My friend J___ holds Hollywood accountable for her singleton status. She believes movies like “Sleepless in Seattle,” “16 Candles” and “Serendipity” ruined her life. These films gave her comfort that love was hiding just around the corner and would reveal itself when least expected –  a subway platform, an airport, a distant cousin’s wedding.

She feels her expectations were severely mismanaged.

While perhaps not a function of Hollywood, I too shared J__’s blind faith that if stayed true to myself and lived my life, the universe would bring the right man my way. From the time I was in high school I remember wanting nothing more than to drop out and have a baby (the women in our family have always had a thing for babies). What could be more meaningful and important than giving life? Certainly not Calculus or the SATs.

Obviously, I didn’t drop out to have babies. I didn’t even have a boyfriend and, minor technicality, hadn’t had sex yet. Instead I went off to college like all my friends where we pitied the sorority girls working towards their “MRS” degrees. These provincial girls who made it their mission to bag a man in college. What a waste of a degree – why even get one?  No, I continued to have blind faith that if I lived my life, the right person would cross my path.

Going to college to meet a husband

I moved to New York a few years after college graduation. I’d gotten the cockamamie idea to move to the city and get into Advertising (I joke now that I must have watched too much Melrose Place). After a year I landed my first ad job at Y&R and, at 24, was convinced I was the oldest administrative assistant on the planet.  Making $19,000 and putting in 70+ hour weeks I slowly clawed my way up the corporate ladder.  Boys came and went but I didn’t meet the “one.”

Y&R is where I met my friend J_______, a successful cat-less singleton.  We remained friends when we moved on to different advertising agencies and often got together to catch-up on work and men (or lack thereof) and to reassure each other that the right guy would come along. We were good catches after all.

Amanda Woodward at D&D presenting to clients

About 5 years ago, during one of our red-wine fueled dinners, I mustered up the courage to confess to J_____ that I wasn’t sure how I ended up where I was in my life. If you’d asked me in high school I would have probably said I’d be married with my first child before 30. I was nervous telling her, fearful of being chastised. But to my great surprise and relief J______ admitted it wasn’t what she’d bargained for either.

Now when my friends and I get together over bottle(s) of wine, our conversations often turn towards discussing the latest egg-freezing advancements (who knew they could get freezer burn ?!) and how we would keep the baby if we had an “accident”(and were convinced our parents would be overjoyed by this, not to mention lend a helping hand). We share the often-frustrating advice our physicians provide, “freezing an embryo is more viable than freezing eggs” (Thanks but duh, if we had the sperm we would just have a kid already!).

Human eggs up close and personal

Most of our Gynos have suggested sperm banks. I’m just not into the idea. It seems I am a romantic at heart and see a baby as the union of two people who love each other. I can’t imagine looking into my child’s eyes and seeing a person I don’t know (Oddly, I wouldn’t have a problem adopting I don’t think, but again, can’t imagine doing it alone).

I’m mad at Mother Nature for this damn biological clock. Why should I be penalized for not having met the right guy yet? I still want it all. I was devastated to learn not too long ago that a women’s fertility drops at 30, again and 35, then 38 and finally 40. Yikes!

Women's eggs are like gumballs - they run out

Eggs, like gumballs, run out...how many do I have left?

In retrospect those sorority girls may have been on to something. We went hard after everything else we wanted – a spot on the soccer team, the college of our choice, scholarships, jobs. Why did I think securing a husband should be any different?

On the upside, my sister has kindly offered to give me a few of her eggs if it turns out mine are duds.  And while I should probably invest more time in meeting eligible men, I continue to have faith that if fur-less motherhood is meant to for me, it’ll all work out.

In the meantime, I may do well to remind my sister that her clock is also ticking.  Perhaps she’ll consider freezing for the both of us.

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  • Great post, Tamar! I’ve got a “few” years on you and me and my eggs are well past our prime so I’ll just have furry adopted children, but I had no interest in going it alone either, and I’m glad for both myself and the non-existent children. Some people try to console me by saying I may find someone who already has children and then I’ll get to raise them, but I always wanted at least one of my own so that’s hardly consolation. Don’t stop looking! You’ve got a lot of people out here checking out the goods for you!

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks Bernadette for the support and encouraging words 🙂
      Wasn’t sure how this post would go over since it’s a bit more personal and focuses on the “Single in NYC” part over the Cat(s)!

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks Bernadette! I certainly feel lucky that I’ve got my cat-loving friends out there looking for me! 🙂

  • Millie

    Never mind. Kids are for people who can’t have cats 😉

    • Carson Lee

      I like this.
      My saying is, “The best people are cats and dogs.”
      People can be awful.
      You HAVE a terrific life: you are in NEW. YORK. CITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Christy

    Tamar, this is so enlightening…i hear ya! my mom recently commented that my great g-mother had kids in her 40s..i appreciated the encouragement but somehow it was not comforting to hear about genetics. i really found the embryo idea interesting though. keep the faith…good surprises do still happen. i have no doubt you will find the right guy that will appreciate your true originality and beauty. it will be worth the wait! : ) xoxo

    • Ihavecat

      Thanks sweetie…my mom had me at 30 and my sis at 35 and that was considered late! LOL! thing is, i’ve gotten blood tests taken and i’m BELOW average in terms of the hormones the eggs give off at my age….which is a total blow….can’t cry over spilled milk right? Must make what I can of the life i was given! Try to remember the amazing things I have in my life and appreciate them!

