Square Peg

Trying to "fit in" is often like trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole.

Trying to “fit in” is often like trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole.

I am forty five, divorced, and childless. I do not fit society’s definition of what is “normal” for a woman my age. After my marriage ended, I knew that the traditional route in life was not mine. I would not be the mother, the wife, the home owner. I became comfortable with not “fitting in.”
Author Elizabeth Gilbert is successful, happy, and childless

Author Elizabeth Gilbert is successful, happy, and childless

I have become used to the strange and often cruel responses that people give me when I tell them that I am divorced but that I don’t have any children.
The top 10 responses are:
1) Didn’t you try IVF?
2) Are you a lesbian?
3) You can still adopt, you’re not too old.
4) You waited too long
5) That is so selfish!
6) My cousin’s best friend’s sister got pregnant when she was 50 from taking these herbs!
7) You have your dogs!
8) Who will take care of you when you’re old? Have you thought about that?
9) At least you have a boyfriend so you’re not alone.
10) God doesn’t see fit to bless everybody with children.
For the record, none of these responses is helpful. It is in bad taste to ever say any of these things to a woman who is childless.

I am curious about what you think.


4 thoughts on “Square Peg

  1. Geneva,
    The look of your blog is really great. Not just color choices or text or visuals but the way your blog is organized. I really like how you have the share portion at the bottom which inspires me to add one to my own blog. The thing I really like is how you have your related links at the bottom. It doesn’t interfere with your post, you can reference within the blog without having the link right there. The reference section really gives your blog an organized and professional look.
    I like that picture of the square peg, sets a great tone for the blog. However I don’t think the text beneath it is necessary. I find the picture as a stand along works more effective than putting the text with it. The poll is a really good touch and I think the answers can give you an idea of what audience you have and will help you future posts. I find the responses you get odd, I guess you need context but I’m putting myself in the situation if I had met you and you told me you were divorced with not children. I honestly think that would be the end of that portion of the conversation because I really wouldn’t feel the need to make a comment about it. I wouldn’t think “I have to comment on this,” and am not sure why other feel that need.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the square peg in a round hole graphic. Good choice, when I did a little research that graphic has only been used three times and the image of Elizabeth Gilbert has been used 21 times.. Check out http://www.TinEye.com if you’re curious on how I found that out.. Very cool tool.

    The use of the Gilbert image confuses me. I thought it was you, and I needed to backtrack to clear my confusion, because I went wow, she died her hair (derailing me from the article). In the preceding paragraph you were talking about you. I did not see the connection or follow the thread moving me from you to Gilberts picture.

    Polls are tricky. It makes me think about curating opportunities and the WIFM (What’s in it for me) perspective. What I mean to say is… if you tell me (the participant in the survey) by participating in this survey you are going to share the results with me, I might be interested. Not just because I am a curious, but because you may become my go to source for some valuable information someday that I can use to support a project at work or a place I volunteer.
    If I am participating in the ‘My Beautiful Life’ community then I’d like to see some results. And to the skeptical public – What are you going to do with the results? Are the results going to be distorted? How many surveys do you participate in and never hear anything about it again? By the preceding words, are you leading the participant to respond a certain way? See where I am going with this line of thinking? Does that make sense? I found this paper from Russell D. Renka, Prof of Political Science “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Public Opinion Polls” enlightening.. http://cstl-cla.semo.edu/renka/Renka_papers/polls.htm

    Thank you for sharing.


  3. Geneva,
    I like that you used a couple great ideas for a list and a poll for this blog posting. Very nice. Your blog is consistent and I think you create a strong resonance with your readers who may have similar life experiences. I thought that your list was great, as my husband and I did not have a child until our 12th year of marriage, and I, myself, heard so many of those comments throughout the years. My sister-in-law is a woman who is married without children and some of the things she hears from family members are so insane and inappropriate. I would love to continue following your thoughts after this class. Your writing is candid and very relatable. Great job!


  4. Wow. I have to say that your post is really right on the money. Unfortunately our society seems to view that anyone not fitting exactly into the mold is somehow a deviant. It is interesting that in a society that is increasingly accepting of those with different lifestyles, different choices, and different ideas we still find a single childless woman in her 40s to be shocking. I wish we could live our own lives, make our own choices, and bring our own joy to a community that values people for who they are not how different they may be.

    Liked by 1 person

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