Coco Chanel wasn’t a simple girl

5 Oct

And neither am I

As yet another wedding season comes to a close (at least for my own personal calendar) I successfully absorbed and dealt with the awkward questions about my single-status. Seeming to always have a date, boyfriend or “roommate” in my twenties, I suppose it was just assume that marriage would be on the horizon.

Dates today often ask me, “Why have you never been married?” I usually pause and tactfully respond with something like, “I’ve had a few long-term relationships.” But sometimes I would really like to respond with the truth, “I’ve been asked twice and turned them down?” Or “I wasted some months in my early thirties with someone totally unmarriable?” Perhaps these latter responses would make me seem like a bitch, control freak or high maintenance so I refrain.

At the start of this season’s Grey’s Anatomy, the fictional character Dr. Christina Yang is recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and accepts a marriage proposal. Unlike her true character, she is entranced by the “simple” girls, grinning from ear-to-ear in their cookie cutter wedding gowns, showcased throughout the pages of supermarket bridal magazines. “I think you’re either born simple or you’re not. I want to be the person who gets happy over finding the perfect dress.” she said.

Wouldn’t it be easy to have such a simplistic idea fill you with all the answers, happiness and goals fulfilled, even if for just a small amount of time?

Looking at some leading significant and single women, they were anything but simple. Coco Chanel changed fashion forever with an innovative and proud demeanor, ahead of her time. Oprah Winfrey never married and changed the way we view media. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is a professor, politician, diplomat and author. No matter what your political views are, there is no denying her credentials are impressive. Actress Cameron Diaz is gorgeous and never been married. Of course she has her critics because sadly, sometimes women are just jealous. Don’t forget Janis Joplin, a rocker ahead of her time with men answering to her when she was just in her mid-twenties.

All of these women could all be described as analytical, innovative and ambitious. So why is marriage still such institution that needs so much emphasis in 2010, especially when not everyone can legally marry in all U.S. states?

In my twenties, I never thought I’d get married. I guess I was correct. Growing up in Western New York, people get married very young and it’s not the norm to be highly educated, well traveled, sane, successful, normal and single; and for some reason this scrutiny is highlighted if you’re a woman.

Wanting to achieve a high level of education, move to New York City and travel the World, these goals squeezed out potential suitors in my own personal life. Is marriage still held to a higher regard because it’s just been considered the norm? What about a celebration for those choosing to follow their goals beyond graduations?

If you’re a single guy in or from WNY or comparable areas and get similar questions, please, write in!

Stay tuned next week for how to picnic in the chilly months!

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2 Responses to “Coco Chanel wasn’t a simple girl”

  1. Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein October 5, 2010 at 10:12 pm #

    This is such a great article. Women should not feel they must marry. Who ever said a knight on a white horse would make a good partner once he hopped off his horse? On the other hand, intimacy of living closely with someone and making a deep commitment can be a very rich and fulfilling experience. You are still young, at least to me, you are very young. How do you know who is around the corner in your life? Maybe he doesn't have a white horse but he may be very right for you in such an authentic way that you will find yourself have picnics with him for the rest of your life! I have tried in both of my books for girls, The Truth and Secrets to make clear that girls have to develop the courage and self-esteem not to be swept away by dating and crushes, but to stay true to themselves.

  2. Shelbey October 5, 2010 at 11:55 pm #

    I really like this post and I must say I can definitely relate to it. I also grew up in WNY and while I will always consider it my home, I definitely wanted more adventure in my life and headed blindly for the West Coast. I grew up surrounded by a very large, close knit family and while it's amazing to have their unconditional love and support, it can also become suffocating at times. Many of my cousins have married young and started having kids by their mid-20s and while I respect their choices and decisions, I am not one of those cousins. Sure, I would love to settle down and get married and have kids one day, but I don’t want to feel rushed or pressured into marriage because I’m afraid of what my family will think. Right now I just want to enjoy my life and all the adventures I’m experiencing in my new home, and maybe one day when the time is right I’ll get to partake in a life-long adventure with someone else.

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