What is it about some single women over 35 that puts them in the "desperate" category? What makes them "desperate"? And why are they "desperate"? And what exactly is it they are "desperate" for?
Some time ago, I watched the movie Young Adult, starring Charlize Theron. It was a pretty good movie, and I am surprised that it didn't get as much publicity as it should have. I suppose the subject matter was too disturbing for some women, and men didn't really care much about it. Young Adult is about a single thirty-something woman, Mavis Gary, who writes teen novels. When we are introduced to Mavis, she is in some kind of mid-life crisis - her book series is about to be canceled, she has to deal with writer's block as she struggles to complete her very last book for her series, and she receives notice that her former boyfriend has just had a baby with his wife. That last bit of news about her boyfriend throws her into a frantic attempt to woo back her former boyfriend - believing that he was the right one she had let go of all those years ago. She rushes back to her small hometown to see the baby, but in reality she goes back home to get back her former boyfriend.
Mavis Gary is certainly pretty (how can she - when she is all put together that is, with the make-up and the hair coiffed. But we also get to see her in her real state when there is no one around (no one that matters to her anyway) to see - she is a drunk, she is depressed, and she is a messed up slob.
Poor Mavis tries her best to seduce her former boyfriend, but fails miserably and ends up being viewed with pity from almost everyone back home, including her own parents. Just when she is faced with the bitter truth about her sad self, she convinces herself (with help from a poorly deluded friend) that she is just fine the way she is, and that everyone else basically sucks. And she quickly rushes out of the small hometown back to her life in the city - back to be the thirty something single woman living in a small high-rise condo by herself, with a dog as a companion.
This past weekend, I was suddenly reminded of this Young Adult movie. I just realized that I had a Mavis Gary in my own life, and she had been transforming into one for the past few years without my realizing it!
Signs I had Mavis Gary as a Friend
The Single Desperate Woman
First, all the talk was slowly geared towards men and dating. And all the trials that came with it. Before long as a result of her talk, I truly wondered if all the single men out there were suddenly scumbags, or if she just had a knack for attracting only the scumbags (I wouldn't know much about the dating world as I don't date, or don't need to, and haven't had to in almost a decade!).
Second, she cut off all her hair and experimented with all sorts of hairstyles. Heading towards 40 meant dealing with the never-ending sprouting of gray hairs. So shorter hair was easier to deal with.
Third, the hemlines became shorter. More skin was exposed even in the dead of winter. Once when we met up for lunch during winter, she turned up in a skin-tight skirt that had a back zipper that went up from top to bottom of the entire skirt, paired with a sparkly top and high heel shoes that she could not walk straight in. Err, it's an afternoon lunch we're doing, not heading to a sleazy night club. How do you tell someone that they are dressing like a hooker without being mean?! Seriously. There is a clear line between sexy and trashy - but the Mavis Garys of the world do not seem to realize it.
Fourth, she enrolled in a gym and began to exercise. This was a good thing. But suddenly, she became an expert over me on all things related to exercise - me, who has been exercising since my college days?!
Fifth, she took pride in being asked out on dates by blue collar folks she ran across in the streets - like cab drivers, gas attendants and mechanics. There is nothing wrong here, but she has zero intention or interest in dating someone who is in a blue collar job. But nevertheless takes pride in the attention, and brags about it.
Sixth, she dates people who are sometimes young enough to be my baby brother. This is obvious to everyone else, but her. And she realizes it too late that they guys had lied about their age. For one reason, I suppose.
Seventh, she got a permanent tattoo.
If she ever tries to go back to her one of her many former boyfriends, I'm just going to have to sit her down and break the truth to her - that she has obviously turned into a single desperate woman without realizing it. Sigh.