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SWOFTY - aka a Single Woman Over Fifty - sisters going it alone
http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/ ^ | October 28, 2012 | Meg Mason

Posted on 10/27/2012 11:57:26 AM PDT by chasio649

Next time you find yourself in a smart wine bar, pilates studio or high-end boutique, cast an eye about and see if you don't spot a SWOFTY. A what? A SWOFTY - aka a Single Woman Over Fifty who, in between salon visits and sips of martini, is turning the traditional image of middle-aged womanhood on its head. Or ignoring it all together.

Cats, cardigans and canasta nights might be hallmarks of - gulp - spinsterhood in the popular imagination, but they have little to do with how this emerging demographic segment spends its time. SWOFTYs are much more likely to be exercising, dining out, tweeting and booking spa holidays in Thailand.

"There's a lot of baggage around being a single older woman," explains demographer Mark McCrindle, "but these women are breaking that stereotype and reinventing what that life stage looks like. Their collective power in terms of health, education, fashion, beauty - everything - puts a lot of energy in this social category."

And this social category puts a lot of energy into fashion and beauty. Dressing youthfully, even provocatively, is a big part of the SWOFTY code - think teetering heels, luxe accessories and a hint of animal print. But make no mistake, the SWOFTY is, at best, a distant cousin of that other much-analysed female phenomenon, the Cougar.

Unlike sexually-aggressive older women with a predilection for younger men, SWOFTYs aren't on the prowl. In fact, the full head of blonde highlights, the $400 jeans and the nights out on the town have nothing to do with meeting a man. "According to social norms, the stigma around being divorced or single is lifting," explains academic and social commentator Dr Karen Brooks. "These women feel empowered and incredibly comfortable in their own skin."

Their sartorial choices might err on the sexy side, but they're not making choices with men in mind. Quite the opposite, actually. In a recent poll of 1000 women over 50 by online retailer Isme.com, more than 60 per cent of respondents said the best thing about being single is being able to wear whatever they want, independent of a partner's opinion. And generally, that means dressing with more va-va-voom than they did when they were young, the same women said.

Of course, confident older women who are well groomed, physically fit and rocking a pair of leopard leggings would be considered catnip by many chaps. And SWOFTYs might dabble in internet dating, but it's a hobby rather than a raison d'être.

A separate survey found that 600,000 older women in the UK - a mixture of widows, divorcees and singletons - are opting for the single life. And according to Isme.com, a third of these women were enjoying their freedom so much, they were unlikely to settle down again.

Case in point, Christie Brinkley who, at 58, could be the poster girl for SWOFTYhood. "I can now say I would never get married again," the four-time divorcee said recently. "There's absolutely no reason to." But that doesn't mean the former supermodel is putting up her slippered feet with a tray of Krispy Kremes. Brinkley maintains a youthful physique with surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, yoga, tennis and even a recent turn in the Broadway musical Chicago. Age and marriage have nothing to do with who she is, Brinkley says, like a true SWOFTY: "My age has so little to do with my image of myself. I don't feel that number is representative of my spirit, my energy or my anything."

Although society glamorises youth, our 20s and 30s are now consumed by mortgage payments, childcare and work pressures. The kind of pursuits Brinkley and her SWOFTY sisters enjoy would seem like a distant dream to many young women.

"Once you cross over that dreaded threshold and the burdens of youth are lifted, you have independence and time for yourself," says Brooks. "These could turn out to be the golden years, something to embrace."

Although Brooks worries that, like Cougar, the SWOFTY label could be pejorative, she agrees it may be empowering for women. "It's reassuring to know there are others acting as you do." And as far as labels go, SWOFTY is a lot better than 'spinster'. Or 'cat lady'.

SWOFTYS

Kim Cattrall She played the ultimate SWOFTY on Sex and the City, but how does the real deal compare for the 56-year-old? "I think, especially at this point in my life, I feel pretty happy," she said recently. "I like who I've become and it's always changing. I'm kind of embracing that." And on her fitness regimen? "I don't do it for a guy; I do it for me."

Elle MacPherson Lucky in the gene pool, but not so lucky in love, the Aussie model/TV presenter is just two years shy of fully-fledged Swoftyhood. To maintain her killer physique, the 48-year-old follows the famed 'clean and lean' Duigan diet, and indulges in regular facials, acupuncture and pilates.

Sheryl Crow Two preschool-age sons would be enough to keep the 50-year-old on the 'right' side of middle age, but the single mum (who was engaged to Lance Armstrong but has never married) is also a devoted jogger, surfer and Tracy Anderson enthusiast.

