Old maidhood better than death!

There’s something about this article that smacks of weird female desperation:

For what experts say is probably the first time, more American women are living without a husband than with one, according to a New York Times analysis of census results.

In 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000.

Coupled with the fact that in 2005 married couples became a minority of all American households for the first time, the trend could ultimately shape social and workplace policies, including the ways government and employers distribute benefits.

Several factors are driving the statistical shift. At one end of the age spectrum, women are marrying later or living with unmarried partners more often and for longer periods. At the other end, women are living longer as widows and, after a divorce, are more likely than men to delay remarriage, sometimes delighting in their newfound freedom….

“A gentleman asked me to marry him and I said no,” she recalled. “I told him, ‘I’m just beginning to fly again, I’m just beginning to be me. Don’t take that away.’ ”

“Marriage kind of aged me because there weren’t options,” Ms. Terris said. “There was only one way to go. Now I have choices. One night I slept on the other side of the bed, and I thought, I like this side.”

She said she was returning to college to get a master’s degree (her former husband “didn’t want me to do that because I was more educated* than he was”), had taken photography classes and was auditioning for a play.

“Once you go through something you think will kill you and it doesn’t,” she said, “every day is like a present.”

It doesn’t kill you! You can sleep on whatever side of the bed you want! Some women delight in it!

And presumably you can have all the cats you like too. But here’s what puzzles me. If remaining permanently alone is so fabulous, then why does nearly every woman on the planet go ballistic every time she hears about a man trading in a woman for a younger model with fewer miles on her?

It seems to me such men should be celebrated, even awarded medals of appreciation, for their demonstrable willingness to sacrifice their own comfort to the great cause of women’s freedom and self-actualization.

And furthermore, if it is laudable for women to resist getting married or avoid it altogether, then why are women so critical of men who openly express their lack of interest in the institution? Why shouldn’t men be praised when they string their girlfriends along encourage their girlfriends to remain free? In fairness, though, one must admit that the article provides a brilliant excuse for guys who wish to put off their marriage-hungry girlfriends.

“Where do I see this going? Great places, lots of fun and interesting places. And I’d love to propose, you know, but I just couldn’t live with myself if I took you away from you. You don’t want me to clip your wings, do you? All right, then.”

*It seems education isn’t quite as sexy as the educated, thirty-something single women keep insisting it is. Seriously, if a woman’s goal is to be attractive to men, a boob job and a fitness membership are much better investments than a college education. And an education is going to be mostly wasted on the woman incapable of figuring that one out.