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I Spent Christmas Alone December 26, 2013

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities, I want to..., Some Like It Single.
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4 comments

4156759926_26aa1c1c16_oActually, that title is not true. It was Thanksgiving that I spent alone, and which I wanted to post about several weeks ago. But I never got around  to writing the piece until just now, so I tweaked the title just to make this post more timely.

I didn’t have to spend Thanksgiving alone. I could have joined some friends or my family. But I wanted to be alone during the entire Thanksgiving weekend, and be thankful for my aloneness. But would it work? Could it be done?

Answer: Kinda.

My plan: On Thursday morning, I would drive twenty minutes to Bull Run Park, where I would spend three nights camping in a Rustic Cabin, writing my Adequate American Novel and snacking (not necessarily in that order).

There would be no WiFi.  I had long believed that if I could simply get away from the Internet, I would finish my book in a weekend, easy.

The nice woman on the phone at the park swore my computer would not pick up one single quiver of WiFi. “No Internet,” she said, “But there is heat, a microwave, mini fridge, futon, table, chairs, queen bed, and bunk beds.” This all seemed a bit luxurious for a writing retreat in the deep woods. But perhaps I’d get lucky and the heat would fail, and I would have to continue typing in fingerless gloves with a scarf around my neck, hunched over my keyboard, as boundless creativity flowed from my stiff white fingertips, the way I’d always imagined–correctly or incorrectly–Henry David Thoreau did when he went to Walden Pond.

Now it’s true that Thoreau did not have a down comforter, plus a down-filled bomber jacket, plus a calf-length down coat (not meant to wear over the bomber jacket, but I wore it over the bomber jacket).* Nor a frozen Trader Joe’s spinach pie (Thanksgiving dinner) and a bag of organic pears and nutmix. But nonetheless the words he used to explain his famous explanation for his retreat kept playing over and over in my head. I remembered them from the movie Dead Poets Society.  Or thought I did. (I did not and will not Google them to make sure I get them right.) This is what I kept hearing as I shuffled around my little cabin, from computer to refrigerator and back again: (more…)

Seeking Happily Ever After, Ever After! December 8, 2013

Posted by Onely in film review, Great Onely Activities, Honorary Onely Awards, Reviews, Some Like It Single.
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2 comments

Copious Readers, several months ago Onely was excited to view and review the independent pro-single-women film Seeking Happily Ever After.  Now it’s more widely available on DISTRIFY, where anyone in an English-speaking country (for now) can rent it from their own computer. (Distribution in non-English-speaking countries has not been implemented yet due to the cost of subtitling.)
Producer Michelle Cove provides some statistics that drive home the need–or rather, the market–for pro-singles films such as Seeking Happily Ever After:

• The number of single women has more than doubled over the past three decades. –2011 General Lifestyle Survey Overview from the Office for National Statistics
• In England, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States, approximately one in five women in their late 40s remaining childless. –Yale Global Online, 2012
• In Australia, almost 1/3 women aged 30 to 34 do not have a partner.–Census statistics
• 62% of U.S. residents 18 and older have never been married. –U.S. Census, 2011
• In Scandinavia, the majority of mothers in all social classes are unmarried.—Sociologist and leading researcher on men and masculinity
• In Spain, 92% of women do not censure the fact that they have had a child without a partner.—NSI (National Statistics Institute)

Buoyed by the success of Happily Ever After, we at Onely hope that one day someone will make a film about single men. Granted, women are more immersed in the White Dress Marriage Myth and hence the greater need for a film such as SHEA. But a positive film about unmarried men would be interesting too. Any takers?
–Christina

Guest Post: Why People Living Alone Can Be Happy May 28, 2013

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Guest Posts, Secret Lives of the Happily Single.
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6a00d8341eb61d53ef01348621cb5a970c-800wiCopious Readers, as you may have noticed, Onely likes to have guest posts from anyone who has something to say about how single people experience life–we welcome (even crave) input from all cultures and all sorts of relationship statuses, from divorced to widowed to single and seeking to single and happy to asexual and even married. Here is another guest post, this time by Ryan Thurmost, who talks about the benefits of living alone, which as you know is just one aspect of being single (and a privileged one at that). What other benefits can you add? Or drawbacks? Do you agree or disagree with the stated benefits? For more information, check out Eric Klinenberg’s book Going Solo

