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Old Maids Rule!
"Women live longer if they throw away the ring," says an article by Adele Horin in the Sydney Morning Herald:

If women are looking for the key to long-lasting health, they should consider getting rid of their man.

That is one finding of research by two Queensland universities that reveals that divorced, widowed and single women in older age appear to be healthier than their married counterparts.

A man's health, however, appears to be unaffected by his marital status.

The surprise finding may help allay fears that the burgeoning group of older single females - products of the divorce surge of the 1970s and 1980s - will place an extra burden on health budgets.

The Queensland University and Queensland University of Technology study - Marriage dissolution and health amongst the elderly: the role of social and economic resources - was based on a sample of 2300 Australians over 60 and will be published in the forthcoming issue of the journal Just Policy.

It shows that divorced, widowed and never-married elderly women reported significantly better general health than married women, challenging long-held beliefs that married people had better overall physical and mental health than non-married.

"Maybe married women are worn out from looking after their husbands," said researcher Belinda Hewitt, of the school of social science at the University of Queensland.

I'm so tired of the myth that your life simply isn't complete without a significant other. I have a boyfriend, but that's only because I accidentally met somebody very, very right for me after tossing back hundreds that came before him like sickly trout. A glamor-girl friend sent me her black-wit birthday invite today:

In honor of me turning a year older, I’m having a few folks over for cocktails this Saturday. If getting one step closer to dying old and alone isn’t a reason to drink, I don’t know what is.

Here was my response:

Oh, you glama girl, look on the bright side: dying old and alone is better than dying old and a nursemaid to some demented old coot who needs a lot of help with his diapers!

I mean, if you love somebody to pieces, sure, diaper duty comes with. But too many people are too desperate to partner up -- and why? Because they aren't interesting enough to be by themselves for any length of time! And so they'll have somebody around to wipe their drool! And in the name of "love"? Please. Live with dignity while you're young, and make enough money that you can pay somebody later in life to follow you around with a washrag and clean up your spit!

Posted by aalkon at January 11, 2005 8:35 AM

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» On being alone from The Hole
Amy Alkon has a post on being alone that reminded me of a very good article in the current issue of O, the Oprah Magazine. (Believe it or not, this is probably my favourite magazine ever. It always has thought-provoking... [Read More]

Tracked on January 12, 2005 2:01 AM

Comments

Simply brilliant, I salute you.

We live in a world where the number one fear of people is to be alone. It's preached by the preachers, sanctioned economically by the government, promoted by the psycological community, and blitzkrieged to us via media with virtually every sitcom, movie and song extolling the virtues of love and partnerships.

This endless quest for mythical love is another of the many things that keeps people weak. Religion infantilizes, as does psychology(talking cure type). People have the ability to be strong, if only they would exercise it.

Not only am I an atheist, but I am also a humanist,which goes beyond atheism, in an effort to free people from the bonds of illusion and then embolden and strengthen them.
People feeling lousy, inferior, horrible about themselves jump toward relationships to make themselves feel better. Of course it doesn't work. But if a person is strong to begin with, not in need of a relationship, then a relationship becomes possible, should one want one, not out of need, but out of choice.

Posted by: chris volkay at January 11, 2005 4:33 PM

Does this study take childbirth into account? (I didn't want to register to read it). Squeezing out those pups is hard on a girl.

Your friend's atitude is sad. I for one like getting older. I find I'm less stupid as I age.

Posted by: Todd Fletcher at January 11, 2005 5:28 PM

Never register to read anything. Simply click on bugmenot.com and get a password.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 11, 2005 10:11 PM

Amy, I was just reading aloud to my boyfriend an article from the current O: the Oprah Magazine (no, I'm not into torture - it's a good piece, and he had a lot to say about it), on page 51, I believe. It's about how most people who think and say that they're after a romantic partnership are really after a parent. They haven't given up the desire to be parented the way they wish they had been as a child, and they look to their partners to do the things they wish their parents had done: praise them, love them, and meet their needs. As the therapist quoted in the article says, adults meet their own needs, they don't look for someone else to do it.

Posted by: Jackie D at January 12, 2005 1:37 AM

I think most readers of Oprah Magazine are looking for a parent (specifically, a nurturing mammy) at the newstand. Present company not included, of course!

Posted by: Lena at January 12, 2005 1:47 AM

Lena, the word "mammy" was enough to crack me up! Been a long time since I've heard that one. Anyway, your comment made me think that Oprah is probably one of the least maternal-seeming public figures I can think of; I would believe, though, that a lot of the people buying her magazine are looking for a guru of some sort (and the guru's gurus, eg Bob Greene, Dr Phil, Rosie Whateverhernameis, Art Whateverhisnameis). It's the only magazine I never consider a waste of money though, and considering that it costs me a whopping $8 per issue here in Britain, that's saying something.

Posted by: Jackie D at January 12, 2005 2:06 AM

I'm not a fan, but I know the Oprah is indeed a big deal. I dated a guy once who thought of his mother's entire life as being divided into 2 broad phases: Before Oprah, and After Oprah. The A.O. phase was infinitely superior to the B.O.