  • KinKStar

    I’ve never been married or had children either. Hell, I’ve never even been engaged and I’ll be 53 in August! It gets sad sometimes, and sometimes it’s lonesome. Mostly I try to brush it off, thankful for having fuZZybuttZ in my life. My oldest cat, KinKy, is now 18 years old! There are daZe when I miss those horrible period cramps, when my last eggs were obviously hanging to keep me from losing yet another opportunity at having a baby in my life. Then a cat comes in the room, plobs down beside me, and I’m grateful to not have anything else to do but stay there, getting warm together, feeling the vibration of gentle purrZ.

    • Ihavecat

      LIfe is hard. We must certainly appreciate and take pleasure in what we do have that is amazing 🙂

  • jmuhj

    Millie is right, Tamar; and with far too many humans on earth as it is, I do hope you’ll consider staying a “fur-mother” and not getting into the Pampers set. 😉

    • Ihavecat

      I’d love to have both…i guess we shall see what this universe has planned for me eh?!

  • Sharon

    Great post, Tamar. I can relate to your feelings. But, once I hit 40, I became pretty comfortable with my life and who I was in it. While finding the one, I believe, is every woman’s dream come true, being single and leading a full life is pretty damn awesome too. In fact, a lot of women I knew who were like those sorority girls ended up divorced or miserable in their marriages or constantly stressed on how to pay for the kids they had. I’m not saying that there aren’t truly happy married people with kids, I just don’t think the American romantic dream is “all that” or for everyone. And, what looks good on the outside, is not necessary so great on the inside.

    Then again, I always loved pets more than people. So what do I know! LOL

    • Ihavecat

      I think it’s weird that the baby is most important in my book but for some reason I don’t want to /can’t imagine doing it on my own..like somehow it would be OK to have the baby and then get divorced…somehow that seems better/more acceptable to me than having a baby on my own…not sure that’s even an option for me anymore!

  • Hannah

    You know it’s good to hear this from someone else. my whole family has always dropped out of high school to start families, me being the first to finish high school and go to college. but at 21 I have never been on a date, had sex any of that! and my mind set was always i would just KNOW the guy when i saw him.. well after years of waiting(years being like maybe 6) i still haven’t found the guy and to be honest I’m a bit impatient. I use to thrive on romantic comedies and Jane Austin, now i just find myself wishing i had of taken more chances already. to be honest this story reminded me of how i see my life happen over the next few years. I have always dreamed of leaving this small town in SC and moving to Boston or NYC. I have two furry babies already that i love dearly and If my living arrangements would allow it i would probably have several more. Basically what i’m saying is it’s nice to know i’m not the only one out there. I wish you luck finding your man, and I really hope it’s soon!

    • Ihavecat

      Hannah, if it makes you feel any better, I didn’t have sex til I was 25 so you are in good company! Good for you for going to college – that’s a huge achievement and you are still very young! I’m very happy in my life but i wonder what i could have done differently…i think i would have looked at it more like a job! I’m glad you enjoyed the post 🙂 Hope you visit again soon.

  • Your post could have been written by my human sister. If it is any consolation, she has quite a lot of wonderful young women friends, all in the same situation. But she is definitely considering adopting by herself, if possible. Unfortunately adoption is not made very easy for single people.

    • Ihavecat

      Aw, I too am lucky to have many single friends in my situation. I know that I would need to make a major life change if i wanted to have a kid on my own. It’s hard to imagine what that would look like. Thanks for your on-going readership and support 🙂

  • I can tell you the other side isn’t always greener. My hubby and I have been great friends since high school and 2 years into our marriage, we had a son. He’s now 15. He has minor special needs that grow into major headaches for us, his doting (doubting?) parents. He takes a lot of energy and patience from both of us all the time; everything is a struggle and we dream of becoming empty nesters in a few years.

    So while you’re out drinking wine with a friend, think of us who are struggling to get through dinner, bath time and bedtime without loosing patience. I can’t remember the last time I got to go out with a friend for dinner and wine!

    PS if you’d ever like to borrow a 15-year old…

    • Ihavecat

      So true…there are benefits to every lifestyle…it’s nice you have a partner to be in it with 🙂 I imagine it’s very trying for you both.
      Thanks for your note 🙂

  • Dad to 5

    Being a single dad of 5 cats of my own and stepdad to 3 of my brothers, I’m happy with my 8 kids here. If I had more room and money to take care of more I would.

    It leaves me with little time to try and develop a relationship and it would probably freak out any available women I would meet.

    Have fun with yours. Too bad I’m not closer to NYC.

    • Ihavecat

      Thank you so much for visiting I HAVE CAT and for taking the time to post. Appreciate your support and readership!

  • StefMac

    Have you considered online dating sites? I know a lot of people that have met their loved ones via the web. I think it takes a lot of the guesswork out of dating by matching people with similar likes/dislikes.

    Hell, I met my fiancee through world of warcraft… and now we have a beautiful furbaby Heidi.

    ps. Dad to 5, you’re doing great work there! I wouldn’t have been afraid to date you, you sound like a 100% standup kinda guy! 🙂

    • I HAVE CAT

      Hi “Stef Mac”!

      Thanks for visiting I HAVE CAT and taking the time to post!
      You might enjoy this post I wrote where I look into online dating sites for cat/animal lovers http://ihavecat.wordpress.com/2010/02/14/felines-and-valentines/

      I have done Match.com and eharmony a few times….it SERIOUSLY gets super hard once you pass the 35year old mark. Suddenly it’s all 20-something guys who want a cougar experience, or 50+ year old men who are out of shape and like to go to Atlantic city. I have other 35+ year old friends who have had the same experience…don’t know if it’s NYC or what. But the 30 and 40 year old men go for the young fertile ones – I’m sure I would to if i were them. There is a glut in NYC i tell ya!

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  • Human motherhood is way over rated. Lots of women with kids envy their friends who are childless! Cats are MUCH better, imho.