Effi Athanassopoulou

After a sudden illness and against her doctor’s advice, Effi Athanassopoulou went back to her usual eight-hour day as quickly as possible for «psychotherapeutic» purposes. «The only way I can be well is to love my work. It has loved me too, so..,» she said. Athanassopoulou has been selling sewing materials at a major store in central Athens for 23 years. Married at 22, she was divorced two years later. «I realized early on that marriage wasn’t for me,» she said, admitting that there was a price to be paid for her choice, that of loneliness. «The older a woman gets, the harder it is for her to have a relationship. You become more demanding. A man always looks for a mother figure to look after him. A woman doesn’t.» «I don’t allow others to interfere in my decisions, but I have always been careful not to be financially dependent on others,» she said, adding that her friends are not surprised by her way of life. «They know me. When I say friends, I don’t mean acquaintances, but people who are dear to me.» Now at the age of 49, her 28-year-old son Panayiotis is the apple of her eye. «Don’t think that he is a mummy’s boy. He cooks and cleans; he’s independent.»