In which single childless women belatedly realize they’re not necessarily quite as strong and independent as they’d previously imagined:
As a single childless woman, I share the fear of my readers, above, and no amount of financial preparation for a prolonged old age calms me…. [H]aving witnessed the “new old age’’ from a front-row seat, I’m haunted by the knowledge that there is no one who will care about me in the deepest and most loving sense of the word at the end of my life. No one who will advocate for me, not simply for adequate care but for the small and arguably inessential things that can make life worth living even in compromised health.
I realize that there are some men and women who really wanted very badly to get married and have children, but were unable to do so. But, in my experience, every single unmarried man and woman I know had many opportunities to marry. In every case, they elected not to do so. That’s fine on an individual level – although not necessarily so from a societal perspective – but why should anyone feel sorry for those who are now worried about experiencing the entirely predictable consequences of leading an entirely self-focused life?
If we don’t pity those who smoke like chimneys and eventually get lung cancer, a relatively far less certain outcome, then how can we possibly be expected to concern ourselves with those who are belatedly coming to realize that choosing to rely only on yourself means that you cannot reasonably depend upon anyone else? Why should anyone care One reaps what one sows; if one does not sow, one will not reap.