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Book Review: The Challenge of Being Single March 15, 2009

Posted by Onely in book review, Reviews.
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dae6c060ada0a6e640df9110l_aa240_Marie Edwards and Eleanor Hoover. The Challenge of Being Single: For Divorced, Widowed, Separated, and Never-Married Men and Women. Signet, New American Library: New York 1975. 

This book review will be done in the style of movie previews. 

California, 1971.

IN A WORLD where the ideal woman is still a homemaker and the ideal man her breadwinner, where “computer dating” means you fill out a paper form and send it via snail mail to a company for matching via punch card, where divorced women can’t pay their bills, and where landlords turn away singles and unmarried couples–ONLY ONE WOMAN has the courage to stand up for the rights of single people everywhere. Facing down bitter myths about unpaired people, FEARLESS PSYCHOLOGIST MARIE BABARE EDWARDS launches her workshops “THE CHALLENGE OF BEING SINGLE” through the University of Southern California. Then, with the help of INTREPID JOURNALIST ELEANOR HOOVER, she turns her workshop experiences into a ground-breaking book that, well, judge for yourself from these excerpts. Here’s Edwards in her own words, (more…)

Deconstructing Facebook January 29, 2009

Posted by Onely in Dating, Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys.
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It’s a pandemic, people!  In the last week, several singles close to me have expressed distress and depression after logging in to their Facebook accounts:

“All my friends have these pictures of them with their spouses; everyone is in a couple except me.”    “My ex-boyfriend changed his Status. Now he’s not single but I still am.”   Or, worst of all, “My ex friended me and I accepted and sent a nice little note and he sent me a Happy New Year video card of him doing Polar Bear Club and it was thirty seconds of him leaping in the water and then a whole nother minute of some woman towelling him off lovingly with googly eyes oh my god.” (more…)

The Spurrious Rhetoric of Singlism January 2, 2009

Posted by Onely in As If!, Food for Thought, Heteronormativity.
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This great article by Abby O’Reilly talks about  old-school stereotypes against single women. O’Reilly critiques some interesting rhetoric by Dr. Pam Spurr, “alleged sex and relationship expert at the Daily Mail” and, frighteningly, a life coach. (I forget which blog originally led me to the O’Reilly post, but whoever you were, thanks!)

Spurr espouses the notion, so prevalent in singlist society, that if you say you are single and happy–you’re lying.  She bases this grandiose generalization on the “thousands” of single people she has life-coached.

She doesn’t seem to realize that her data set is inherently skewed, because usually only people unhappy with their relationship status would approach Spurr about the issue in the first place; what about the thousands–or millions–of happy singles who never use Spurr’s services? Or worse, what if a happy single were to go to Spurr about a different life issue and in the course of discussion happen to mention she was single, and Spurr were to hit her with this, from Spurr’s article in the Daily Mail: (more…)

SEEPage November 24, 2008

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Singled Out.
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For all you writers out there!! Here Bella DePaulo admits that in an early draft of her opus Singled Out, before she heard about Liz Spencer and Ray Pahl‘s study of different kinds of personal communities, she had a “clunky phrase” to describe significant others who form the nexus of their partner’s social life (per Spencer and Pahl, that would be a “partner-based personal community”). The term DePaulo used to describe that kind of significant other was “Sex and Everything Else Person,” aka a “SEEPie”. She said that readers of the draft hated the term, so she scrapped it. But I like it! I wonder how our Copious Readership feels about Seepies. Either way, it just goes to show you what a freakin’ headache writing is.

I was raised in a foreign service family. This means that my mom, dad, sister, and I travelled around together, one little square unit. This setup feeds into the partner-based personal community paradigm. (more…)

Once Onely, always Onely? October 21, 2008

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, We like. . ..
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 Once Onely, always Onely? If Lisa or I start dating someone seriously to the point that they become our “significant other”, do we forfeit our Onely status? I say no. Even if I get married, I will still be Onely. It’s sort of like once you pay your dues, you get a lifetime membership. And that’s a good thing. Social Psychologist Bella DePaulo pithily validates my point

Americans now spend more years unmarried than married. But even if we spent only a sliver of our lives single, we should be able to use that sliver to pick any door or puncture any myth. . .

Corollary question: (more…)

Pop Culture, Scourge of the Onelys part 7×777: Completely Unscientific Onely Poll for Lori Gottlieb and The Nation October 7, 2008

Posted by Onely in As If!, Pop Culture: Scourge of the Onelys, Singled Out.
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Christina alerted me recently to a debate between our (admittedly) favorite singles expert, Bella DePaulo, and writer Lori Gottlieb, who wrote a rather infuriating article entitled “Marry Him!” that was published in The Nation back in February/March 08. I’m not going to touch the conversation between DePaulo & Gottlieb (see below for links to the full exchange), but I do want to ask our valuable, intelligent, anti-singlist and happily single readers the question that Gottlieb seems to already have answered for us:

You say you’re happy being single…

So, are you lying or just in denial?


NATIONAL SINGLES WEEK! September 23, 2008

Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, Singled Out, We like. . ..
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Lisa and I have been so busy blogging about being single, we almost forgot it’s National Singles Week! (Aka National Unmarried and Single Americans Week aka USA Week.) Lisa may write more on this topic later, but for now I’m going to cheat and just link to some great USA Week articles for the convenience of y’all, Copious Readership!  (more…)

Are Onelies Just in Denial? Dick comments. August 21, 2008

Posted by Onely in As If!, Food for Thought, Singled Out.
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In a spectacular display of nominative determinism, reader Dick made the following comments on social psychologist Bella DePaulo’s Living Single blog: 
Submitted by Dick on May 4, 2008 – 7:54pm.

You seem to spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about the ‘stigma’ of being single. Could it be that you are repressing your desire to connect with someone? I can hardly believe that single people are so repressed. Just another ‘ism’ to distract people from real problems.

What interested me most about this post was “Could it be that you are repressing your desire to connect with someone?” 


Food for Thought! SINGLED OUT: Beware! Your Work Won’t Love You Back (An Academic’s Take) August 13, 2008

Posted by Onely in book review, Food for Thought, Reviews, Singled Out.
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DePaulo, Bella. Singled Out, How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2006

(This is an ongoing exploration of Singled Out, continued from an earlier post)

In Chapter 7 of Singled Out, DePaulo debunks the myth that if single women spend too much time focused on a career and/or in school, they will miss out on all the ‘good’ partners out there, and that being career-minded means “slogging through ‘the trenches of corporate solitude'” instead of “gleefully and triumphantly crashing through the glass ceiling” (136). (more…)

Being Eaten By Cats: thoughts on the myth of dying single August 11, 2008

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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Remember the Sex in the City episode where Miranda almost chokes to death while alone in her apartment? In the aftermath, she fills her cat’s bowl to overflowing so that, should she choke again, the animal won’t feed on her bloated corpse. I watched this episode and felt the exact empathy and horror the producers wanted me to feel. But in this Onely venue I feel compelled to rethink Miranda’s situation:

1) If I were lying there on the floor dead and my cats were hungry, I would want them to eat me, of course. (more…)

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