Heather Locklear Former TV star and rock wife, Locklear called off her third engagement in 2007 and has since been revelling in her SWOFTY status. Leaving her 51st birthday party at a swanky Malibu restaurant recently, Locklear was snapped in a mini skirt and thigh-high boots. She's also no stranger, reports say, to the occasional hit of Botox.

Paula Abdul The 'Forever Young' SWOFTY was married twice in the '90s and has since been lapping up singledom, dating younger men such as restaurateur JT Torregiani and businessman John Caprio. The 50-year-old former dancer swears by her gyrokenesis exercise machine and says another of her age-defying secrets is a kale and spinach juice she drinks daily.

Notable mentions These ladies might be in relationships, but there's still a touch of the SWOFTY about them: Sonia Kruger, Kerri-Anne Kennerley, Melanie Griffith, Madonna, Sharon Stone


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: singles; womanhood; women

1 posted on 10/27/2012 11:57:29 AM PDT by chasio649
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To: chasio649

What’s fun and inspiring about following a crazy diet and hooking up with interchangeable putzes?


2 posted on 10/27/2012 11:59:58 AM PDT by Tax-chick ("Decency requires that they be voted out of office as an act of urgent political hygiene." ~Steyn)
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To: chasio649

3 posted on 10/27/2012 12:06:12 PM PDT by I see my hands (It's time to.. KICK OUT THE JAMS, MOTHER FREEPERS!)
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To: chasio649

Oh, look!!

A cute, hip new term to try mingle into a social class another group of people! And yet another group of people who need to be socialized because they feel themselves lurking at the fringes of society.

How collectivist!

I know some single women over 50 who remained single by choice and who remained childless by abortion. Not the kind of people I like to hang around with. No shortage of insults for “breeders” and most need slings to carry their arms after they throw their shoulders out patting themselves on the back.


4 posted on 10/27/2012 12:08:24 PM PDT by Ghost of Philip Marlowe (Prepare for survival.)
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To: chasio649

Fifty and over is not middle aged. Good job on being single, independent, drinking wine, exercising, and, possibly, for owning lots of cats. But, these are not middle-aged women.


5 posted on 10/27/2012 12:09:41 PM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We deserve the government we allow.)
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To: chasio649

I really wonder what the true intent of the article is.


6 posted on 10/27/2012 12:10:50 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: chasio649
And this social category puts a lot of energy into fashion and beauty.

And don't forget the "family resemblance".

After their plastic surgeries, they all look like sisters!

7 posted on 10/27/2012 12:12:47 PM PDT by donna (Pray for revival.)
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To: Tax-chick

You have women who were uninterested in the men willing to love them back when they were young. They are now older and telling themselves they don’t need a man. They will likely die alone.


8 posted on 10/27/2012 12:14:00 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor (To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize - Voltaire)
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To: chasio649

I’ll see your “SWOFTY” and raise you some truth: 50+ and childless = Darwin Award.


9 posted on 10/27/2012 12:19:56 PM PDT by PLMerite (Shut the Beyotch Down! Burn, baby, burn!)
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To: chasio649

We’ll see how they like being a SWOS (Single Woman Over Seventy).
Old age is a bitch when you are alone.


10 posted on 10/27/2012 12:28:13 PM PDT by txrefugee
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To: Tax-chick

old sluts. I guess they wanted an acronym too


11 posted on 10/27/2012 12:28:29 PM PDT by GeronL (http://asspos.blogspot.com)
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To: chasio649
Interesting they focus on the 'singleness' of these women. I take exceptional care of myself (and thus my man by default also eats very well--of course adding his indulgent twists that are male like :) and I am taken--married 15 plus years.

Although not quite fifty, I have pursuits that'd terrify a young gal with lots of confidence and energy. The things I am pursuing as an older, married woman would have been outlawed for 'older, married gals' in the old days. But with a solid mate that has his own life and belief in God and all that He has given, I am making Him proud (or at least trying to).

It isn't over until it's over ladies and gentlemen :-D. God is large and in charge and doesn't care about society's definition of age. We all were put here for a reason and it doesn't stop when we get older.

12 posted on 10/27/2012 12:32:45 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: chasio649
This is for wealthy celebrities who have failed their quota of relationships and are peering over the hill career-wise. This is not for little people. Look at who they feature in the article. No working women need apply.
13 posted on 10/27/2012 12:33:26 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
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To: PLMerite

Most all the women listed DO have children. Many of the kids are grown and have moved on to their own lives. As it should be. As God intended.


