Saturday, February 03, 2007

51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse

I haven't completely read this all....but so far it seems interesting. More on the article later...I gotta read it all but I'm torn between reading it and continuing to listen to Farrakhan....an old broadcast.

S
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New York Times Story

51% of Women Are Now Living Without Spouse

By SAM ROBERTS

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.

In addition, marriage rates among black women remain low. Only about 30 percent of black women are living with a spouse, according to the Census Bureau, compared with about 49 percent of Hispanic women, 55 percent of non-Hispanic white women and more than 60 percent of Asian women.

In a relatively small number of cases, the living arrangement is temporary, because the husbands are working out of town, are in the military or are institutionalized. But while most women eventually marry, the larger trend is unmistakable.

“This is yet another of the inexorable signs that there is no going back to a world where we can assume that marriage is the main institution that organizes people’s lives,” said Prof. Stephanie Coontz, director of public education for the Council on Contemporary Families, a nonprofit research group. “Most of these women will marry, or have married. But on average, Americans now spend half their adult lives outside marriage.”

Professor Coontz said this was probably unprecedented with the possible exception of major wartime mobilizations and when black couples were separated during slavery.

William H. Frey, a demographer with the Brookings Institution, a research group in Washington, described the shift as “a clear tipping point, reflecting the culmination of post-1960 trends associated with greater independence and more flexible lifestyles for women.”

“For better or worse, women are less dependent on men or the institution of marriage,” Dr. Frey said. “Younger women understand this better, and are preparing to live longer parts of their lives alone or with nonmarried partners. For many older boomer and senior women, the institution of marriage did not hold the promise they might have hoped for, growing up in an ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ era.”

Emily Zuzik, a 32-year-old musician and model who lives in the East Village of Manhattan, said she was not surprised by the trend.

“A lot of my friends are divorced or single or living alone,” Ms. Zuzik said. “I know a lot of people in their 30s who have roommates.”

Ms. Zuzik has lived with a boyfriend twice, once in California where the couple registered as domestic partners to qualify for his health insurance plan. “I don’t plan to live with anyone else again until I am married,” she said, “and I may opt to keep a place of my own even then.”
Linda Barth, a 56-year-old magazine editor in Houston who has never married, said, “I used to divide my women friends into single friends and married friends. Now that doesn’t seem to be an issue.”

Sheila Jamison, who also lives in the East Village and works for a media company, is 45 and single. She says her family believes she would have had a better chance of finding a husband had she attended a historically black college instead of Duke.

“Considering all the weddings I attended in the ’80s that have ended so very, very badly, I consider myself straight up lucky,” Ms. Jamison said. “I have not sworn off marriage, but if I do wed, it will be to have a companion with whom I can travel and play parlor games in my old age.”

Carol Crenshaw, 57, of Roswell, Ga., was divorced in 2005 after 33 years and says she is in no hurry to marry again.

“I’m in a place in my life where I’m comfortable,” said Ms. Crenshaw, who has two grown sons. “I can do what I want, when I want, with whom I want. I was a wife and a mother. I don’t feel like I need to do that again.”

Similarly, Shelley Fidler, 59, a public policy adviser at a law firm, has sworn off marriage. She moved from rural Virginia to the vibrant Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, D.C., when her 30-year marriage ended.

“The benefits were completely unforeseen for me,” Ms. Fidler said, “the free time, the amount of time I get to spend with friends, the time I have alone, which I value tremendously, the flexibility in terms of work, travel and cultural events.”

Among the more than 117 million women over the age of 15, according to the marital status category in the Census Bureau’s latest American Community Survey, 63 million are married. Of those, 3.1 million are legally separated and 2.4 million said their husbands were not living at home for one reason or another.

That brings the number of American women actually living with a spouse to 57.5 million, compared with the 59.9 million who are single or whose husbands were not living at home when the survey was taken in 2005.

Some of those situations, which the census identifies as “spouse absent” and “other,” are temporary, and, of course, even some people who describe themselves as separated eventually reunite with their spouses.

Over all, a larger share of men are married and living with their spouse — about 53 percent compared with 49 percent among women.

“Since women continue to outlive men, they have reached the nonmarital tipping point — more nonmarried than married,” Dr. Frey said. “This suggests that most girls growing up today can look forward to spending more of their lives outside of a traditional marriage.”

Pamela J. Smock, a researcher at the University of Michigan Population Studies Center, agreed, saying that “changing patterns of courtship, marriage, and that we are living longer lives all play a role.”

“Men also remarry more quickly than women after a divorce,” Ms. Smock added, “and both are increasingly likely to cohabit rather than remarry after a divorce.”

