"1950's red dice in red car"Woman of a Certain Age by Marcia Barhydt

GET OUT OF THE ’50s and ’60s!

If you’re a woman raised as I was in the 1950s, then you had certain expectations placed on your shoulders. One was that when you graduated from high school, you’d move quickly toward marriage. If you wanted a career, you had 2 choices: nursing school or teachers college. And even if you did have a chosen career for a year or two, when you married, you were expected to stay home. It was a given that you were a virgin when you married. When children followed marriage, it was mandatory that you stayed home full time.

You were under-exposed to life and you often became insular and timid, a people pleaser. You found your joy in being the perfect wife and mother, not in something you did only for yourself.

So now, 50 years later, you find yourself with no children to care for and divorced from your husband.

You’ve lived through the advent of feminism which gave us all the ok to try unheard of freedoms. With the new birth control pill, our lives would be radically changed. We no longer viewed sex as a duty; we started viewing sex as a pleasure, as an act worthwhile of our embrace.

After a time of coming to terms with your new status, you decide to try an online dating website. As you write your own profile, you realize that you have no idea about what attracts today’s man, so you revert to the attitude and behaviour that served you in the 50s.

You act defensively about your body because of the mainstream sexual activities that predominate today, and you don’t want a man thinking you’re one of ‘those girls’. So, just as you acted in the ’50s, you once again act hard to get, thinking that will work now also. We regress to what we know.

You revert to the virginal prig that all young women were expected to be before the advent of the feminist movement. You believe it will make you attractive on today’s electronic dating scene.

But you’re wrong. The woman of the ’50s is gone now and the guiles that she used to catch a husband are gone also.

So before you strike out to join a dating website or before you sign up for your church choir or before you do anything leading toward social activity, not just dating, remember this advice…

If you’re stuck back in the ’50s with the morals of that time, how very sad for you.
If you act as if you’re back in the ’50s with the morals of that time, how even more very sad for you.

Talk to your daughters, to their friends, read Cosmo, read Gloria Steinem, read Erica Jong, join pertinent chat forums to learn what the chatter is today (find them by Googling something like ‘dating today’.)

Learn how to get out of the ’50s and into life today with all the wonderful opportunities available if you’re willing to change your thinking, if you’re willing to embrace the new attitude that life has given you when you weren’t looking.

I’m a woman of a certain age and I’m certain that living my life now is way better than being stuck in the ’50s!

©Marcia Barhydt, 2011