14 posted on 10/27/2012 12:35:46 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: chasio649

SWOFTY = Losers


15 posted on 10/27/2012 12:40:34 PM PDT by Cowboy Bob (Greed + Envy = Liberalism)
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To: hinckley buzzard
This is for wealthy celebrities who have failed their quota of relationships and are peering over the hill career-wise. This is not for little people. Look at who they feature in the article. No working women need apply.

You are right on the money! Literally. As much of what they mentioned takes both money and time. Having said that I am sure a woman who does eat well and can find more inexpensive versions of these pursuits (like a road trip to Taos NM and an inexpensive massage when they get there could be a nice substitute.) Also eating healthfully and self care does not have to cost much. One can walk, jog, cycle, do body weight exercises at home and meditate and pray. All of which have miraculous results in one's beauty no matter how much money or physical gifts given by God.

I do believe there can be a working Mom's and wife's version of this that can enhance an older woman's engagement in her world and make her family proud.

No husband or child wants a fat, self consumed, spiritually dead wife or Mom. (Unless of course the hubby is himself these things) Taking life by the horns as an older woman can inspire not only the children, but the hubby as well.

16 posted on 10/27/2012 12:43:13 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: hinckley buzzard
This is for wealthy celebrities who have failed their quota of relationships and are peering over the hill career-wise. This is not for little people. Look at who they feature in the article. No working women need apply.

You are right on the money! Literally. As much of what they mentioned takes both money and time. Having said that I am sure a woman who does eat well and can find more inexpensive versions of these pursuits (like a road trip to Taos NM and an inexpensive massage when they get there could be a nice substitute.) Also eating healthfully and self care does not have to cost much. One can walk, jog, cycle, do body weight exercises at home and meditate and pray. All of which have miraculous results in one's beauty no matter how much money or physical gifts given by God.

I do believe there can be a working Mom's and wife's version of this that can enhance an older woman's engagement in her world and make her family proud.

No husband or child wants a fat, self consumed, spiritually dead wife or Mom. (Unless of course the hubby is himself these things) Taking life by the horns as an older woman can inspire not only the children, but the hubby as well.

17 posted on 10/27/2012 12:43:38 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: chasio649

A separate survey found that 600,000 older women in the UK - a mixture of widows, divorcees and singletons - are opting for the single life. And according to Isme.com, a third of these women were enjoying their freedom so much, they were unlikely to settle down again.

18 posted on 10/27/2012 12:43:50 PM PDT by Kenton
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To: hinckley buzzard
This is for wealthy celebrities who have failed their quota of relationships and are peering over the hill career-wise. This is not for little people. Look at who they feature in the article. No working women need apply.

You are right on the money! Literally. As much of what they mentioned takes both money and time. Having said that I am sure a woman who does eat well and can find more inexpensive versions of these pursuits (like a road trip to Taos NM and an inexpensive massage when they get there could be a nice substitute.) Also eating healthfully and self care does not have to cost much. One can walk, jog, cycle, do body weight exercises at home and meditate and pray. All of which have miraculous results in one's beauty no matter how much money or physical gifts given by God.

I do believe there can be a working Mom's and wife's version of this that can enhance an older woman's engagement in her world and make her family proud.

No husband or child wants a fat, self consumed, spiritually dead wife or Mom. (Unless of course the hubby is himself these things) Taking life by the horns as an older woman can inspire not only the children, but the hubby as well.

19 posted on 10/27/2012 12:44:13 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: GOP Poet

apologies hinkley for the multiple posts. My fingers didn’t have the patience to wait for editing today, but wanted to get it right in spite of my enthusiasm. lol.


20 posted on 10/27/2012 12:45:47 PM PDT by GOP Poet
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To: SauronOfMordor
"die alone"

What you said.

21 posted on 10/27/2012 1:04:37 PM PDT by driftless2
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To: AD from SpringBay

If you’re not middle-aged in your 50’s, when are you middle-aged?


22 posted on 10/27/2012 1:05:24 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: chasio649

Heather Locklear in thigh-highs and a miniskirt?

TTIUWOP......


23 posted on 10/27/2012 1:06:06 PM PDT by waterhill (I Shall Remain. .(posting from the tree stand on my DroidPro))
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To: PLMerite
I’ll see your “SWOFTY” and raise you some truth: 50+ and childless = Darwin Award.

I'm 50 and childless. The fact that I won't pass on my genes is of no concern to me whatsoever.

