Moving on

25 03 2014

So I have this friend that I used to work with.  She’s spiritual and loving, probably more religious than I am, and full of positive energy.  A month or so ago she sent me a Facebook message that she had met the man who was going to be my next husband.  And she connected the two of us so that we could communicate, even though he was at least a thousand miles away.

Importantly, she hadn’t actually met him.  She had connected with him through LinkedIn and was coaching him on growing the business he was trying to start.  I didn’t know that at the time and I went ahead with learning about each other through writing and phone calls.

The first problems were technological.  He’d call me and I couldn’t hear a word he said because the connection was so bad. I wrote to him and he said he never got the emails.  I’d reply to his texts and he’d say he never got them.  We connected on Facebook and the next day all of his messages to me were labeled by Facebook as spam, so I severed that connection.  I knew he wasn’t a native English speaker, so I made some allowances for the language barrier… but that didn’t explain why his LinkedIn profile said he was Swedish, his Facebook profile said he was from New Mexico, and his first email to me said he was Mexican.    I started to suspect that he wasn’t living in the US as he claimed, because he seemed incapable of figuring out what time it was in Chicago, which should only have been an hour’s difference.

I started putting my phone on “do not disturb” at night, because otherwise I’d be awakened by incoming text messages all night, and never mind that I had told him that I get up before 5:00 in the morning to go to work.  I would get up in the morning to find a series of why-are-u-ignoring-me text messages (text-speak makes me break out in a rash).

I told him he needed to simmer down, that things take time – and as our first connection was March 7 (yes, that’s 18 days ago today) that it was perhaps rushing things a bit to be planning all of the things he was going to do around my house when we were finally together.  This morning he wanted to know when I’d be ready to “move on with a life partner”.

Yeah.  I finally cracked.

“Move on”.  Move on from what?  From the life I have now, with a pretty decent job?  From my chorus family that I’ve been singing with for over fifteen years?  From the family that I married, that I’m still strongly connected to over seven years after being widowed?  From my connections to my mother and my son, both of whom live only blocks from me?  What exactly am I supposed to be moving on from?

Oh, I know the answer.  I’m supposed to be moving on from the tragedy of being a single woman.  Because heaven knows there is no worse situation, no greater torture, than not being hetero-partnered.

I am not moving on from anything.  What I have isn’t perfect, but it has deep meaning and value all on its own and it is MINE.  What I have I built with a community of people who matter, people that I love.  I am profoundly connected to families of both blood and choice.  They are precious to me and I’m not moving on.

What I am moving on from is the patriarchal expectation that a woman’s worth depends on her relationship to a man, that her life is less valuable when she isn’t partnered.  And I am emphatically moving on from any connection to this needy leech of a man.  Whatever it is he’s looking for, I wish him the best of luck…but I’m not it.

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3 responses

24 06 2014
Mace

Sorry for your luck on this one. Sounds like you dodged a bullet. As far as a woman’s worth being measured based on partnership: I disagree. I believe that what a lot of women take as a male attitude, actually isn’t…it’s a female one. As a male, I can tell ya I don’t know any man who judges a woman’s worth as a woman based on whether or not she has a husband or partner. I know lots of women who feel glee/pity for their female friends who are single. I don’t believe it’s patriarchal.

24 06 2014
Katherine

Thank you for your comment. While I agree that you do hear this kind of sentiment being expressed by women, it is nonetheless patriarchal in origin, in that a woman’s worth is tied to whoever she is partnered with… and in a patriarchal society, that’s usually a man.

25 03 2014
Becoming Middlebrow

Great article, take a moment and read my article on online dating on my Arts and Culture website Becoming Middlebrow: http://wp.me/p2T9h4-aA

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