Single? The clock is ticking

Mona Lisa smile is a movie set in 1953 about a young college professor (Katherine Watson) who starts work at the prestigious women’s college, Wellesley College. Katherine soon realises that the women at Wellesley are more concerned with finding a good husband than they are about academic excellence and their careers.

I watched this movie for the first time when I was in high school and I thought it was absolutely absurd and that the only reason that movie made sense was because it was set in 1953.

I’m in university now and well the more things change the more they stay the same. As women we like to talk about marriage. It’s either we are trashing it or we are dreaming about our almost perfect husbands and our hopefully beautiful children (that all depends on how much we make fun of other people doesn’t it?). I digress.

There is an annoying clock ticking in my ear every time I see a couple on campus holding hands. The clock is not a figment of my imagination please do not even go there. It is real, it was created by society, it was created by my friends and the conversations we have and the movies I watch. It started ticking in my sepedi class when the teacher told us that the word for a spinster is “lefetwa”. Loosely translated “one who has missed one’s opportunity”. Seriously??? What opportunity? Okay I’m starting to come across as the angry single woman.

But honestly though, I have never had a conversation with a man about him being single and sensed any form of urgency to find someone to spend the rest of his life with. I had a conversation with a guy this week and he told me if I want to think about settling down I seriously need to start looking for men that are 8-10 years older than I am. I’m sorry but I do not want to be with an old guy who won’t be able to play catch with my children. *chuckles*.

Mona Lisa smile is a movie set in 1953 about a young college professor (Katherine Watson) who starts work at the prestigious women’s college, Wellesley College. Katherine soon realises that the women at Wellesley are more concerned with finding a good husband than they are about academic excellence and their careers.

I watched this movie for the first time when I was in high school and I thought it was absolutely absurd and that the only reason that movie made sense was because it was set in 1953.

I’m in university now and well the more things change the more they stay the same. As women we like to talk about marriage. It’s either we are trashing it or we are dreaming about our almost perfect husbands and our hopefully beautiful children (that all depends on how much we make fun of other people doesn’t it?). I digress.

There is an annoying clock ticking in my ear. Everytime I see a couple on campus holding hands, the clock just gets louder. The clock is not a figment of my imagination please do not even go there. It is real, it was created by society, it was created by my friends and the conversations we have and the movies I watch. It started ticking in my sepedi class when the teacher told us that the word for a spinster is “lefetwa”. Loosely translated it is “one who has missed one’s opportunity”. Seriously??? What opportunity? Okay I’m starting to come across as the angry single woman.

But honestly though, I have never had a conversation with a man about him being single and sensed any form of urgency to find someone to spend the rest of his life with. I had a conversation with a guy this week and he told me if I want to think about settling down I seriously need to start looking for men that are 8-10 years older than I am. I’m sorry but I do not want to be with an old guy who won’t be able to play catch with my children. *chuckles*.

*sigh*
I think this is going to be a post full of confused and hyper-ventilation starting statements.

Okay I need to get serious and get to the point of this post. I asked around about the sepedi or setswana word for a spinster and for a bachelor. Immediately, everyone knew the answer for a spinster. Ka setswana, ke lehetwa. Ka sepedi, ke lefetwa. It took asking people’s parents to find out what the male counterpart was. The word for a bachelor with an equal negative connotation ka setswana ke lekgwatlha and ka sepedi ke kgopa.

But why did many of us not know this word immediately? I believe it has a lot to do with the fact that men don’t have a clock ticking so very few of them would be referred to with those words. Either that or we could simply admit that model c schools have resulted in us not knowing our mother tongues as well as we should, but I’ll stick with the first idea because it will help my argument. I had a conversation about this with a good friend of mine and she said “the greatest problem is that women’s relational viability is determined by our fertility…we run out of eggs, men always have sperm, even at 60”. Men are not racing against time, there is no biological clock.

But in as much as that is true it is ridiculous that we allow that to define us. It is ridiculous because we end up settling for nonsense. I have seen many girls in toxic relationships which are clearly headed for disaster simply because they feel like they cannot do any better and after this there is just no opportunity for better. “If I’m 25 and I leave the one I’m with, how will I find another man?” I doubt there are many men out there who allow the abuse that we do because of our fear of being alone.

Mona-Lisa Smile was set in 1953, watch the movie and watch the series Mad Men and you will know what those times were like. It is obvious where a woman’s place was. Times have changed but mindsets haven’t. We are still chasing the ring, and when we don’t get it within a certain timeframe then we go crazy.

My sister inspired this post because she said something so beautiful to me last week. She said we need to realise that “loneliness is a bad word for being alone. But actually, being alone is a long journey to discovering yourself.”

Discover yourself, and be comfortable with who you are. That clock should not represent you running out of time allow it to represent the time you are allowing yourself to simply live your life.

Woman, you are not single! You are in a longstanding relationship with fun and freedom.

Signed
BeautifulPersianStar

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2 thoughts on “Single? The clock is ticking

  1. I had fallen into the trap of oooohing and aaahing over couples who walk around campus sharing sweet laughs, hand in hand, lying on the lawns and just seeming so engulfed in each other that they do not even notice me staring. The idea of being inlove with “Mr right” had been gnawing at my all ready over loaded brain that the idea of fiinding “Mr Right” had been substituted with my despreate need of “Mr right-now” (which by the way was not the best solution).

    The idea of settling for “Mr Right-now” because “Mr Right” is seemingly hiding somewhere in the trenches not wanting to be found, has plagued a vast majority of young women and has robbed us of the happiness that Mr right could bring all because our need to be loved, by a man, has clouded our abiltiy to wait and be content with oursevles.

    As you say we(women) need to understand that being sinlge does not mean we are lonely miserable beings, instead we need to facilitate a culture of, as the Pussycat Dolls sang “I dont need a man to make me happy” without sounding like bitter angry spinsters.

    Awesome post

    Like

  2. I love what you said right at the end. That we need to strike some sort of balance and not end up being angry and bitter. Relationships are cool, they just shouldn’t be our end all and be all.

    Like

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