The proportion of married people, especially among younger age groups, has been declining for decades. Between 1950 and 2000, the share of women 15-to-24 who were married plummeted to 16 percent, from 42 percent. Among 25-to-34-year-olds, the proportion dropped to 58 percent, from 82 percent.

“Although we can help people ‘do’ marriage better, it is simply delusional to construct social policy or make personal life decisions on the basis that you can count on people spending most of their adult lives in marriage,” said Professor Coontz, the author of “Marriage, a History: How Love Conquered Marriage.”

Besse Gardner, 24, said she and her boyfriend met as college freshmen and started living together last April “for all the wrong reasons” — they found a great apartment on the beach in Los Angeles.

“We do not see living together as an end or even for the rest of our lives — it’s just fun right now,” Ms. Gardner said. “My roommate is someone I’d be thrilled to marry one day, but it just doesn’t make sense right now.”

Ms. Crenshaw said that some of the women in her support group for divorced women were miserable, but that she was surprised how happy she was to be single again.
“That’s not how I grew up,” she said. “That’s not how society thinks. It’s a marriage culture.”
Elissa B. Terris, 59, of Marietta, Ga., divorced in 2005 after being married for 34 years and raising a daughter, who is now an adult.

“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.”

Ariel Sabar, Brenda Goodman and Maureen Balleza contributed reporting.

"I can still see you, but I'm going to spend the night with my mama" Oh..umm...right

Dear Whoever Is Listening,

Why do the sons of single mothers try to fit into a "husband role" for their mothers? I mean I know their mothers have made great sacrifices for them, they've taken care of them when they were sick, taught them about life & being a man. And they did all of this alone. Sometimes with the father in the picture here and there, during the weekends or not at all. Yes, a lot of these women are sometimes the only caretaker of their sons.

They raise them to respect women, but I don't know that they are raising them to respect the relationships that they get into with women.

It doesnt seem like they're teaching their sons that when they accept a woman in their life (who they SAY they want to marry and make a life with) that they should treat that woman as such and not make her number 5 on the priority list and constantly put her on the back burner or make an effort to seperate Island Girlfriend/Fiance/Wife from Island Mother/Wife (yeah - wife). And why don't they teach them this....well (A) they spent the majority of their years single raising their child so maybe they don't know what it is to be the girlfriend or the wife and have the mother on the side pulling puppet strings sometimes knowingly and sometimes unknowingly (B) Whether it's subconsciously or not they want to be the only important woman in their sons life and when another woman enters the picture they began to think they're being replaced somehow (C) Well if the teach their sons that once he meets "that woman" he has to let go of mommy....then she loses her imaginary husband.

If I sound bitter, I can't say that I care. At least not right now.

Or maybe it's not even the mothers doing. Maybe they do teach the sons, but the sons feel so guilty for the fact that their father didn't stick around so they make an internal decision to be the MAN in their mothers life.

Well....Dear Sons of unmarried/single women - you will never be your mother's husband so don't try to fill that role. You can only be her son and if you try to be her HUSBAND, you'll only the drive the woman who you claim to want to marry away. You can't have two wives. And there are many things that Island Girlfriend/Fiance/Wife can do that Island Mother cannot do. Yes, you're used to support from your mother, but Island GFW can also support you if you let her.

Yes, it hurts Island GFW when you tell her oh I got in an accident (3 hours after it happens might I add) and when she says why didn't you call me and you say (and I quote) "I was talking to my mama. She was keeping my company while I waited for the tow truck". Oh...right...hmmm.

Island GFW signing off and slightly pissed.....slightly hurt....and rethinking her list of priorities. Maybe she should put Island BFH (boyfriend, fiance, husband) at the end of the list...right now her eyebrow waxes and pedicures appear to be a lot more important than dealing with this bullshit.





Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sintia Mesa

I'm back. Well, at least for today. I'm in a weird place after hearing the news about the missing young lady Sintia Mesa. My prayers go out to her friends and family as this is truly a tragedy.

There are pictures of this beautiful, young woman splattered all over the television and online. I almost feel like I know her through a friend of a friend...even thought I don't. But I imagine that she lived a lifestyle similar to me and many of my friends...spending time with her significant other...hanging out with her friends...exploring the "twenty-something" lifestyle and all it has to offer. It's let downs...it's surprise and everything about it that we rejoice in. Her smile probably brightened any room and her friends probably often went to her for advice. Hair appointments, nail appointments, frequent or infrequent trips to church...to the mall...to dinner...to the movies probably filled her days like many of the young women in my life. And in just 25 short years, I'm sure she accomplished more than she ever thought possible. A normal life maybe shadowed by some shades of gray that others did or didn't know about...but still at the end of the day...it was her life and someone took it away.

