The Goddess Speaks

By Mona Wood

Tuesday, June 29, 1999

Cross of the single goddess

I used to get the "the question" ALL the time: "So ... why aren't you married, yet?" The questioner would eye me suspiciously, probably searching for some abnormality. Or, worse, I'd have friends, even strangers, trying to set me up with Mr. Right because I obviously wasn't going to find him myself.

I dreaded the question, but somehow smiled through the well-meaning queries and offers "to help" which started about 10 years ago when I reached the "you-should-be-married-and-raising-a-family-by-now!" age.

Well, it suddenly dawned on me that I wasn't getting those concerned nudges anymore. Are times a-changin'?

Since this particular "goddess" is now in her (ahem) late 30s, I've shared this realization with an eclectic group of friends -- singles, married couples, men and women, gay and straight -- and we've come to three conclusions on why this shift has occured. (It was all very scientific, but the dog ate the data.)

1. I'm beyond hope and people have given up on me ever finding a Prince Charming who will take me down that aisle;

2. The human population has suddenly become more sensitive and realized they're not helping the situation by rubbing it in to us "old maids" because we've suffered enough; and

3. Western society has finally evolved and accepted that women can choose if and when to marry without the stigma that we're incomplete or unhappy without marriage.

Assuming everyone who knows me is aware that I'm not gay (not that there's anything wrong with that, as Jerry Seinfeld would say), I'd like to think reason No. 3 is behind the drop-off in the daily humiliation ritual of having to answer "the question." However, I have a feeling it's a combination of all three, and other reasons.

AT banks and stores, many times I'm addressed as "Mrs." even though I don't have a wedding ring on. Do I have a "married look" or are they just assuming someone as "old" as I am must be married?

The terms "old maid" and "spinster" conjure up images of a homely wallflower who has let life pass her by. According to "Mr. Webster," the definition of an old maid is "an unmarried, usually older woman; a prim, prudish person." Doesn't that sound attractive?

I'm no wallflower, believe me. I've dated a lot, still manage to get my dance card filled, and have even fallen in love a couple of times. But the time or person never fit quite right enough for marriage.

I prefer Star-Bulletin's term, "Goddess," w-a-y better! It's much more suited to the many attractive, intelligent and confident women I know who have made the same choice to wait until it feels right and not let societal pressures make the decision for us.

My career has been a priority, and I spend any maternal tendencies I have doting on my nieces and nephews.

I have little domestic talent and won't create any illusions about myself to make me appear "better marriage material." No man can expect June Cleaver vacuuming in a crisply ironed. There's nothing wrong with being June, if that's who you are. Goddesses are a diverse group and should feel free to choose different paths.

Sure, if "some enchanted evening (I) see a stranger across a crowded room" and it's kismet, I'll join the ranks of the 'till-death-do-us-part vow takers. Until then, though, I'm perfectly content being a single goddess.

Mona Wood is the president of Ikaika Communications,
a public relations company.

The Goddess Speaks runs every Tuesday
and is a column by and about women, our strengths, weaknesses,
quirks and quandaries. If you have something to say, write it and
send it to: The Goddess Speaks, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, P.O.
Box 3080, Honolulu, 96802, or send e-mail

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