24 posted on 10/27/2012 1:28:12 PM PDT by Joseph Harrolds
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To: chasio649

So if they’re not Cougars on the prowl for one night stands with younger men, and they’re not that interested in getting involved in a serious relationship, then what do they do for sex?

My guess is that while they like to look sexy, their sex drives are pretty low. Not the case with us men. We’re as horny at 55 as we were at 16. And the last thing we want is to hear some aging feminist talking about who great they feel after going vegan, doing yoga for four hours a day, giving up alchohol and weed, taking homeopathic supplements, and surrounding themselves with crystals.

Personally, I’d rather have hot sex with a bar room floozy and then take her to the Burger King drive thru window and scarf down some Whopper meals while listening to some AC/DC or Led Zeppelin. At least loose women know how to have fun!


25 posted on 10/27/2012 1:29:23 PM PDT by The Fop (Excuse me while I clean the saliva out of my racist dog whistle)
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To: waterhill

26 posted on 10/27/2012 1:30:39 PM PDT by petercooper (Buh-Bye Teleprompter Messiah!)
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To: chasio649
Unlike sexually-aggressive older women with a predilection for younger men, SWOFTYs aren't on the prowl. In fact, the full head of blonde highlights, the $400 jeans and the nights out on the town have nothing to do with meeting a man. "According to social norms, the stigma around being divorced or single is lifting," explains academic and social commentator Dr Karen Brooks. "These women feel empowered and incredibly comfortable in their own skin."

LOL, yeah right.

Is the author also trying to sell a bridge?

27 posted on 10/27/2012 1:34:06 PM PDT by SIDENET ("If that's your best, your best won't do." -Dee Snider)
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To: rockrr

standwatie has a sister?


28 posted on 10/27/2012 1:36:08 PM PDT by x
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To: 9YearLurker
If you’re not middle-aged in your 50’s, when are you middle-aged?

Well, middle-aged would be half the average life-span. I'm 45 years old and if I make it to 90 no one will be more surprised than myself. Fifty-five is middle-aged for someone who lives to be 110. That's what I'm thinking.
29 posted on 10/27/2012 1:36:08 PM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We deserve the government we allow.)
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To: txrefugee
We’ll see how they like being a SWOS (Single Woman Over Seventy). Old age is a bitch when you are alone.

I know a gal who is 71 and alone. She is a big, liberal feminist.

She brags about how hellish she was to men back in her younger days. Now, she's all alone and whines about it. She can't seem to figure out why she's alone.

30 posted on 10/27/2012 1:37:39 PM PDT by SIDENET ("If that's your best, your best won't do." -Dee Snider)
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To: chasio649
Good luck with them, if you don't have a boat or can't afford to take them out to dinner a couple times a week, you don't stand a chance.

But who cares......

31 posted on 10/27/2012 1:38:36 PM PDT by Hot Tabasco (Jab her with a harpoon.....)
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To: chasio649

It was kind of interesting till they got to Christie Brinkley and other examples, none of whom I would find an inspiration were I a younger woman. They aren’t really “single” women; they’re divorcees. Viva la difference. There are many, many women in their 50s who’ve never married, much less 4x, who’ve had successful careers and made great lives for themselves. And I’d bet, their claims to the contrary notwithstanding, the celebs mentioned will all remarry at least once more.


32 posted on 10/27/2012 1:42:29 PM PDT by EDINVA (I)
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To: The Fop

You are so low brow..

I prefer Sonic.


33 posted on 10/27/2012 1:49:32 PM PDT by saleman (!!!!)
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To: AD from SpringBay
Fifty and over is not middle aged.

Most dictionaries disagree with you. Middle-age the period of life from about 45 to about 64. Other dictionaries define it as starting at 40.

For women, middle-age is when you are past your fertile period, but not yet elderly.

34 posted on 10/27/2012 1:53:55 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (political correctness is communist thought control, disguised as good manners)
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To: Secret Agent Man
I really wonder what the true intent of the article is.

Advertising? The article mentions that these women are high spenders on fashion, makeup, travel, and crazy diets.

35 posted on 10/27/2012 1:59:23 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("Decency requires that they be voted out of office as an act of urgent political hygiene." ~Steyn)
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To: AD from SpringBay

So do you just get to be middle-aged for one year at most?

I’d think there are loosely at least a couple of decades in there. Probably roughly from 40 to 60. But then I know some people around the 60 mark who aren’t nearly ready for the ‘elderly’ classification. I’d say why not be generous and count it from 35 to 65?


36 posted on 10/27/2012 2:00:26 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker

Traditionally, “middle age” was defined as being past the point of having kids, but still young enough to be able to work.


