Sunday, January 30, 2011

Guest Post - Survival of the Singleton

Blogger's Note:  Singletons, enjoy this post from a very special guest.  Guest blogger, Marie, is a former long-time Singleton herself, who claimed a desire to maintain that status through most of her young adulthood.  Last year, however, a special someone stepped into the spotlight and changed her mind.  But with years of citizenship in Singledom to her credit, and having successfully navigated her way out, she is happy to share that the frustrations of single status don't necessarily disappear with the arrival of a significant other.  She's also been a friend of mine for almost twenty years.  Enjoy!

People never cease to amaze me. One of my favorite places to venture in my downtime is the local bookstore. Something about it brings me serenity. I can spend endless hours viewing various titles, checking out the new releases, and of course, how can you not check out the bargain titles? You all know that row, the ones where all the various relatively-unwanted hardbacks are marked down, and, as unwanted as most of them are, you can't help but find something that catches your eye. Funny thing about book browsing, it’s not just the cover that captures your attention, but the title. As I was strolling down this particular aisle, looking for something that would peak my interest, I immediately noticed something a bit disheartening. There it was staring me in the face, almost daring me to pay it attention. Here, right in front of my very eyes was a book entitled, “How to Be Single”. Really? So now being single comes with instructions? Are there people out there who want to maintain this status, enough to make sure they do it well?

Where was this book a year ago when I was single? Honestly, I’m not quite sure if I was following the correct guidelines. Had I known about this book maybe I would have been a bit more successful at being single… or was I successful because I’m no longer single? In a world where there are how-to guides on just about everything, now a publisher and an editor feel it is necessary to put this book on the market? Wow.

I felt compelled to open the book and read the summary. Of course, it starts with an explanation of “typical” group of women having problems in their relationships and dives into how one of their “friends” quit her job to go on a quest to explore why women are experiencing these problems, basically why they can’t find and keep a man. You know, any “typical” woman’s reason for living. So, what this book is telling us is in order to find out why a person is single, a woman must quit her job to go on a dating quest… Are you serious?

As a former Singleton, I appreciate and know of all the struggles a single woman is up against in this world. Women have to work twice as hard to be taken seriously and adding a single status to that can create even more of a struggle. It’s almost as if you have to prove yourself twice as hard because a.) you’re a woman and b.) you’re single. Why do most people make it seem like that’s two strikes against you? What is wrong with being single? Absolutely nothing, and yet this how-to guide implies there are certain rules to follow in order to live your single life appropriately. How hard can it be? You answer to yourself; you make your own decisions; you don’t have to share a closet. I’m curious to know how all the Singletons of the world have survived without this “guide.” How did you know what to say? To do? Is it appropriate for a single woman to do the same things as women in relationships or are there double standards? All the questions!

I immediately took a picture of the cover and sent it to Mel. She was just as perplexed. One of the things I was curious about was to see about the author. Is she single? What is her bio? What does she look like? Unfortunately (and not surprisingly), there was no picture of her available and not much information offered on her. I made a mental note that I needed to come back and research this lady, find out what makes her such a credible Singleton. I circled the row various times, before deciding to choose another book. Maybe I should have purchased the how-to guide, so that I could be educated and understand the guidelines that all respectable single women should follow. Maybe if I had bought and read the book, I would have been enlightened and able to share the wonderful wisdom that came from this author. As I made my purchase (a completely different book which definitely sounds like a keeper), I couldn’t help but look back at it one last time in amazement. Offering advice is one thing, but setting up guidelines is another. Apparently now everything comes with instructions.


  1. Ha, ha. Ok I admit it - I actually am reading that book. It's not the best writing in the world (which is why it's taken me over a year to finish it) but it's quite amusing. So it's not actually a how-to guide, but rather a novel about women searching for men, simply put. In the meantime, it's really showing you how to live life and enjoy your singledom. I find it funny, and don't expect to get any tips out of whatsoever. If you were (well not you since you are no longer single), but if a person were looking for a helpful book I think Steve Harvey's Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man is actually funny and useful.

  2. So, we'll reel back some of our criticisms considering it's not really a How-To Guide. Thankfully. Keep us posted on what you think about it when you've finished. And, coincidentally, my mom has referenced the Steve Harvey book several times (he's been on Dr. Phil and she's a big fan). She said he also has a dating website. I might be tempted to check it out. On the surface, "acting like a lady and thinking like a man" makes a lot of sense.


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