Tuesday, December 2, 2008

All the single ladies

On Thanksgiving Day, while in Philadelphia at the in-laws, my husband's 'why black movies have to be so trite' complaints lost out to my 'give Tyler Perry a break' so that we watched Meet the Browns. The movie is not in the running for Perry's best movie, but it was just good enough for holiday brain vegetation - until it started working my nerves.

The movie's pseudo-modern day knight-in-shining-armor story was at best humorous, at worst condescending. The main character played by Angela Bassett is a single mother struggling to pay her bills and care for her three children. Her situation is exacerbated when she loses her job. Then she meets a man. Suddenly, there is no more mention of a job, her problems seem to inexpicably dissipate.

I sounded off at the television set. The assertion that the answer to all a woman's problems is a man - even a great man - struck me as archaic and socially detached from today's woman. According to every statistic available, including those from the National Marriage Project at Rutgers University, more and more women are choosing to live their lives single. There are no spinsters or old maids anymore.

When my grandmother got married at age 30, 65 years ago, she almost did not have a choice. I am sure my grandfather was handsome and charming, but her younger sisters were already married and she was likely hearing the whispers. Today, my single girlfriends in their 30s and 40s date, travel, support themselves and live full, happy lives. None of them have sworn off men, or vow to never marry; but they are not waiting for a man to make them whole.

Today's enlightened woman can enjoy a satisfying relationship with a man of her choosing, because she can - not because she needs to.

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