I hate to use her untimely, tragic death as an opportunity to remind everyone to live each day to fullest and find happiness everything...but when something like this happens...to someone close to your age it's hard not to reflect on your own life and the decisions you're constantly making.

You never know what surprises (good and/or bad) are waiting for you behind each corner you turn...each decision you make and each person with whom you interact with -- even it's just for a second.

I hope that Sintia's family and friends can remember and rejoice in the good times while I'm sure it's going to be a tough process. And I hope that all reading this will just take a moment to reflect on their lives and also be thankful for every struggle and success....every win and every loss.

Live in peace,
S

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Ouch!

I was wondering hmmm what was the last thing I blogged about....talk about a journey to self discovery...I read a couple lines of that post and I must say that I'm shocked I shared that much. Now I want to delete it...lol...but too late...it's been on line for a while now...so whatever.

Geez. That book had me in a whole other mindset...maybe I should pick it back up....

Melissa Dawn Howard Motivated Me....

So I was sitting in this random ass training class at work learning how to set up E-mail Blasts (yeah add that skill to my resume of shit I know how to do for no damn reason) and I ventured on Melissa's blog because I wanted to steal her content for my "fake" e-mail blast. And oh what a great surprise it was...when I saw...not one...but TWO new blog entries. I was grinning ear to ear anticipating reading the both. I didn't get a chance to look at them until I got off of work. Anyway...after reading them...I was instantly motivated to give my own blog a little love. Plus, K is trying to show me up blogging like 5 times in a row!

It's a new year and I'd like to say that one of my resolutions is to blog more often but seeing as how I dont do well with stuff like that...I'm not even going to lie. Like that Zing! book...I"m done with that already.

I feel like I'm about to be sick which sucks because I tried to be proactive and order an immune boosting supplement since all of the nasty people at my high school ...ooops...I mean work don't say home when they're sick. If one more person tells me that they came in because they didn't want to use up their vacation time because they're sick...I'm going to scream. I mean genius...you can't really go on vacation if you kill yourself because you kept leaving your house sick rather than letting your body heal. Nonsense. And the worse part is that they want to touch you, stand by and everything under the sun knowing damn well that they are walking around with infectious bacteria swarming all over their bodies. I can't deal with that. So yeah....two people in my office are sick...so I could blame them for the sudden itch I have in my throat. If I start sniffling...it's on.

I'm going to go watch tv now....I'm sure I'll see something that's a hot mess that inspires me to return.

Ha...please don't wait on it...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Oh and one more thing...Booth's Skincare products...

SUCK! How pissed am I that I bought all of this great stuff only to find out that one or more of the products breaks me out!! Not sure which combo though...so now I'm using St. Ives Apricot scrub, my Booth's fruit toner, L'Oreal Acne lotion and my Clean and Clear morning burst moisturizer (it makes my skin sparkle). I've decided to just mix my favorite things and call it a day.

More on Booth's once I figure out the 411...I"m almost certain that it's the fricking oatmeal wash that almost killed my skin because when I was using Aveeno (hello oatmeal) the same thing happened. I'm done with all things oatmeal.

Ohhh maybe I can try my Juice Beauty serum in the morning....

Ok, now I'm seriously going to sleep.

The Journey to Self-Discovery (Take 3,000)

I started reading a new book today that I purchased back in September at a leadership conference. The title of the book is "Zing!" (you must put both hands up in the air whenever you say the title....or at least that's what the author made us do at the conference).

The book is about defining or redefining your place in the world and tapping into to your charismatic self. So this is day 1 and I ended at page 39 with a laundry list of things to do. One of those things was to take 15 minutes for self-reflection. Blogging is probably the easiest thing for me since I'm familar with it.

This book comes at a very good time considering where I am at this moment emotionally and spiritually. After a week of battling back and forth in my mind, I decided that I was going to attend counseling sessions. First over the phone (just to get comfortable) and then in person if need be. To me, counseling is a natural, healthy part of ones growth and development. Sometimes you just need to get things out that you can't really say to the other people in your life for fear that they'll judge you or maybe you just want an unbias shoulder to lean on or ear to talk to.