Why People Living Alone Can Be Happy

Everyone wants to find true happiness, but this can be a difficult task. Many find it surprising that living alone may be one of the solutions, but they really shouldn’t be. For a lot of us, it just makes sense. Here are some of the reasons why individuals who are living by themselves might actually be the quintessential picture of happiness :)No Financial Fights

If you surveyed a bunch of people who have roommates about their biggest stressors, you might discover that finances are the biggest reason for disagreement in their apartments or houses. Those who live alone have total control of their budget. If a bill doesn’t get paid, they have no one to blame but themselves. On top of that, they’re free to do what they want with extra spending money (within reason, of course) and don’t have to consult with someone on mundane topics such as whether or not to keep the A/C on high. They can install a new appliance when they want, they can order whatever cable package they want, etc.

Loving Themselves
You’ve probably heard people say that it’s hard to love another person when you don’t exactly love yourself. Individuals who live alone usually have the time to focus on themselves. They’re less likely to have to worry about caring for someone all day long, and they don’t constantly have to clean or cook to suit the needs and tastes of another. People who live alone have time to explore their hobbies and get to know both what they really like and what they want to do with their lives.


Pets
(more…)

Visualize Living Alone: Infographic About This Extraordinary Privilege May 3, 2013

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities, Uncategorized, We like. . ..
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1 comment so far

Copious Readers,

We here at Onely like to experiment with guest posters! We love having them and the interesting perspectives they bring (which may or may not completely jibe with Onely’s optic). Today we are moving from pure text to something a little more visual–an Infographic. This medium is new to us so we’ll be interested in hearing your feedback on both the form and the content, which in this case has to do with the growing trend of Living Alone. Click on the graphic to see the whole image on ForRent.com, an apartment search company exploring this new trend. Normally Onely does not advocate specific businesses, but we believe in companies that consider renting or building alternative housing for non-traditional familes such as single people, and so we appreciate that ForRent has taken notice of single dwellers.

In 1950, only 9% of households had single occupants. Comparing that with today’s 27%, it is easy to see the trend of solitary living. With extending life spans, the average age of marriage slowly increasing and large rises in urbanization, we are on a path that will not be changing in the near future. The economy is in a slow recovery yet, surprisingly, a very small amount of young adults have moved back into their family homes.

In this infographic, we will take a look at some of the other factors influencing Americans to forego residential companionship and instead prefer to live by themselves.

Alone But Not Lonely
“Alone But Not Lonely” infographic designed by ForRent.com

Microwave Cooking for One: Sad or Spectacular? May 29, 2012

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
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5 comments

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Christina and I had a mini-Onely reunion when I landed in Philadelphia for a conference (she drove all the way up from Northern Virginia to see me – yay!). Among our many adventures, we found ourselves wandering around a delightful used bookstore in downtown Philly. Just as we were about to leave, I stumbled upon a major find – a cookbook entitled Microwave Cooking for One. It was so amazing, I decided to splurge and buy it ($2 USD + tax), and I gave it to Christina, since I don’t have a microwave.

We haven’t tested any of the recipes, but wanted to share some of our favorites so far – they range from fancy to practical, as you can see:

Lobster Tail:

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Fresh or Frozen, it’s no problem!

You can be sure to enjoy a rubbery, buttery meal for one with this delicious “Lobster Tail” meal for one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Macaroni:

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The lovely Ms. Marie T. Smith gives us a more traditional recipe for pasta in the second version of this recipe, but if you cook the first version, the pasta (which she generally calls “macaroni”) will absorb all the water! I’ve never seen pasta do this, but I’m intrigued by the powers possessed by the microwave. There’s nothing like enjoying a soggy pasta topped with cold sauce (we can’t figure out why the sauce isn’t getting microwaved too) all by oneself.

Obviously, Christina and I are all in favor of cooking and eating for one and are happy to see progress made in this direction, but we also value our dignity. You might be able to guess our answer to this question, but we don’t want to be unfair to the talented Ms. Smith… Copious Readers, what do you think: Is Microwave Cooking for One Sad or Spectacular?

Single With Attitude: A Compendium of Singles’ Blogs January 2, 2012

Posted by Onely in blog reviews, Great Onely Activities.
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Do you like Onely’s perspectives on single life but think we don’t post often enough? Do you find yourself desperately needing your progressive-singlehood fix, but none of the super-singles blogs you regularly read have anything new up, because their authors are too busy watching five straight hours of Breaking Bad on Netflix (an example just off the top of my head and not based in any way on any actual blog authors living or dead)?

