VANCOUVER – Following the heated controversy which erupted after the publication of a study showing single women are happier than married women, many experts are now taking on the more complicated question of whether women are happiest when married, single, or newly bereaved of a wealthy husband under highly unexpected and unusual circumstances.
“Women face enormous social pressure to conform to gender roles, which I think is why this debate has generated so many passionate opinions,” explains Dr. Hepson, of the Vancouver Institute. But in understanding the benefits and challenges that single, married, and inexplicably widowed women, face, Hepson emphasizes that every individual is different.
“One woman might be in the middle of a stressful medical career and not want to bother with the time constraints marriage and family present. One woman might have a sincere religious belief in the importance of marriage. One woman might simply want to use this phase of her life to enjoy the generous insurance policy that her dear Theo took out the day before the accident at the ski lodge, or lounge in the luxurious Malibu mansion so full of memories of poor Fitzwilliam. Maybe a woman might need to take some time to try cracking Phillip’s safe since he accidentally told her which painting it was hidden behind right before he tripped and fell head-first into the saltwater pool.”
Nuances and trade-offs are also inherent in any conversation about the impact of major life choices, Hepson points out.
For example, while single women feel freer but sometimes less supported than married women, women who are mysteriously widowed report feeling freer than married women, and more supported than single women, especially since Albert’s money manager was such a darling about transferring over the trust fund. Furthermore, while single women are more likely to live longer than women who are married, women whose husbands died in boating accidents have a much higher likelihood of sweeping into a room in a white silk kimono, turban and feathered mules and saying “everybody out! I need a night to myself and Eduardo.” Researchers have not been able to determine who Eduardo is…or was.
Furthermore, while single women are on average about as happy as married women with kids at home, mysteriously widowed women with grown children are more likely than any other group to take them on yacht rides with Yves and Marc, her wonderful new friends from the Riviera. Nevertheless, mysteriously widowed women do face some risks married and single women are able to avoid.
“Sure, sometimes it’s easier for a newly wealthy and bereaved woman to have the entire grotto all to herself rather than have to share it with Merriweather and his dastardly twin brother,” Hepson acknowledged. “But those kinds of advantages are balanced out when you see that ever-so-tiresome private detective rooting through your trash again.”
“Especially when you know the cigarette holder he’s looking for is hidden in plain sight…right in front of him.,” she added.
So while no answer will ever be conclusive, Hepson recommends that women avoid measuring their lives against others, and instead try to enjoy their choices, even if they sometimes cannot escape a deep, exquisite ennui no one will ever know the reason for except Stevenson, god rest his soul.