Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Single Women and Single Men

Did I ever tell you I work in a library now? After I quit teaching, I switched gears a little and now I'm in a library. It's pretty great, even if middle aged men call me honey a little too often and I hadn't realized how attached baby boomers are to Internet Explorer. 

Working in a library has been cool for finding new books, though, that is for sure. (Like the Love Birds book.) I found a couple books recently that I thought you all might appreciate. 

The first is Are You My Boyfriend? by C.B. Bryza. It's an adorable and relevant parody of Are You My Mother? and it's fantastic. I liked it, even though --spoiler alert-- it gets a little sappy at the end. Considering how often we talk about "is this a date?" around here, I had to read it. The single main character wanders around, posing the title question to all the men she encounters. 

Picture books for grown ups. Yes please. 

The second book is Haiku for the Single Girl by Beth Griffenhagen. I cried laughing. I would like to tell you about my favorite but I had at least a dozen. Just read it. I assure you, you'll find your spirit haiku. 

I've been pondering these books for a few days. (I'll admit that like, 10% of it is why can't I accomplish something kickass like that?) This pondering is not about the trials and tribulations attached to singledom. I consider that plenty, thanks. 

Friends send me all kinds of self-help relationship books**, websites and blogs, and personal anecdotes, so I am positive that women struggle to find a decent, available, adult man.  (Women who are seeking men, that is. I I haven't heard much from women looking for a decent, available, adult woman, so I won't speak to that here.) We rant about it with our friends, joke about it on sitcoms, cry about it in the shower, drink about it at family gatherings...single women looking for love is an industry. Look at the books I checked out from the library. Sure, there are plenty of women who are content being single, and plenty who enjoy casual dating without the dreaded emotions that come along with relationships. But some women are seriously unhappy with their search for Mr. Tolerable. 

So fine. There are sad, lonely women out there, waiting for the romantic comedy portion of their lives to come to a conclusion. I get it. We all get it. So...what about the dudes? I have fewer male followers on twitter and facebook, and fewer male blog commenters, so I assume fewer male readers. And I suppose that makes probably has a no boys allowed clubhouse feel around here sometimes, since I do so often complain about men. (STOP ACTING FOOLISH AND I WILL STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT YOU ALL THE TIME.) But let's be real--men are single too. At least, I'm guessing some of you are still single, even though I only seem to meet the married ones. Yet we seldom hear about your quest for love. 

Are you not miserable in your search? Is it easier for you to find decent women? Are you suffering in silence or not suffering at all? Are you consuming books and movies and sitcom moments where men commiserate and wish for nice women to come along but keeping them from us? TELL ME. Because I don't come across a lot of books for men trying to be better at relationships. I don't get many letters from men asking why women are so confusing. Am I truly supposed to believe that for every miserable woman trying to get a nice man to ask her to dinner, there is a contented bachelor hoping he can sneak out of her apartment before she wakes up, as television and movies have shown? 

I want answers. 

**I have an alarming number of self-help relationship books, guys. AND I LOVE THEM.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Here's to the new year.

Some of you may recall that despite some fun adventures, 2013 was not my best year. I had high hopes for 2014. 

And let me tell you--2014 delivered. I started a new job and was promoted shortly after. And I'm really enjoying it. Like, I had forgotten what it was like to enjoy your job without waking up in the middle of the night convinced it was time to get up and eat breakfast or take a shower before your twin tells you that no, you have like 4 hours left to sleep and please go back to bed. I don't miss that sort of job stress. 

I had a lot of fun adventures. including five days in Guatemala and a trip to Disney World to cheer on my BFF. I hung out in Pittsburgh and Washington DC and Boston and Smith College and Dallas and Maine and Bloomington and a shocking number of places in Ohio. I'm really grateful I have the kind of job and family that are very understanding of my desire to leave all the time. 

I only went to three weddings. This is huge. SUCH an improvement over last year's five. I mean, the 2015 invitations and engagement announcements are already pouring in, but at least last year was light. Also,I only got tricked into one bouquet toss--and that was through an inappropriate use of Beyonce so really I can't be blamed. 

There were babies! AND NOT MINE, which is also a huge win for 2014. Two wonderful friends and my nephew all had babies this year and I'm mapping out strategies for taking the Best Aunt title. (Unrelated question: what's the age where it stops being weird and inappropriate to buy alcohol for minors and becomes a cool thing to do? Nevermind, I definitely have at least a couple years to figure it out.)

Lots of family members are getting engaged or married or having babies, and while this is by itself is not necessarily exciting for me, it means that they have the attention of all the aunts--who are therefore NOT ASKING ME when I'm getting married. 

My boyfriend didn't break up with me by ignoring me! Hooray! This is totally a win for 2014 AND YES THAT IS NOW PART OF THE CRITERIA. One thing is for sure here, and that is that standards were a little lower at the onset of 2014. Things like, did I cry in the shower every day or just occasionally? became important indicators. 

Yes, 2014 was pretty great. And I have high hopes for 2015. Why is that? Because it's already January 6th and I haven't cried in the shower ONCE.