Ten years ago I viewed my life (quite wrongly in hindsight) as a colossal disaster. If the term “epic failure” had been part of the parlance back then, I would have adopted it as my personal motto. The reason for my misery was simple – I was thirty three and single. Now I’m almost forty three and married with kids I realize that the Single’abulous life style had its advantages. Sadly at the time I made my single status into a drama of Tolkien proportions, as only a thirty something dumpee can.
Nevertheless I was hardly alone in being alone. I was part of a brave new demographic just begging to be marketed to. Sex And The City and Bridget Jones’ Diary were pitched straight at me. I lapped both up shamelessly, it was art imitating life except the art had ridiculously expensive shoes. At the same time the bookstores (still viable businesses back then) were groaning under the weight of texts for hapless women like myself who could not bag a man.
I turned to the literature for answers and what I found was dismal. I was way too anarchic to follow “The Rules” as dictated by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider (Don’t ever call a man? WTF? ). According to “Marry Me – Three Professional Men Reveal How To Get Mr Right To Pop the Question”*, I was destined for a life on spinster hood as a penance for my naughtiness. If you need proof that sexual double standards are alive and well just leaf through this depressing piece of work. It will transport you back to the 1950s faster than the Tardis ever could.
After losing the will to live, I turned to A Round-Heeled Woman: My Late-Life Adventures in Sex and Romance by Jane Juska. This true story tells of how a Jane a divorcee in her mid sixties, placed a raunchy personal ad in the New York Review of Books.
“Before I turn 67—next March—I would like to have a lot of sex with a man I like. If you want to talk first, Trollope works for me.”
She was over whelmed by the response and got up to some rollicking shenanigans including several encounters with a 35 year old David Duchovny look alike. The latter was something I was definitely in the market for and I cheered her on heartily.
In the end it wasn’t the self help writers or even the mighty Jane Juska who inspired me out of the self pitying rut I was in. Rather it was Einstein. These words prompted me to change my approach.
In another rare moment of clarity I realized that the reason that I was receiving relationship “shit” was not due to me being inferior goods with low sexual capital. It was because I had been accepting “shit”. Cue the strains of Twisted Sisters’ “We’re not gunna take it anymore”. I’d experienced a pathetic parade of losers and players* up until that point and now it was time to stand firm and just say no until I found someone who’d treat me with respect and consideration. It seemed statistically likely that among the millions of men in the world there would be a least one who fitted this basic criteria. I dived into an RSVP dating adventure and played the numbers game until Dadabulous found me. A few weeks in he said ” I want a relationship in my life. Lets give this thing a try and see how it goes”. I may have nonchalantly replied “Ok – why not” but internally a southern gospel choir was shouting “Hallelujah” and “Thank you Jesus!”.
Had I not had this epiphany a decade ago I would probably be blogging about the pitiful man shortage with one hand whilst squirting botox into my face as liberally a poly filler with the other. My advice to all the single ladies out there is that you dont have to look like Beyonce for him to put a ring on it but you do have to say no to crap.
Around the same time my new attitude helped me take a few big steps with my career but that’s another blog post. Meanwhile “Just say no to crap” is a catchy book title dont you think? I am sure I could expand upon the concept and come up with a block busting best seller.
Do you have any advice to go into this latest best seller? It could be a collaborative effort.
* To be fair, there were some nice guys who just ” weren’t that into me”. Luckily that book wasn’t around at the time.