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Neurotic or Not? You decide! March 1, 2010

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Just Saying., Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
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I am an incredibly private person when it comes to the bathroom. So private, in fact, that even though I live alone, when my dog is anywhere around the bathroom when I am about to use it, I make her either leave the room or close the door completely.

So, when Christina mentioned last week in an email to me that one of her cute new kittens SAT ON HER LAP while she used the bathroom, I was, quite frankly horrified. Here is the transcript of the email conversation that followed:

Me: “ewwww, i would SO never let an animal sit on my lap or anywhere near me while i was peeing!!! that’s so disgusting — definitely a Onely activity.”

Christina: “There is no ‘let’ with cats. If they want to sit on your lap when you are on the toilet, they just jump up there before I know it’s coming. This morning Theo used his claws to get leverage.”

Me: “it’s called SHUTTING THE DOOR to the bathroom!”

Christina: “huh? What is this door-shutting of which you speak? I believe I remember something like that from many years ago when I used to live with other people. . .”

I hate the thought of anyone (or any thing if you don’t think animals are people too) watching or listening to me while I’m on the toilet — which I realize might be understood as slightly extreme, but I’m okay with that because it’s better than the alternative — a dog sniffing my crotch or a kitten clawing my legs while I’m totally exposed and relatively helpless. But while I think Christina is totally crazy for being so open with animals, she thinks I’m strangely prudish.

We made fun of each other for a while, but it seems that neither of us can muster the rhetorical skills necessary to convince the other that she’s nuts… So, we’d like you, Copious Readers, to settle the debate: Who’s the neurotic one? Me, her, or somewhere in between (no hard feelings, we promise)!

— L

photo credit: EyalNow

OMG, I’m One of THEM. February 6, 2010

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Secret Lives of the Happily Single.
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Copious Readers, after a year and a half of blogging about positive singlehood and of punditing for singles’ rights, I have gone over to the dark side. I have two new men in my life. No, that’s not the dark part. We here at Onely are not against love, dating, or relationships. We are, however, against obnoxiousness. And I’m obnoxious.

I spend all my non-work hours with Alvin or Theo. Several times in the last week I’ve postponed phone calls to friends and family so that I could hang out with, cook for, or cuddle with a new flame. I’m sleep deprived because we stay up too late laughing and talking. When people do call to find out where I’ve been, I barely ask about their lives, but instead I blather on and on about how handsome Theo is or how smart and funny Alvin seems. I send emails with no message, but maxed out with photo attachments, many of which look kind of the same. Instead of doing my Arabic homework or writing my Adequate American Novel, I crawl around on my hands and knees looking for the boys’ balls.

Alvin and Theo are both a lot shorter than I am, but I’m pretty progressive about that kind of thing. And I loooove their back hair. Alvin is adventurous and brings out my wild side, but Theo is more shy and has a chronic worried look on his face that makes me want to comfort him. I’m lucky I don’t have to choose between them, because they seem to enjoy sharing my lap.

Oh, my poor matchmaking coworkers, who don’t have kittens to help them ride out the Stormageddon. I will try to comfort and support them on Monday:

“Oh, you’re kittenless? Aww. That’s too bad. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll find some one day.”

“So, why is a great person like you still kittenless?”

“What, you say you’re happy with your dog? What are you, some kind of freak?” (Special shout-out to Lisa.)

“Hey, so you’re kittenless, right? I know this great calico who just happens to need a person!”

Copious Readers, can you forgive me?


Onelers devenons comme fous: Lisa fait Paris (avec la maman!) January 13, 2010

Posted by Onely in Great Onely Activities, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Singles Resource, solo travel.
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Bon Annee, fellow Onelers! As my poor French translation above (hopefully) indicates, I spent the New Year in Paris with my mother, who has never before traveled internationally and who has been dreaming of taking this trip most of her life (well, I *know* my bad French didn’t exactly say all that, but bear with me).

