” Right eye slightly a-twitch, I say, “Just one.” Sometimes I contemplate lying, “Oh, two, please!” because I’m so, so over the Sad Single Person Meal trope, but I never cave.As a result, recent years have seen a rise in single-lady-friendly lit, with uplifting titles affirming the pleasures of life uncoupled, including the 2011 book (Crown, ) by Kate Bolick, author of the 2011 viral Atlantic article “All the Single Ladies.” I read Spinster and, while Bolick is a spectacular mind and first-rate writer, it gave me zero solace.I’d hoped to find war stories from a fellow PSB struggling with the garbage part of long-term singlehood: loneliness.
Doesn’t she have anything better to do than mope about her chopsticks?The book is, rather, Bolick’s celebration of five historical spinsters who crafted exciting lives despite their lack of husbands, as well as an exploration of Bolick’s ambivalence toward the outdated idea of mandatory marriage. “How do you reconcile having a rich life and being lonely? She replied: “It’s about not organizing your life around another person—when you shut all the doors and prioritize the relationship above everything else.I like to have a balance, where my friendships are as important as my romantic relationship, which is as important as my work.” But what if there is no romantic relationship? Bolick urges women to “make a life of one’s own.” Done.I have been alone for the past two years and, prior to my last boyfriend (we were together for seven months), for another three years—just like so many women in North America right now.In 1981, 26 percent of Canadians aged 25 to 29 were unmarried.
And I let the pain flow through me, feel it race up and down and through the conductor of my body.