Being twenty something feels like being in a maze. I feel like the mice in the book "Who Moved My Cheese". But not like the self-sufficient mice who didn't stay in one spot and settle. I feel like the mice who got what they wanted...stayed put and then looked all crazy when the changes set in. Crazy. Hmmm. That's how I was feeling that whole week of trying to figure out what I need to do to get back to the me who has healthy positive thoughts about life and her future. I was sinking into a deep hole and I can't quite say that I'm out. But....I'm out enough to say that I have once again talked myself out of counseling. For some reason, I think this book is going to serve as my personal savior. Which we both know that it wont because if you know me...you know my M.O. I buy all of these books...read the books half way and then put them down never to return again. See thats a prime reason why I need to talk to someone. I do everything half way....and then I stop. It's almost like I'm afraid to see the end result. I never want to reach the end. If I leave things undone and in the middle.....there's no risk of failure...but there's never any real sense of success. Every project is just half undone or half complete...depending on how you look at it.

Anyway, I'm going to try my hardest to finish the book. And try my hardest to buckle down and make an appointment with the counselor people. I keep looking at the number...looking at the phone and thinking to myself "Don't be afraid to pick up the phone". I'm just not sure what I'll say or how I'll feel afterwards. There's a part of me that thinks some deep dark happenings from my childhood are going to arise and I'll start to hate the people around me. That would suck. There's a part of me who thinks that I'll just be an emotional basketcase if I'm forced to talk about the things that I've ever so nicely "blocked". I even told my honey about it and of course he's supportive...but I felt a little weird telling him yeah I think I need to talk to someone. One day he's going to be like urgh I'm dealing with this crazy chick...but it'll be too late by then because we'll already have "little hunnies" running around :o)

Good night!

Was that 15 minutes of self-whatever (oh wait...my Zing! book says don't say "whatever"

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Beyonce....you damn thief...

Dear Beyonce,

It's real nice how you try to pass the "booty bounce" off as your signature dance. Well guess what? I know for a fact that you stole it. You see I'm sitting here watching "In Living Color" and Teddy Riley just happens to be performing 'Rump Shaker'. You know the song that goes "All I wanna do is zoommma zoom zoom"? Well anyways the RUMP SHAKER DANCER GIRLS were so seriously doing the so-called Beyonce "booty bounce".

So stop parading around on talk shows doing the dance like it's your own. You know Mr. Knowles had you memorizing dance moves at the age of 2 and that just happens to be one of the ones you ripped off (I mean picked up).

Signed...in search of some original dance moves!

Oh and please don't get me started on the so-called dance tribute in the "Deja Vu" video. B, please contact the choreographer chick from P. Doodles Making the Band. She's fierce!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Goddess Bijou wants her MAC back!

Ok...I'm sitting here with my cell phone at my ear, sipping some delicious hot chocolate and blog surfing. Can you believe that the MAC is still out of commission! I am so pissed. But the good news it that I found a replacement adapter for like $39 plus I got it overnighted...should be here tomorrow. I'm so happy. I need need need need my MAC back. This whole no computer thing is not working. I need my Adobe Creative Suite! I need to design something ...otherwise my already "not so there" design skills will turn to nothing and I'll be sitting in front of the design building with a sign that says "will design for free". I think I'm going through MAC withdrawl...ignore me.

Oh, did I tell you...my new favorite thing is www.adrants.com?? Have you seen the MAC commercials with the Mac Dude and the PC dude? Well now, VAIO (sony brand laptop) has created a a VAIO chick. Flash ad - check it out http://www.sony.com.au/vaio/article.jsp?id=3861


More randomness...


While blog surfing...I came across the cutest thing...see below...

Your Celebrity Baby Name Is...

Godess Bijou


Love that name! I'm going to start signing my blogs like that! But isn't it Goddess, not Godess?? Maybe it's implied that celebs can't spell.

Monday, December 04, 2006

My goodies...not my goodies

Yayy! I was so excited today as I left work and noticed a drugstore.com box at the front entrance. I rushed to the package and searched for the mailing label...of course it was for me! What exactly does that mean? Well, I got my face stuff today. I even got free stuff...venom lipstick...don't need that and some face serum. I am so not up on what face serum is but it said something about anti-aging so I'm all over that!

Anyway, I'll start my new skincare tonight....I will def keep you posted on that!

I'm tying on the roomates computer because somehow I dropped the cord to the mac in the TOLIET! The assholes at the Mac Store didnt have a replacement one so I have to call and get one shipped. I'm taking advantage of this computer free time though....maybe I'll finally get to read my books...my ZING! book.

You ever know you're about to do something stupid...but it makes you feel soooo good...so you just go ahead and do it anyway? Yeah...so in like four hours...I will be embarking on the "stupid journey".

Watched INTERVENTION last night...if you haven't see it....google it. It's a train wreck show...kinda like Cheaters and Cops mixed into one...check it out...

S