Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Settling for Celibacy

15 Years Without Knocking Boots

First, I'm sure this essay is supposed to be comical.

Second, it is interesting to examine and pick apart lots of little details about it, with no offense meant to the author, because it's a humorous piece that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Even so... oy. Take what I want to write about and do a complete 180. With an extra dose of impatience and whining.

I regard men with ambivalence, with alternate longing and fear.
This I can understand. She likes their company, and then is consistently disappointed by them. Rejection is never fun, and it sounds like some of the men she's been with have had severely bad cases of the dumb.
I've grown accustomed to being alone.
OK, WTF is that all about? She goes on and on about her gal pals, and how some of them have even hit on her. And what about her career? There's an article on Salon.com with her name in the byline- does this mean nothing in the face of being single?
But we all crave human contact. "So," I resigned myself, scheduling a back massage, "welcome to the wonderful world of the middle-aged, celibate single woman. You now have to pay people to touch you." It's funny how comforted I can feel simply by hands rubbing my body. I know some men are willing to offer extra for a "happy ending" -- for them, sensuality isn't achieved unless it ends in orgasm -- but for me, I'm perfectly content just letting someone rub my shoulders, my back.
Isn't there anybody in her life willing to give her a free back rub? I'm single, and I've had two in the past week, neither with the ulterior motive of sexxing me up.

Oh, wait,
And I suppose it would help to leave the house. I am quite reclusive, as most writers are, and unless some drywall guy who reads Russian literature shows up on my doorstep, it is highly unlikely that I will meet an available straight single man any time soon.
Because we all know that the best way to meet other single people, "for friendship or more," is to stay home on the weekends. Where do all her gal pals come into it while she's shut up at home?


I don't disagree with her philosophy, "You have to be in love to make love," especially since she's tried the alternatives and did not like them. I've said before, different strokes for different folks.

But instead of reflecting on her life for what it is, she focuses on what it is not. It is not shared with a romantic partner, woe! Forget all the accomplishments and adoring friends, she can't find Mr. Right! Towards the end she brings up non-romantic love and friendship, but almost as an afterthought. It sounds like she settles for what she has instead of cherishing it.

This makes for a very whiny sounding article that makes my teeth grind, regardless of the ironic, comical tones. And I think it helps reinforce the stereotype that I'm trying to break.

1 comment:

Teresa SHHbabe said...

"I am quite reclusive, as most writers are." Perhaps that comment wouldn't be as funny to me at any other time in the year, but right now, just a few short days after the NaNoWriMo wrap party, I have to laugh. NaNo writers get a lot done in the month of November, much of it in write ins, in social gatherings.

Yeah, most people I've heard comment about this article complained about the whiny, complaining voice of the author.