Yes, I AM the luckiest daughter in the world! I traveled alone to the UK in May (see my posts here, here, and here on the experience) and have now begun exploring Europe (it’s not just my mom’s dream!). I was wary of heading alone to a country where I didn’t speak the language (ich spreche ein bischen Deutsch, and even less Russian), so going with my mom was a good first step — especially since she paid for everything 🙂

So, now that I have recuperated from my travels, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on traveling internationally alone versus with someone else: (more…)

What Do You Do for the Holidays? Onely Wants to Know! December 23, 2009

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Your Responses Requested!.
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So here I am, typing this post while lying on an uncomfortable air mattress in a claustrophobic book-lined bedroom in my parents’ tiny townhouse near San Jose, California. I’ve listened to my parents bickering and complaints – and contributed my own – since I arrived last Thursday (with a notable exception over the weekend, when I stayed overnight in San Fran with my older brother, and today, which I spent in a coffeeshop drafting a short article that’s due January 1st). I’ve visited the ocean; eaten some delicious clam chowder and fish tacos; visited Pacifica to see if I could witness California’s coast disappearing (watch the video — I saw it from a distance!); toured San Francisco’s Academy of Sciences and Conservatory of Flowers for the first time; enjoyed some amazing South Indian food at Dosa to celebrate my mom’s birthday; and visited Yosemite National Park. I have two brothers, but I’m the only one who arrives from out of town and who actually stays with my parents for a prolonged amount of time — so I find myself simultaneously spoiled shitless and driven crazy.

Happy Holidays, Copious Readers! Welcome to a version of what I consider pretty “normal” every late December. I love it as much as I hate it — I experience as much discomfort as I do pleasure being here during the holidays, some of it certainly emerging from my enjoyment of being single, independent, and living far away from my family. Perhaps most importantly, being here makes me fully appreciate the temporary nature of this season — I always feel refreshed when I return to “normalcy,” my happily single habits and life.

Please, tell us what you love and hate about being Onely during the holidays – is it better or worse to live near family? What are the benefits and disadvantages of being single at this time of year? Do your parents, or other family members, question your singleness – or do they leave you alone, and why? Do you find you have less “alone” time — and/or what happens when you demand it, as I must? Or do you forego family visits altogether and enjoy the holidays alone, or on an adventure, or with friends?

Also up for discussion is whether the infamous Charlie Brown-with-Christmas tree image, pictured above, is sad, singlist, and/or superb! 🙂

I’m looking forward to hearing your opinions and stories… And in the meantime, I hope everyone is enjoying a safe and happy holiday season!!

— Lisa

Lisa Back from the Dead! December 9, 2009

Posted by Onely in Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy.
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That’s right, people. I’m BAAAAAAAACK!!! And yes, until today’s haircut and yesterday’s recovery massage, I did look frighteningly like this little girl to my right. That’s what happens when one travels to doctoral-exam Hell and back! As of today, I’m happy to announce my regular presence back at Onely and across the blogosphere. I’m so looking forward to catching up! I also want to say THANK YOU to all our wonderful readers for giving me kind words of encouragement when I made my occasional appearances here to complain about the exams and make excuses for my absence.

Since I finished my last exam a few days ago, I have spent most of my energy taking care of and rejuvenating myself, both materially and mentally. I was genuinely worried that I would emerge from the last exam let down and depressed, having focused all of my time and energy (and having made multiple sacrifices in my personal life) over the last six months into exam preparation, only to give birth to a series of unpublishable and ultimately unremarkable documents. So, in order to avoid a complete post-exam meltdown, I have been treating myself to the following: (more…)

Secret Lives of the Happily Single: Parents’ Edition October 19, 2009

Posted by Onely in Bad Onely Activities, Great Onely Activities, Secret Lives of the Happily Single.
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Welcome to the latest installment in our SLOTHS series, where we explore the Secret Lives of the Happily Single and celebrate their enlightened idiosynchrasies! 

Lisa and I write a lot about the specific instances in our daily lives when we are grateful to be single. Often a banal moment such as not having to rinse out the laundry detergent lid will trigger a flood of endorphins. I get almost weepy with happiness at night when it’s time to go upstairs to my cozy peach-and-blue bedroom for my nighttime wind-down. I love sitting on my full bed and futzing around with my novel, or tearing articles out of New Scientist, or doing forward bends, without someone scurrying around in my periphery.

