Tags: 2 hopeful spinsters
People sometimes comment on (or laugh at) the fact that Lisa and I are two people co-writing a blog about being happily and progressively single. Most other singles’ blogs are, quite logically, written by a single person. So imagine our delight when we discovered another website co-managed by pair of single women, just like Onely! Except 2 Hopeful Spinsters consists of action-packed web video, instead of action-packed web words.Heather and Dellany (the Hopeful Spinsters)’s goal, like Onely’s, is to challenge the cobwebbed notions that thirty-something single women are bitter, jaded, ugly, and surrounded by cats (well, actually we’re not going to challenge that last one).
In their kickstarter pitch, the Hopeful Spinsters point out Webster Dictionary’s definition of spinster: a woman past the common marrying age. In the US today, that age is 27. In the pitch they also include a segment ”Shit People Say to Spinsters (Inspired by actual events)”. At a college alumni shindig, the partiers demonstrate typical lines often thrown at ‘spinsters’, for example: Are you a lesbian? Have you thought about freezing your eggs? and, my personal favorite, where a man certainly over thirty years old says,
I don’t date women over 30. (more…)
Singles and Asexuals: Their Intersextion January 23, 2013Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, sex, single and happy, We like. . ..
Tags: asexual, AVEN, david jay, happy singles, single blog, swank ivy
To many people, this sounds startling, or freakish. They may say it’s impossible; the asexual person must have something wrong with them.
A ‘non-seeking single’ refers to someone who doesn’t particularly care if he or she finds The One or gets married.
To many people, this sounds startling, or freakish. They may say it’s impossible; the single person must have something wrong with them.
Whoaaaaaa there, some of our Copious Readers might say. Why are you comparing asexuals to singles? You’re just perpetuating the stereotype that non-coupled singles don’t get any sex! And that’s not true! We get a LOT of sex! Sometimes!
No, this is not about that. This is about rhetoric. Asexuals and singles of many stripes are alike–in that they suffer from (or are irritated by) the same kinds of prejudiced rhetoric. I recently watched the documentary (A)Sexual. Its primary hero is David Jay, the founder of AVEN, the Asexuality and Visibility Education Network. The film also follows asexual advocate Swank Ivy. I stared with fascination as she described her Top Ten List of Things People Say To an Asexual.
If Onely had compiled a Top Ten list (why didn’t we ever think to do that?) it would be pretty much identical to Swank Ivy‘s. (Although her online list varies slightly from the verbal list she gives in the movie, their essences are the same.) Note that she writes from the point of view of a hetero woman, but the list could easily be tweaked to fit men: (more…)
U.S. adults have “boyfriends” and “girlfriends”–Do other cultures also infantilize the unmarried? November 28, 2012Posted by Onely in Dating, Food for Thought, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: adult boyfriend, adult girlfriend, cultural expectations for dating, cultural expectations for the single woman, relationship signifiers, singles blog
The U.S.’ widespread use of “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” is a decades-old cultural relic, from a time when we married barely out of boyhood or girlhood. But now more and more adults are waiting until their late twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, or beyond to marry (if at all). So what does it say about our society that we call the people we’re dating “boyfriends” and “girlfriends”?
It SAYS that our society views unmarried people as younger/less evolved/more childish than married ones.
To be sure, our habit of using boyfriend/girlfriend in perpetuity did not arise from a concerted or conspiratorial cultural effort to infantilize unmarrieds. But the passive persistence of the terms does represent how singles are viewed. (For all that alliteration, you may thank this glass of wine.)
A thirty-eight-year-old hetero female has a boyfriend? Come on.
Progressive thinkers (usually as an extension of Queer rhetoric) have played with new terms: Significant Other; Partner; Life Partner. . . These terms allow people of all ages to achieve the rare art of sounding both stodgy and mysterious at the same time.
Copious Readers, Onely requests your responses: (more…)
Singles Shopping Day November 18, 2012Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, We like. . ., single and happy.
Tags: alternative Valentines, November 11, singles, singles blog, Singles Day in China
Lisa and I are so behind on our Onely research and writing that we missed Singles Shopping Day on 11 November! So sorry we were unable to flag it for for you, our Copious Readers, because I know you all (and by you all, I mean me) love any holiday that combines shopping with the chance to get all up on our soapboxes about the awesomeness of singlehood.
On 11/11, Singles Shopping Day, according to this AP news article,
Singles Day was begun by Chinese college students in the 1990s as a version of Valentine’s Day for people without romantic partners. . . Unattached young people would treat each other to dinner or give gifts to woo that special someone and end their single status.
What Every Woman Wants? July 22, 2012Posted by Onely in Dating, Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, single and happy.
Tags: bad hookups, coupl, couple-mania, Dating, flaky guys, happy and single, Heteronormativity
The following is a story about the perils of couple-mania. The victim is me. The moral: Always trust your gut – you are a smart and intuitive person. Don’t let couple-mania get the better of you.
A couple of weeks ago, I was invited to help a friend – let’s call her Reem – celebrate her birthday at a beautiful beach in southern Lebanon with her boyfriend (let’s call him Ramzi), and another friend of theirs (we’ll call her Rose). The beach was lovely – sunny, hot, relaxing.
A few hours into the afternoon, a few of Ramzi’s acquaintances from his football league showed up. We mingled. One of the guys started talking to me. We’ll call him Beach Dude.
Beach Dude seemed to be a genuinely nice guy. He’d grown up in the States but was of Lebanese descent. Talking with him, I felt comfortable, relaxed. He even asked me the topic of my dissertation; no one ever does that. We watched the sunset and chatted until I had to leave for Reem’s birthday dinner. I thought nothing of it.
