, fall in love and become “engaged” within six months. I use quotation marks because there was never a ring. In my mind, men aren’t serious until they’ve spent money on a ring. Within three months of the “engagement” the couple would break up and she would start the cycle all over again. It was as if she were so desperate to find a husband, any husband, that she would blindly jump into relationships in the hopes that she might finally be able to check off “get married” on her list of things to do.
I don’t fully blame this outlandish behavior on the neurotic women. I partly blame society and the pressures it puts on women to be married with children. I also blame the socio-economic factors, and plain old ignorance, that have created the ever-dwindling pool of suitable men. When you subtract the men who are: already married, in jail, gay, bisexual (aka gay in waiting), unemployed, uneducated or addicted, there are but 3 or 4 men left for us single chicks to fight over. As a result of the relatively few, decent men available, women are putting up with all kinds of unimaginable nonsense.
I watch these women and I’m sad for them. I’m sad for the ones who’ve settled for less than they deserve and are miserable in their relationships. I’m sad for the ones I watch cling to a piece of a man just so they can say they have one. And I’m even sadder for the ones who desperately want to be mothers so they’re making a go at it with men who aren’t good people or good boyfriends and will likely be even worse fathers. And even more than being sad for them, I am determined not to become one of them.