Saturday, December 22, 2012

"ambient despair that is a permanent component of life in assisted living"

Following on from last week's "rise of being single" post, here's another take on what may be the inevitable result.

Have you ever started thinking about what may be the natural progression of events, if you remain single and reach your 80s or 90s?  As the numbers of unattached, living-alone people increases at midlife and beyond, we'll probably be reading many more accounts like this op-ed piece that recently appeared in The Washington Post.

I found it fascinating.  And chilling.

And, more from Martin Bayne in a fascinating NPR "Fresh Air" interview.

"Most residents show a calm, even peaceful veneer," he wrote. "But beneath the surface, all of us are susceptible to the ambient despair that is a permanent component of life in assisted living. It's the result of years of loneliness and isolation."

Friday, December 14, 2012

the rise and rise of solo living

I've included the following article in my links roll, but the interviews at the end of it are so fascinating that I had to include it in a post as well.  From the Life & Style/Relationships section of The Guardian, it's a feature story called "I want to be alone: the rise and rise of solo living."  Here we get the usual statistics, and some not-so-usual (and therefore interesting) historical background on the rise of single households. But, the really rare and interesting part is the long sidebar at the end with interviews of prominent Brits who extol the joys (and occasionally, the difficulties) of the solitary lifestyle.

Read it, and see expressed some joys of single life that you truly do find precious, but may never yet have admitted to anyone, least of all yourself.

Friday, December 7, 2012

finding new women friends . . . online

I've long been thinking that I'd love to try using Okcupid to start meeting new women friends, and forget about it as a dating site.  If time would ever permit, the idea would be to search women's profiles for girls with similar interests to mine, and shoot them messages along the lines of "Looking for new women friends -- platonic : ) -- to hang out with, go see a film, get some coffee."  And, if I happened to find enough like-minded souls, who didn't think it was totally weird to be approached on a dating site, I might even end up with enough new friends to form a book group.

Guess what?  A few enterprising women have come up with a trio of sites to facilitate women like me finding new friends.

The sites profiled in the Huffington Post (who read about the topic in the NewYork Times) include:, GirlFriendCircles and Girlfriend Social.  Girl Friend Circles is a pricey paid site, but apparently, the other two are free.

After a cursory glance at the two free sites, Social Jane lets you do a sample search by zip code to get an idea of who's in your area.  But a search using my zip code turned up few profiles nearby, and quite a few from as far away as La Grange, Ill. and Hammond, Ind.  Girlfriend Social wouldn't let you peek until you join the site (which I chose not to do, for now).

To read more, here's the Huffington Post story, and if you try any of these sites, please let me know how it goes!  Ditto, if you decide to use your dating site to find women friends instead of guys : ) .  I really think that would be the most promising route, as the selection of women would be much larger, and perhaps more interesting.  And, as a side benefit, kind of fascinating to see what other women's dating profiles look like : ) ~