Posted by: The Lena Phase at January 12, 2005 2:42 AM

I agree, Jackie, and there's a therapist in Santa Barbara who wrote a huge tome based on this -- Fear Of Intimacy by Firestone -- that talks about this. He calls what most people have "the fantasy bond." An adult relationship is the ideal. And rare. Its absence keeps me in fresh croissants.

Oprah's very cool. I have a lot of admiration for Oprah and Martha Stewart.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 12, 2005 4:10 AM

Many evenings you'll find Amy slumped over a copy of "Fear of Intimacy" at the local bar. Meanwhile, Lena's taking notes from "The Tuskegee Syphillis Study" and wondering why the guys aren't offering to buy her a drink.

Any chick with an ugly name like "Oprah" (what WERE her parents thinking?) who can claw her way to the top gets 100% respect from me. Give that woman a blow job!

Posted by: Lena the barfly at January 12, 2005 5:48 AM

I believe Oprah is a biblical name from the book of Ruth. See, Naomi had two sons, who each had a wife: Ruth and Oprah. When the sons died, Naomi said, go on, you guys, remarry and be happy. Ruth did the (supposedly) generous thing, and said, oh no, MIL, I'll stay with you. Oprah was the (supposedly) selfish one who said, see ya, wouldn't wanna be ya!

Posted by: Kate at January 12, 2005 6:47 AM

Oh DArn!!!!!
Just when i think you're beginning to get it.
Oprah is the most disgusting, whining, sniveling
new-age loving, celebrity worshipping, religious, empty headed, fad following santimonius sack of shit that has ever graced the airwaves.

Yes, in one area, she deserves credit. Coming from nowhere to being a big star. I suppose you could say the same for Billy Graham or John Edward.

Empty-headed idiotic women have made her a star and of course these empty-headed idiotic women deseerve what they get.(Although I hasten to add here, there are many women that can't stand Orca either.)

Posted by: chris volkay at January 12, 2005 7:15 AM

Hey, Kate --

I read the Book of Ruth when I was a kid. If I remember correctly, she was described as virtuous in part because she slept at the feet of her husband. Kind of weird, huh? I much prefer the Harlot in Revelations.

Blasphemously Yours,
Lena

Posted by: That's Lena with a Scarlet A at January 12, 2005 8:23 AM

Oh, Volkay, calm down. Both Oprah and Martha built empires. I admire them for that. I only wish I had time to watch TV. It's nearly 2am and I'm still slumped over a computer.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 12, 2005 9:46 AM

Yes, she built an empire. But unfortunately by dispensing an empire of feeling and emotion and so-called positive thinking. She is the antithesis of reason and critical thinking, a big whiny dolt. The poster child of modern woman-who, 94% of them, at least, thinks and seeks their soulmate.

Posted by: chris volkay at January 12, 2005 2:40 PM

Speaking of dolts-
Oprah isn't from the bible
It's Harpo spelled backwards
a favorite of her parents-jeez
must i correct everything?

Posted by: chris volkay at January 12, 2005 2:44 PM

Chris Volkay is the funniest fictional character ever! Well, not quite, but he's cracking me up. Yes, Chris Volkay, you MUST correct EVERYTHING with your misinformation - otherwise, what will we laugh at?

The poster child of modern woman-who, 94% of them, at least, thinks and seeks their soulmate.

Check out the current issue of O, the Oprah Magazine, which has a huge story on why the myth of a soulmate is the biggest scam going.

Posted by: Jackie D at January 12, 2005 3:19 PM

And yet 94% of idiotic women believe it
You actually prove my point JD
if you Jackie were capable of critical thinking(what am I saying?) you'd have discerned that I didn't say it was Orcas fault-only that her silly pandering to emotion and feeling contributes to it.
And yes, if Amy, were a decent human being, she would have me on retainer, just like the cuisena, for all of the misinformation I so unselfishly clear up. It's one of my many contributions to brain-dead humanity.

Posted by: chris volkay at January 12, 2005 3:32 PM

According to Wikipedia:

Oprah Gail Winfrey (born 29 January 1954 in Kosciusko, Mississippi) is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the United States. Her birth certificate has Orpah, after the Moabite woman in the Book of Ruth, but family and neighbors transposed the R and the P when pronouncing and writing her name. Eventually, Oprah became the accepted name.

Best,
Goddyss

Posted by: Goddyss at January 12, 2005 6:04 PM

As to the oprah/harpo conundrum
i heard the whiny slob say it on her show one day.
Right between her tears and her new age prayers and her raptured awe of her friend, Dr. Ass
Best,
Chris V.

Posted by: chris volkay at January 12, 2005 7:49 PM

You're great, Chris. Stay grumpy!

hugs,
Lena

Posted by: Lena at January 13, 2005 12:21 AM

I agree with sentiments. And a good example that proves what you said in a simple proper name: "Mrs. HL Mencken"

Posted by: Mao Say "Tongue Kiss" at January 13, 2005 1:23 AM

I've written a bit about that, too, Jackie. The "soul mate" crock. Ugh! Chris, I would like to have the cash to put you on retainer, then I could buy an apartment in Paris!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at January 13, 2005 10:39 PM

Amy is wrong about "soul mates" because she's mine and I'm hers -- it's just that it would never work out, that's all.

Posted by: vetta at January 17, 2005 7:51 PM