Never fear! Just go to the new compendium of enlightened singles’ blogs at Single with Attitude, a site set up by singles scholar Bella DePaulo. Fresh posts from the different blogs feed to the top of the page–posts from Onely and other sites you may know from our blog roll, and posts from new voices you may discover you like.

Check it out.

–Christina

Writing is Like Dating October 1, 2011

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities.
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5 comments

One of the most famous myths of singlehood is: Your work won’t love you back.  Meaning: Any passions not of a committed romantic nature are inherently less desirable. Although we at Onely (and most smart people) realize the many logical fallacies in this statement, in the past we sometimes balked when a heteronormahole challenged us to name one of our interests that truly paralleled a romantic relationship. How to answer? Well, I love learning languages and Lisa loves dog training. But if we gave those as examples, even though we think they’re as good or better than having boyfriends, the heteronormahole would have laughed in our faces.

But no more!  Because I’ve realized that we do have a hobby that is more relationshipy than all our previous relationships put together. You see, Lisa and I are both writers. And for writers, a significant other is redundant–because we’re already dating our craft:

There’s a honeymoon period after you first discover Writing. You effortlessly churn out brilliant character names and gripping sex scenes  (Kitty Chuckup’s heart heaved as Cecil Flickmeister slowly unsnapped his bowtie) and Pulitzer-caliber plot twists (Little did Kitty know the bowtie was the only thing holding Cecil’s head onto his neck). Writing flows from your fingers like an extension of your soul. You never tire of those words streaking across the screen. Your Writing is all you can think about. At your day job you stare out the window and daydream about the exciting things you’re going to do to that short story once you get home (What if Cecil isn’t the blind stablemaster’s illegitimate son after all?! And what if–OMG–the stablemaster isn’t blind either?!) You’ve never felt so complete.

After spending so much time with your Writing, you begin to wonder if maybe you should get serious. You know, think about Publication. Get Published, put out some little pieces that can carry on your name and maybe even grow into big books that make a lot of money to support you in your old age.

After all, everyone wants to get Published, right? Plus the alternative is so humiliating.  If you tell people about your Writing, they’ll ask you, “Are you Published? No? Are you talking to any publishers? Editors? Do you you at least have a blog?” and then give a pitying head-shake. “Well, don’t worry, one day the right agent will come along just when you least expect it.”

They just want to help. They know being Published is the only way you’ll be taken seriously. Think of all the privileges you receive automatically upon Publication, even if you really only found the right Publisher by sheer luck (and it’s always luck), and even if the quality of your Writing isn’t all that great (well, not *your* Writing, because *your* Writing is amazing and special–we mean the other 50 percent of Writings which end in dangling participles).

Whereas if you stay Unpublished you will die unread (platonic friends and extended family who may have loved your novel(s) or memoir(s) don’t count).

To avoid this terrible fate, you pick some Writing you guess is good enough (maybe the chapter where Kitty and Cecil find the time portal)  and start preparing to get Published. You’re planning your Submission–researching the best literary magazines, shopping for that perfect agent, figuring who you should put on your acknowledgments list–when you get cold feet.  You look at your Writing and realize that while you love it–you really do–you can’t help but notice that its clauses are so dependent, its verbs so passive, its modifiers so often misplaced, and — to be honest — its narrative can’t follow an arc to save its life. In fact, if Kitty laughs liltingly one more time you swear you’ll just scream.

Suddenly you’re not sure you’re ready for Publication just yet. Would it be so bad to just enjoy Writing without planning to Publish?  Of course it would. You’d be writing in sin. And you’d also be selfish, hoarding your Writing all for yourself. Plus you’d just be in denial anyway–no one’s ever *really* happy only writing for themselves. They can’t find anyone to Publish them so they just pretend to be happy being Unpublished.

Sometimes that’s easiest. After all, Writing for Publication is hard. It’s a numbers game. You need to put yourself out there, over and over again. A top-tier journal won’t just call you up and say “Hey, you have any nice stories sitting around on your computer? Maybe something about a zombie and a stableboy?”  You have to dress up your drafts–a tight intro, a sleek font–then send them out and sit by the phone waiting to find out if anyone liked them.

