Thursday Link: Sheng Nu Like You

Thanks Essay for this link.

Somehow, in spite of the fact that there are 30 million more men in China than women, there are still loads of single women nearing 30. (Take that, NASI 10% statistics.) It’s a global epidemic!

On the bright side, now I know the truth: I’m not over the hill. I’m sheng nu. As the Chinese gov’t puts it:

These girls hope to further their education in order to increase their competitiveness. The tragedy is, they don’t realise that as women age, they are worth less and less. So by the time they get their MA or PhD, they are already old – like yellowed pearls.

Ouch.

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Thursday Link: Same Old Familiar Pleasantness

Ha’aretz makes you register to read their articles free, but it’s worth it for this beautiful piece.

My favorite parts:

I can already predict the end of the evening, or perhaps next week or three weeks after that, when he will make that inevitable, anxious joke: “So, will your next story be about me?” And I smile and think, “Do something interesting first.”

The beauty of this line is that she actually is writing about them. It has a subtext not unlike that associated with the great music blogger’s line:  “You’re so vain you probably think this post is about you.”  I do get that question too often. It makes dating while blogging about dating rather awkward at times. How do you tell someone that they’re not being written about without implying that they’re not worth writing about?

She also writes:

The neighboring tables watch too, curious about the young couple who might be engaged to marry within months; she knows that the younger girls are wide-eyed as they play guessing games nearby, because only a few years ago it had been she herself watching from afar: “What do you think, Leah? Is it their fifth date? No, no, they look too uncomfortable, must be a third.”

Hey wait, younger girls? I still do that. It’s always fun to nudge your neighbor and point out a date, the couple standing a careful distance apart, the awkwardly restrained conversation of two people who are still trying to make a good impression on each other, who still don’t trust each other quite enough to just be their regular selves…

Just last week I was out with some girlfriends and a date took the next table over. I guessed they were on 5 or 6 based on their greater comfort level and the way the guys eyes shined when he gazed at the girl. They made a very cute couple too. If that was you in Shalom Bombay, I wish you all the best.

There are times when I consider putting aside these shidduch dates, but I realize that I have no interest in stepping outside of the warmth of my small, familiar world. There’s no other place I’d rather be in, no dizzying cocktail party that can rival the quiet intensity of our traditions.

Amen.

Living in the Now?

Sometimes, I really hate feminism for making us all have to work, instead of staying home, cultivating hobbies, and making dinner every night.

Then, sometimes I really love it for making it possible for us to spend our time productively, even if we’re single.

It is a female habit to analyze every change in one’s life against the effect it will have on a hypothetical future family. How will I handle kids and this job? How will  I support a learner on this income? If I get electrolysis, will it all be undone by pregnancy hormones? If I get a job in finance, what will I do if my future husband wants to live in Kansas City? Do I really want to get promoted if it means working longer hours that will keep me from being at home when my kids get off the bus from school? And on and on.

A few days ago, eating tuna out of a can on a business trip in Manitoba, similar thoughts crossed my mind. And suddenly I realized: that’s a really stupid way to approach life.  Imagine if I’d done that 6 years ago. Where would I be right now? Definitely not in Manitoba. Imagine all the things I’d have missed out, hugging the metropolitan area, working part time, living a family-oriented life with no family to orient around.

You can always rearrange your career later, if necessary. Why downgrade ahead of time in anticipation of what might never be?

So, my resolution for the next six years is not to worry about the hypothetical. I’ll just live my life based on my current life, which is one situation I know I can count on being in (for nine months at least).

New Rule: Don’t Rely on Single Friends

I propose the 3-month rule for making plans with single friends. Beyond that, their priorities can get fuzzied by a gentleman caller who may have called more than the usual amount of times.

There was the time a few of us had loads of fun at the Rennaissance Faire, so we decided to go again next year. We all whipped out our phones and entered the appointment.

Well, within 9months one had gotten married and moved to Israel, and the other was married and in Connecticut.

Then there was the time I made a bet on a matter that could only be proven at the end of the year. Again, Friend and I marked it in our phones. But before I could win (or lose) the prized pie of pizza, the phone was lost down the drain and the owner had left to Israel, met a gentleman, married him, and moved to Houston.

So I probably shouldn’t have gotten excited about the idea of an annual kayaking trip with a NMF#17. Granted, you don’t often find nice Jewish girls willing to spend a week paddling down a river and camping in the woods. There is no reason to suppose that someone wouldn’t come along and snap up such a rare gem on sight. But I can’t help but feel a teeny drop let down about it.

When you get down to it, every single woman’s goal seems to be to get married. And she will prioritize that well above any of her other single friends. So, it’s important, when dealing with single friends, to never plan more than nine months out. This way, you will never get stood up, or jilted for a man.

Quote of the Week: Feeling Sorry for Someone?

HT to my mother, who was eavesdropping on the bus:

“Here you are with three kids, while I’m scrounging around for  dates.”

Personally, I don’t see the connection. You can have three kids and still be scrounging around for dates (via divorce) or have no kids and not be dating (married, childless), or various other imaginative combinations. Moreover, while children are loads of fun, they’re also a massive pain, so while they’re something I would love to have, I’m not kvetching about not having them yet. And scrounging for dates? Well, when I remember how miserable I feel after a string of bad dates, I think I’d rather have none than lousy ones.

My verdict: this woman needs to get over herself.

Friday Repost: Insensitive Sensitivity

Don’t you hate it when people are sensitive to you? It reminds me of the time in 9th grade when the teacher was always going on about how friendless we all feel in a new school and we should all do a “neck exercise” to turn and look for someone else who needs our friendship.

Well, after that little speech, I viewed any overtures of friendship with suspicion. Why was Ms. Popular suddenly dropping by my desk to say hello? Did she think I had no friends? What a snub!

Sensitivity is like that. People are trying to be nice to you, and all it does is highlight that they perceive an inadequacy in your life. I read a complaint about the “Happy Holidays” greeting. “We all know that it just means ‘Merry Christmas to all of you poor losers who don’t celebrate Christmas’,” the blogger whinged. In other words, once again, sensitivity is taken the wrong way.

Let’s face it: sensitivity is insensitive! Especially when done sensitively. It suggests that you simply aren’t equipped to handle one aspect of your life, and everyone else is required to tiptoe around you to prevent a meltdown.

I believe that the best solution to this is that everyone just stop being sensitive. Usually the other person won’t notice, because they’re not sensitive on the same items as you think they are. And if they are? They’ll just deal with it the way they deal with all the things you’re not sensitive about (like not being sensitive) – by growing a thicker skin.

All these musings, of course, wer inspired by a post inspired by someone being sensitive about my being single. And back then I was only 21.