37 posted on 10/27/2012 2:11:53 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (political correctness is communist thought control, disguised as good manners)
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To: txrefugee

Most old women end up alone whether or not they’ve been single all their lives or had 10 kids... just look at nursing homes (filled with mothers of somebody)... almost all women. Don’t know why men get to live surrounded by family in old age and women get mostly abandoned by family in theirs... but that’s the reality. I say, enjoy life while you can...


38 posted on 10/27/2012 2:14:36 PM PDT by PauldArco
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To: SauronOfMordor

Some of the celebrities mentioned have been married three or four times. One failed marriage might let a person think, “I had bad luck,” but four should lead a sensible woman to conclude, “I have catastrophically bad judgment.” If I were in that situation, I’d devote my remaining years of life to singleness, a little travel, and good works.

This interests me in the same way travel-programming interests me, because I’ll never go anywhere or do anything much. When I’m 50, I’ll have a 5-year-old, and who knows, maybe a younger child.


39 posted on 10/27/2012 2:23:21 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("Decency requires that they be voted out of office as an act of urgent political hygiene." ~Steyn)
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To: chasio649

Must be ex-trophy wives who had great divorce lawyers because real women can’t afford such silliness.


40 posted on 10/27/2012 2:23:21 PM PDT by bgill (Evil doers are in every corner of our government. Have we passed the time of no return?)
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To: x

I DON’T know, Does she WRITE like THIS?!!!


41 posted on 10/27/2012 2:28:34 PM PDT by rockrr (Everything is different now...)
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To: chasio649

Heather Locklear...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2214332/Richie-Sambora-joins-ex-wife-Heather-Locklear-daughter-Ava-indulge-retail-therapy.html

Heather Locklear has locked in another man!

While celebrating her 51st birthday at The Sage Room in Malibu September 25, the ‘90s TV icon held hands with her hunky new boyfriend.

Too Fab has identified Locklear’s love as Larry Porush, a 51-year-old technology employee. Locklear and Porush reportedly met on a blind date.

http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/pic-heather-locklear-goes-on-date-with-new-boyfriend-larry-porush-2012289#ixzz2AXOVTW5O


42 posted on 10/27/2012 2:38:43 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: PapaBear3625

In the modern era, I guess that would be early 40’s to, what, 70?


43 posted on 10/27/2012 2:52:52 PM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: chasio649; All

I may be the minority but I’ve never been married, have never had a child, votes straight republican, is more conservative than anyone I know, loves men - not women, and am grateful for my humble abode and my 2 pups and kitties. Life is good.


44 posted on 10/27/2012 3:33:07 PM PDT by peggybac (Hope and Change has become Divide and Conquer)
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To: 9YearLurker
Sounds like PapaBear's post 34 has the technical data on the issue. But a person's only on the top of the hill a very short time compared to the time spent climbing up and then climbing down.

All I know is that if I'm middle aged, I'm on the far fringe of it and when I'm 55 I'll sure as heck won't think I'm middle aged. And it won't bother me any to think that way. Grace and wisdom don't come in a jug of Clairol and sage advice don't happen when a guy takes a little blue pill.

If more people acted their age it might make the world a little better. Twenty-five-year olds won't grow up, parents trying to be their kid's friends instead of their parents, and now we got SWOFTY's.
45 posted on 10/27/2012 5:10:43 PM PDT by AD from SpringBay (We deserve the government we allow.)
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To: 9YearLurker
In the modern era, I guess that would be early 40’s to, what, 70?

Which pretty-much aligns with the dictionary. They set the end at 64, probably because 65 has been the standard retirement age until recently.

46 posted on 10/27/2012 5:18:09 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (political correctness is communist thought control, disguised as good manners)
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To: Kenton

The girl in that photo looks like she has Treacher-Collins Syndrome.


47 posted on 10/28/2012 8:58:24 PM PDT by informavoracious (I am a Sedevacantist. I believe the president's chair is EMPTY.)
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To: bgill
"Must be ex-trophy wives who had great divorce lawyers because real women can’t afford such silliness.

EX-ACTLY!! You add up today's matriarchy, errr CHILD support payments and "spousal support" and KA-CHING!!!! I find it such a hypocrisy to blare out "women can do it on their own" but in small print (with the added bonus of massive payments from the menfolk).

And I'm a divorced woman, working fulltime aged stb 52 with two grown successful children who never received child support payments.

48 posted on 10/29/2012 5:31:57 AM PDT by AbolishCSEU (Percentage of Income in CS is inversely proportionate to Mother's parenting of children)
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