It’s risky. You may never match your Writing with a perfect publication venue and may end up Unread anyway, after exposing yourself to all that judgment and rejection.

You also risk the fifty-page itch.  A third of the way through your novel, the plot seems predictable, the diction stale, the characters too familiar (ho-hum, Cecil’s sitting in the hay writing more haiku while snacking on brains again).  You’re still typing, but sluggishly. You keep sneaking looks at a new document, where you’re thinking of starting a fresh, sexier project (hm, maybe a blog post about the similarities between writing and dating).

Copious Readers, which of your interests have the same dramas, benefits, and challenges as romantic relationships do?

–Christina

Photo credit: Håkan Dahlström

Love Us? Then “Like” Us! August 31, 2011

Posted by Onely in Pop Culture: HOPE for the Onelys, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Take action.
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4 comments

To Our Copious Readers:

Well, we’ve finally joined the 21st century: Onely’s on Facebook! If you “like” us, the bonuses are endless: You’ll receive updates about our blog posts, pro-singles events or occasions, as well as links to articles or websites of interest to the singles’ advocacy community. What’s more, you can add content of your own: Feel free to post to our Wall and know that you’re a member of a growing special interest group.

Now all we need is for you to “like” us (for incentive, we’ve posted a special bonus link on our Wall). Luckily for everyone involved, it’s pretty easy: You can just click the “like” button over on the right sidebar of the blog, or you can search for Onely (we’re a page, not a person) from your personal Facebook account.

Also, don’t forget that you can still connect to us via Twitter, email subscription, RSS feed – or you can go the good old-fashioned route of bookmarking Onely as a “Favorite” on your web browser!

Happy “liking”!

– Lisa and Christina

Single Women: Tell Your Stories to the Camera July 22, 2011

Posted by Onely in book review, Great Onely Activities.
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4 comments

Are you a compelling single woman between ages 25 and 60? Want to honor Women’s History Month by sharing some of your life stories and lessons learned?

You may be able to take part in the upcoming documentary series Independent Spirit:  Successful Women in America Speak Out on the Joys and Pains of Modern Day Single Life.

The docuseries is tentatively in the works now, inspired by Nika Beamon’s book  I Didn’t Work This Hard Just to Get Married: Successful Single Black Women Speak Out.

The producers hope to hear from single women of *all* enthicities: Black, Asian, Latina, White, whatever! If you want to tell them what it’s like being a single woman [legally single or socially single], please contact Nika Beamon at denali17@optonline.net, and please include a .jpg photo and a bio, which are needed for the treatment package going to the executive producer.

–Christina

Photo Credit: 997 Ourem

If You Actually Read Onely, We Wouldn’t Make Fun. Promise. July 14, 2011

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys, Singled Out, STFU, Your Responses Requested!.
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4 comments

Every so often, Christina and I receive emails from folks who obviously haven’t read our blog. Usually, these folks introduce themselves and say kind, generic things–“Love the blog!” “Keep up the great work!” “WOW! You two are such excellent writers, we’d like to offer you a book contract!” (Well, ok, not that last one.)

We’re flattered, of course. But we know they’re liars. How do we know? Because they send us links and encourage us to direct you, Copious Readers, to their websites. And their websites are, more often than not, about dating, intensive coupling, heteronormativity, and matrimania. As our real readers know, this is not what Onely is about.

So normally, we ignore the emails. Occasionally, we’ll send a kind but corrective reply. Although we always cringe, we generally take the high road, avoid the snark. We certainly don’t want to drag ya’ll into it.

But this time, we just can’t help ourselves. Christina forwarded me the following email with the comment “Oh, for god’s sake.” Why? Because at same time the solicitor is sharing links that prove he doesn’t read Onely, he also says that Onely is a sincere pleasure to read.

Hi Lisa,

We would love to share with you an article that we just posted on our own blog!20 Best Blogs for College Dating Advice” (http://www.onlinecollegecourses.com/2011/07/12/20-best-blogs-for-college-dating-advice/) would be an interesting story for your readers to check out and discuss on your blog.

Either way, I hope you continue putting out great content through your blog. It has been a sincere pleasure to read.

Copious Readers, we wondered: What snarky response would you compose on our behalf? Here’s what we’ve come up with so far:

Dear College Dating Advice Guy: Are you sincerely reading now?

- LA

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