Evelyn's Blog for February 24, 2018 - 'A WOMAN OF A CERTAIN AGE'


“Women of a Certain Age” is a phrase that has intrigued me for years. So after writing lots of novels and short stories about women in difficult positions, this idea seems a natural.

The phrase is hypnotic to lots of women (and men). Thornton Wilder wrote the play as a farce in 1938; in 1954 it was a  movie (“The Matchmaker”) starring Shirley Booth; and in 1964 it was put to music/lyrics by Jerry Herman.

Since then, there have been countless Dollys, among them Carole Channing, Barbra Streisand, Pearl Bailey, Mary Martin, and now Bette Midler.

We are sympathetic to the Dolly Levis of this world. They are women who live by their smarts. Dolly is a survivor, but she has had her darker moments (regrets and mistakes). Before she enters the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant, she asks her deceased husband Ephraim for a sign, permission to join the parade before it's too late.

 She sings the song "Before the "Parade Passes by"—



Before it goes on
And only I'm left
Before the parade passes by
I've gotta get in step while there's still time left
I'm ready to move out in front
Life without life has no reason or rhyme left
With the rest of them
With the best of them
I wanna hold my head up high
I need a goal again
I need a drive again
I wanna feel my heart coming alive again

Before the parade passes by

Before the parade passes by
I've gotta go and taste Saturday's high life
Before the parade passes by
I've gotta get some life back into my life
I'm ready to move out in front
I've had enough of just passing by life
With the rest of them
With the best of them

I can hold my head up high
For I've got a goal again—


By definition, a woman of a certain age is no longer in her early twenties; the men are no longer looking her way; her career choices have wasted into limitations or dead-ends; she did not marry the man she should have, and did marry the man she should not have. Did she look too hard for Mr. Right? Not hard enough? She feels left behind to fend for herself. She is a spinster, a widow, a divorcee, a wife, a single mother.  She may feel short-changed by life. (Did you know that a cynic is a disappointed romantic?)

My sister-in-law Sandra Marshall (actress and comedian) is a woman of  a certain age. She said, "I hate those old guys who date and marry young girls and discount us completely."

I'm certainly going to include her opinion in the novel.  The working title will be "A Woman of a Certain Age". If any of you, male or female, have some strong opinions that you'd like to unload, please come right ahead at Evelyn@EvelynMarshall.com.

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