But apparently, Reem, Ramzi, and Rose had thought about it plenty. They started teasing me.
Them: “Wow, Lisa, Beach Dude really likes you!”
Me: “What are you talking about?”
Them: “He stayed to talk to you when all the guys left to play football!”
Me: “Well, that’s true… but…” My gut just felt they were wrong.
Them: “Lisa, he’s totally into you.”
Me: “I think he was just being friendly.”
Them: “You guys have got to hook up!”
After all their badgering I began to wonder if maybe they were right, and I had in fact entirely misinterpreted Beach Dude’s manner and motivations. Maybe he was totally turned on by the sexy concepts of historiography and disciplinarity (the subject of my dissertation). Still, I squirmed and blushed as they kept insisting that they had seen something I hadn’t.
I already hate couple-mania enough when it’s “out there” – in magazines or on television – but I truly despise it when it’s targeted at me. (more…)
Microwave Cooking for One: Sad or Spectacular? May 29, 2012Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: cooking for onelers, lobsters, maraconi, microwave cooking for one, single people have dignity
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:
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.
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?
This Is Not a Valentine’s Post February 10, 2012Posted by Onely in "Against Love"...?, Dating, Food for Thought, sex, single and happy.
Tags: anti-valentine, love my work, luckiest person alive, no more dating, single and happy
It’s been almost 6 months since I crossed continents and landed in Beirut. I’ve got to say, living here has added strength to my already strong Onely sense of self – and it’s not just because I made it here on my own. Certainly, simply making this journey made me stronger. But now that I’ve settled a bit and feel less like a stranger, I have come to realize that, for the first time in my adult life, the work I’m doing is absolutely satisfying.
That’s not to say that the work I’ve done in the past wasn’t satisfying – I’ve always loved teaching, and I loved getting my Ph.D. It’s just that my work never made me feel like this. I never imagined it could. And recently, the way I feel about my work has been thrown into high relief when I’ve been forced to compare it to the way I feel about the three men who have recently expressed interest in me. (more…)
Every Oneler Needs an Elf October 16, 2011Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
Tags: busy and overwhelmed, elves do the cleaning, onelers save the world, spousal support
Shortly before I moved overseas, I visited my dear, intelligent and highly articulate co-blogger Christina in Washington, D.C. I stayed with her for about a week, and for some of that week, she had to be at work. I, too, had work to do, but I worked from (her) home.
So, being the conscientious and grateful guest that I am, I tried to clean up after myself while I was at home and while Christina was at work. Sometimes I cleaned a few things for her, too.
The first time I did this, Christina came home and exclaimed, “Oh my goodness! Little elves have visited!!” But the next morning before she left for work, Christina made me promise that I wouldn’t let the elves visit again. “No problem,” I promised.
But they visited again. As a guest in Christina’s home, I couldn’t help myself; what’s more, Christina appreciated it (not to mention that it gave her less work to do and more time to spend with me!). After she came home to the after-effects of elf-doings the second day, we determined that everyone needs a magical elf who takes care of the little details of life while we’re working on the big issues (saving the world and all that jazz).
And indeed, now that I’ve landed here in Beirut and have had no choice but to head full throttle into my new job and my new life, I’m wishing that I had a little elf (or three) to help me manage the little things while I teach my classes and attend meetings and begin my research. I need them to unpack all the boxes that arrived a week and a half ago (the boxes I sent to myself from Louisville so long ago) while I take day trips around the country (hello Byblos!). I’d like my elves to pester the phone company about getting internet access while I have lunch with new friends. And I’d really appreciate it if they could help me figure out the best and most efficient way for me to get internet at home while I take Kitty the dog for a run along Mediterranean coastline.
I’m strong, independent, and I am definitely single and (very) happy. But I’ve decided that every Oneler, after declaring oneself as such, deserves an elf in the sidelines – someone who can read my mind and anticipate my needs. But … isn’t that what a spouse is supposed to do? Fellow Onelers, what are your thoughts? What would you accomplish if “only” you had a little elf to do your bidding?
Onely Overseas: On the Things We (Americans) Take for Granted September 18, 2011Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, single and happy.
Tags: american ignorance, lebanese culture, living alone overseas, single and happy in beirut
Interested strangers include: The plumber; the neighbors on the fourth floor of my building; all taxi drivers; the life insurance company; my employer; and the shirtless guy on the Corniche who stopped me and my dog for a brief conversation.
And, if I happen to get pregnant, I’d better have already registered my marriage with the health insurance providers because otherwise I’m not covered.
To the plumber, my employers, one of the taxi drivers, and my neighbors, I told the truth (I am not married, have no children); to one taxi driver I lied for inexplicable reasons – blame it on the jetlag? – (In’shallah, I hope to be married and have children someday); and I also lied to the shirtless guy (I have an American fiancée).
All of the inquiries have taken me by surprise, and my various (sometimes embarrassing) responses reflect my desire to be left alone. But my surprise, and my uncertainty about how to respond, underline just how much I have taken for granted as a single American woman writing about “being Onely” from an American perspective. I am not Lebanese and cannot claim any real expertise on what it might be like to be an unmarried woman here (though at least one of our readers has already shared some valuable insight in this regard), but even as an outsider who’s only been here a short while, it’s clear that cultural pressures are much stronger and less easy to negotiate than in the U.S.
I am sure I will be fine as an unmarried American woman living alone in Beirut. But I am also certain that the inquiries will not stop, and the longer I live here alone – especially if I don’t end up with a boyfriend or express an interest in getting married – the more of a curiosity I will be to some.
At the same time, I look forward to the moments when my superficial impressions of this country and this culture are disrupted – such as when I told my neighbors (who have a recently divorced daughter) that I’d never been married, and the man replied, “It’s better that way.”