But what if I were a single parent? I’d have a small scurrier around all the time. Lots of the things I like about being single now–having my quiet time, eating whenever and whatever I want, sleeping from 2 am to 11 am on Saturdays, watching Corey Feldman dance on YouTube–are impossible or irresponsible if you have kids. Yet I’m sure that there are Onely parents out there, and they must have their own beloved SLOTHSy habits that they would miss if they ever coupled up. 

I’ve been trying to think which of my SLOTHSy proclivities I would be able to keep if I had kids. I suppose it depends on their age, whether they’re in school, how many hours I have to work, and so forth. But no matter what, I’d still have to do laundry, and I’d still rejoice at not having to rinse out the detergent bottle cap. I’d also like not having someone else to tell me how to raise my child (“Are you crazy? Don’t let them watch that Corey Feldman video!”). 

Copious Readers, if you are a single parent, we want to hear from you what you like about being single and a parent. And if you have things you don’t like about being single and a parent, we want to hear those, too. 


P.S. How adorable is this baby sloth picture I found? Check out Kirsten Hubbard’s Wandergirl blog, where every week she posts a picture of a baby animal!

Friends Care about the Boring Shit August 26, 2009

Posted by Onely in Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy.
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Hi everyone,

The fall semester has officially begun, which means, for me, the beginning of a mad scramble toward three doctoral exams which I must take (and pass) by the beginning of December. Between this, teaching two classes, presenting at two conferences, and composing a short article for an academic journal, I feel simultaneously thrilled by my life and on the verge of complete and utter panic.

But, believe it or not, this post isn’t about me. It’s about Christina. You see, I’ve got a veritable TON of reading to do in the next few months (I honestly don’t think I’m exaggerating all that much by measuring my work by thousands of pounds). And as I began really wading in deep last week, I realized that it was going to be easy to procrastinate. Too easy.  (more…)

Pop Culture, HOPE for the Onelys August 13, 2009

Posted by Onely in Pop Culture: HOPE for the Onelys, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy, Singles Resource.
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Since last Friday I depressed you all with this post, I am happy to say that all is not lost for us single people and singles advocates, at least in pop/internet culture! A friend of mine sent me a link to this excellent article (cross-posted on Salon.com and Huffington Post), which is written by Lea Lane, author of Sololady.

In “Why I’m Alone,” Lane enumerates a long list of reasons why she’s not married. She’s refreshingly candid. Some of my favorites include: (more…)

Worldwide Onelers: China’s Taiko–Nots. August 3, 2009

Posted by Onely in As If!, Look What Google Barfed Up, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, solo travel.
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According to this BBC news article, Chinese taikonauts have to meet a series of criteria in order to go into space, including:

No Bad Breath!

No Body Odor!

No Scars That May Burst Open!

I understand the close confines of the spacecraft and fully support these criteria, having dated a guy with halitosis (though not, thank god, with exploding scars). But wait, there’s another requirement for taikonauts:

Your Spouse Must Approve!


Onely Fights Office Singlism! Kind of! July 15, 2009

Posted by Onely in As If!, Everyday Happenings, Heteronormativity, Just Saying., Secret Lives of the Happily Single, single and happy.
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I forget the context of our conversation, but at one point my coworker mentioned that single people don’t have any responsibilities. Now, before you send out the tar-and-feathering mob, loyal Copious Readers, let me say that this is one of my favorite coworkers and he has a knack for making out-of-place, over-the-top generalizations. But still, I felt the need to correct his statement.

“Single have responsibilities!” I said. “I have a mortage. And. . . and. . . a cat.” I winced. The C word seldom helps in a singles advocacy argument. But in the moment, I couldn’t think of any other responsibilities! Because to be honest, I am so enamoured of my independence that the feeling of freedom sometimes overshadows my to-do list. But Lisa rattled off  my responsibilities to me later, in an email. She said we have “pretty much the same responsibilities as everyone else!” But for once I disagree with my intrepid co-blogger. (more…)

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