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Why a Singles Blog that’s Not Focused on Dating?

December 23, 2012

I know the appropriate response to a break-up in this day and age is to wear thick black eyeliner and write bad poetry on LiveJournal. And I did some of those things, or near-enough approximations. I wore thick eyeliner and a ridiculous amount of blush and some shade of lipstick called “Blood Berry” (I can’t wait for Ben and Jerry’s to make an ice cream flavor!!!) just before deciding to call things off with my boyfriend of nearly seven years. The troweled-on makeup was, however, for a movie role, so I think I’m justified in succumbing to fashion for the chance at my big Hollywood breakthrough, where I can really go nuts in really high-profile relationship implosions!

As for the poetry–no guarantees on that, although this is WordPress, which might at least inspire me to try and write emo haiku instead of simply letting it all hang out with no rhythm or structure. If I’m gonna be a bad poet, I’m gonna be badass as well.

So what, you might ask, is the purpose of creating a blog when I’m not planning on rehashing the events leading up to the breakup or the cataclysm itself?

Well…that’s where an explanation for the title comes in.

I’m not interested in dating. I’m not interested in relationships. I’m sure as hell not interested in settling down, moving to the suburbs, and having the 2.1 kids that would get Ross Douthat and his ilk off my back about how I’m irresponsibly and singlehandedly allowing the (white) population of this country to go down the drain. While I haven’t completely ruled out dating and long-term relationships in the future, they’re currently not of interest to me at all.

I think this is important to state on a public forum where words can be copied, pasted, and even flat-out reblogged. I have read a few websites and books in the past few weeks that have depressed the hell out of me when it comes to the state of singledom, especially female singledom, in this country. It’s not even that any of my reading has included voices that out and out disparaged single women, it’s that I see so much pressure on women to be taken. And once they’re taken, they need to be married, STAT!

One such site that makes me think downing an entire handle of vodka wouldn’t be that bad an idea is the Waiting board at WeddingBee. A handful of the posts are somewhat self-affirming–“I’m not in a place to be married or engaged yet, and neither is he. We’re going to wait until we’re both ready.” Most, however, include what seems to me to be convoluted logic as to why the ring is so damn important if the wedding venue has already been secured. Worse still are the 9-out-of-10 scale logical gymnastics as to why the woman can’t just propose already or, at the very least, discuss her reasons for wanting to be married to her boyfriend so badly with said the aforementioned boyfriend instead of sighing about his waffling online.

I also gained inspiration from Deborah Feldman’s Unorthodox. This is the author’s memoir of her difficult, oppressive childhood in a Hasidic sect based in Brooklyn, and the second half of the book is devoted to the author’s preparations for and trials within marriage. Among all the awful events she describes that read like a how-to guide for growing your own insular patriarchy, what truly stood out to me was how she depicts marriage as an escape, a source for freedom for young Satmar girls. No matter that their husbands typically turn out to be just as misogynistic as their fathers, marriage for these young women at least offers the illusion of giving them more control over their lives. Why, once they’re married, they probably won’t have to beg as much when they want to leave the house to buy groceries!

In a case like Feldman’s, there’s sadly little that my blog about living contentedly on my own will likely do to change the larger situation. But in the case of women who obviously have internet and are probably educated, able to get and maintain a successful career, and surely have hobbies and interests of their own, why is there so much need to seemingly sacrifice all that to worship at the altar of Tiffany, Jared, or Kay Jewelers?  I know it’s not the fault of these women as individuals; take a look at the women-targeted magazines in any grocery store aisle, and you’ll see a glossy chorus of exhortations to get a man and then make sure he stays tied down. The Waiting board itself, in a real twist of the knife for its followers, is peppered with breathless advertisements for Nordstrom wedding dresses and jewelry. You can’t be special until you’re getting married, they none-too-subliminally whisper.

So maybe I can be an example to someone who’s worked her way through a sea of therapists and anxiety medications over an issue that doesn’t have to be. At the very least, I’m hoping some of the examples on this blog show that living alone is not a bad second choice. Granted, I don’t see the single life as being a continual burst of sunshine, roses, and unicorn farts. I’ve been wrestling with my building’s washing machine for two days, having grown complacent on laundry duty since my ex insisted on handling that on his own. But at least the washer and dryer are free to use, so chalk that up to First World Problems.

In other words, do expect a few posts about my attempts to get my Domestic Goddess to get her ass off the food-stained couch, wipe the Cheeto dust off the table, and do something about the growing pile of Chinese takeout cartons in the corner. But also expect some musings on how nice it is to set my own schedule, go out without my friends without worrying about someone being lonely and miserable, and getting the covers all to myself. And if you happen to think it sounds good enough to try yourself, please don’t cite me as the other woman.

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4 Comments
  1. This is so refreshing to read. You’d think singledom was an affliction similar to an infectious disease. If you’ve got it, you’d obviously spend every waking moment trying to remedy it. Any interestes, hobbies, or a “career” are simply a distraction until you lock that man down. Amazing how far we’ve come since 1950.

  2. wildacademicwoman permalink

    You write so well! After spending my entire adult life (10 years) with one man, I am happy to be single. I love that I can do whatever I want whenever I want… no more asking what he wants for dinner or trying to tell if he’s actually telling the truth when he says that he doesn’t care and it’s up to me. Ugh. Even though I feel like I’d want to be in another relationship (with the right person), I’m not hankering for one right now. Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

    • Thank you! Did you and I date the same man? For a while, I liked have final decision-making power in my relationship, but after some time, I had to start asking, “Do you genuinely not care, or are you saving my (probably incorrect) decision for your passive-aggressive arsenal?”

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