Mar 19, 2008

Graceful Retreat

Поредният пост с дълги цитати. Преди време пратих тази статия на моя приятелка с феминистки убеждения. И двете решихме, че тезата на авторката Лори Готлиб е много добре защитена.

Заглавието на статията е нещо като "Защо да улегнеш - ожени се за г-н "Не съвсем идеален". Самият израз ¤settling¤ предполага установяване, спокоен живот, избор на разума пред чувствата. Посланието е: мили дами, особено ако сте над 35 и неомъжени, не чакайте голямата любов и г-н Идеален, защото такъв няма. Авторката знае какво говори, защото има дете от неизвестен донор, което отглежда сама. В един момент този житейски избор й се е сторил добра идея.
At the time, I truly believed, “I can have it all—a baby now, my soul mate later!”

Well … ha! Hahahaha. And ha.

(...) Even women who settle but end up divorced might be in a better position than those of us who became mothers on our own, because many ex-wives get both child-support payments and a free night off when the kids go to Dad’s house for a sleepover. Never-married moms don’t get the night off. At the end of the evening, we rush home to pay the babysitter, make any houseguest tiptoe around and speak in a hushed voice, then wake up at 6 a.m. at the first cries of “Mommy!” Try bringing a guy home to that.

За биологичния часовник, за робуването и/или борбата със стереотипите, за самоуверените жени, намерили път и реализация извън брака и децата.

By the time 35th-birthday-brunch celebrations roll around for still-single women, serious, irreversible life issues masquerading as “jokes” creep into public conversation: Well, I don’t feel old, but my eggs sure do! or Maybe this year I’ll marry Todd. I’m not getting any younger! The birthday girl smiles a bit too widely as she delivers these lines, and everyone laughs a little too hard for a little too long, not because we find these sentiments funny, but because we’re awkwardly acknowledging how unfunny they are. At their core, they pose one of the most complicated, painful, and pervasive dilemmas many single women are forced to grapple with nowadays: Is it better to be alone, or to settle?

Всъщност отначало преведох "settling " като "компромис", после го смених, защото нямаше да мога да предам разграничението между двете. Доколко го има, наистина?

All marriages, of course, involve compromise, but where’s the cutoff? Where’s the line between compromising and settling, and at what age does that line seem to fade away? Choosing to spend your life with a guy who doesn’t delight in the small things in life might be considered settling at 30, but not at 35. By 40, if you get a cold shiver down your spine at the thought of embracing a certain guy, but you enjoy his company more than anyone else’s, is that settling or making an adult compromise?
Мъжете, както често се случва, не просто разглеждат проблема от различна гледна точка, ами имат различна дефиниция за "проблем".

My friend Alan, for instance, justified his choice of a “bland” wife who’s a good mom but with whom he shares little connection this way: “I think one-stop shopping is overrated. I get passion at my office with my work, or with my friends that I sometimes call or chat with—it’s not the same, and, boy, it would be exciting to have it with my spouse. But I spend more time with people at my office than I do with my spouse.”

Then there’s my friend Chris, a single 35-year-old marketing consultant who for three years dated someone he calls “the perfect woman”—a kind and beautiful surgeon. She broke off the relationship several times because, she told him with regret, she didn’t think she wanted to spend her life with him. Each time, Chris would persuade her to reconsider, until finally she called it off for good, saying that she just couldn’t marry somebody she wasn’t in love with. Chris was devastated, but now that his ex-girlfriend has reached 35, he’s suddenly hopeful about their future.

“By the time she turns 37,” Chris said confidently, “she’ll come back. And I’ll bet she’ll marry me then. I know she wants to have kids.” I asked Chris why he would want to be with a woman who wasn’t in love with him. Wouldn’t he be settling, too, by marrying someone who would be using him to have a family? Chris didn’t see it that way at all. “She’ll be settling,” Chris said cheerfully. “But not me. I get to marry the woman of my dreams. That’s not settling. That’s the fantasy.”

Претенциите на жените нарастват с възрастта, вместо да намаляват, твърди авторката. Лошо, Седларов.
a woman in her mid- to late 30s is more discriminating than one in her 20s. She has friends who have known her since childhood, friends who will know her more intimately and understand her more viscerally than any man she meets in midlife. Her tastes and sense of self are more solidly formed. She says things like “He wants me to move downtown, but I love my home at the beach,” and, “But he’s just not curious,” and “Can I really spend my life with someone who’s allergic to dogs?”

Вчерашните 30 са днешните 40 години, поне за американките. Тогава сякаш изведнъж разбират, че не са Мадона и овластяването на жените от феминизма не прогонва самотата.

Consider the men whom older women I know have married in varying degrees of desperation over the past few years: a recovering alcoholic who doesn’t always go to his meetings; a trying-to-make-it-in-his-40s actor; a widower who has three nightmarish kids and who’s still actively grieving for his dead wife; and a socially awkward engineer (so socially awkward that he declined to attend his wife’s book party). It’s not that these women are crazy; it’s that the dating pool has dwindled dramatically and that, due to gender politics, the few available men tend to require far more of a concession than those who were single when we were younger. And while I have a much higher tolerance for settling than I did back then, now I have my son to consider. It’s one thing to settle for a subpar mate; it’s quite another to settle for a subpar father figure for my child.
Като цяло авторката е прекалено много жена и твърде малко човек за моя вкус, но има попадения. Разбира се, бива оплюта със страшна сила и дива ярост. Например тук.

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