Romance

14 Reasons to Embrace Being Single After 25

You couldn’t have convinced me in college I would be writing a piece, on Valentine’s Day, about “embracing being single past 25.” There are probably dozens of girls, very much like I was in college and just after, who read this title and either turn their head following some gutting-superstition that knowledge of any such advice will make them more likely to be in my shoes one day, or they read with sympathy for me, praying to God they don’t ever have to face life still single just a few birthdays shy of 30.

Of course by the time any of us single people hit age 25, there are countless simple things you realize you’ve taken for granted and may one day miss when you add a spouse and kids to the picture. While being a single female in any society, in any day or age isn’t always peaches and cream, something about facing it in your late twenties brings you to a new (or honest) appreciation of this rare season of life. If you are having a hard time seeing the bright peaches and sweet cream that can accompany the life of a single women past 25, here are just a few I’ve come to relish…

  1. You learn how to check your car’s fluids and now drive with a little more confidence.
  2. You have no one to answer to for all the money you spend on fru fru Starbucks drinks (if you call Americano’s a girly drink…)
  3. You can move to a new place on a whim and discover a career, you don’t want, without it effecting too many people.
  4. You can drop everything at a moment’s notice and go to a movie like Argo on a late Saturday afternoon. (Just throwing out that film as a random example.)
  5. You have time to discover new strengths, new passions and build on them, even if it means facing many trails and errors.
  6. You can go to the mall and eat Pinkberry for dinner (and maybe even another Starbucks.)
  7. You can chop off all your hair in an Eddie Sedgwick pixie cut and not care whether any man thinks it looks “feminine enough.”
  8. You’ve had time to discover how to eat in a way your enjoy, that makes you feel your healthiest and look your best (hopefully so that one day you don’t have to hound a man with the question “Do I look fat?” After all, what are scales for?)
  9. You can move to a new place… again, for a new job, and again risk launching into an entirely new field and vocation, if you’re passions are leading you to do so.
  10. You can belt out to Taylor Swift and Adele (or Kings of Leon) all the way on those long, inevitable, solo car rides.
  11. You can visit and apply to grad schools in Europe, even if choose not to go.
  12. You can eat a vegetarian menu for days, saving yourself some money while your at it (for… more Pinkberry!)
  13. You can try a variety of man-repelling fashion trends without having to take into account anyone’s cunning remarks.
  14. You can one day be married, knowing fully well that you had every opportunity to do all those thing you wished you would’ve done when you were single.

Now granted, many (or all) of the above you probably can and will do once you’re married. (I certainly hope so!) But in the mean time, taking advantage of these moments will only encourage you to have more of them when a man (or lady, for you single guys) comes into the picture.

If you’re home sulking tonight, because it feels like life just hasn’t begun until you have a Valentine on February 14th, heed to some advice of a twenty-something-year-old who’s faced many a-Valentine’s Day single, and do yourself (and your future spouse) a favor and check off a few on this list.

Enjoy this solo season and all the cheesy, little aspects you take for granted. Live you’re life now.

“C’est la vie”

BOOKS: Black, White and Grey All Over

The high-fashion, Rachel Zoe look-a-like was reading it at Starbucks. It was the first thing to hit me in Books-A-Million (for all your northerners that’s our version of Barnes & Noble down south.) And it seems to be on just about everyone’s (every woman’s, I should say) “Summer’s Must Read” list. Though when seemingly illiterate fashion blogs (that I frequent, I’ll add) began featuring it, with discussion already in the air about a movie in the making, I started to wonder what all the hype was all about. You’ve probably heard about it, or maybe you’d recognize it by it’s cool and dark Twilight for the grown up looking cover. In fact I even expected fantasy or some vampire drama to be the substance of the story from the looks of it. Boy, was I ever wrong. It’s called 50 Shades of Grey. 

The books description was enough for me to realize that I didn’t need to invest anymore time on this book to get the idea of it’s synopsis. Though critics and readers reviews have really varied it hasn’t stopped the book from breaking record sales. Interestingly, many of the comments can be summed up by this one featured on Amazon.com:

          “The books are not written well, incredibly repetitive, there is little
          character development, and the sex scenes are, well, vanilla. Naive college
          girl meets tormented man/boy, man/boy has ‘issues’ which the girl is able to
          help him overcome when his therapist couldn’t, a very predictable threat
          (or two) to their happiness, etc., etc., etc…. ho hum.”

Assuming this commenter may be onto something (with about the 2000 who “feel the same way”) what is it about these books that have drawn such a massive readership of women? Because it turns out that a sweet, little romance between an innocent Bella and vampire Edward, who at least has enough chivalry to contain his thirst for blood, is altogether too sweet a story for the more “mature” women. Apparently across America, and elsewhere, women are hungry for things to get kicked up a notch. Though in quite a “shady,” if I may be so tongue-and-cheeky, unsettling direction.

I haven’t read these books. I don’t intend to. And typically when that’s the case I try to keep a subject at arms length. I hate when people write what they don’t know about. But here I am. Because frankly, I don’t think I’d be writing about it if I was reading it.

If you could judge a book by its cover, this one might have looked more like a deranged Danielle Steele cover for the 21st century Starbucks-drinking, Apple-carrying and fashion-savvy generation. And let’s be honest - likely it would be shelved in the far, dark corner of a book store. But it is apparently “hip” to be reading this erotic and quite unromantic tale right now; a tale that tells the story of an objectifying and dispassionate relationship, that women are eating up like discovering a hot-fudge sundae for the first time.
I don’t blame E. L. James, the author, for how this book will and is certainly influencing the future of fiction and, no doubt, the film industry.  After all, masses of love-starved women are reading and buying this stuff. Though there is a wide-range of opinions on the positive and negative effects of this trilogy, I won’t be so bias as to plainly disregard them all. Yet… the subject matter of this novel, that is referred to as “engrossing” and “addicting”, is turning female sexual hunger over to a glamorized depiction of female subjugation. There were once romantic tales like A Room with a View, The Princess Bride and any Austen novel – though they were fantastical love stories that likely fogged some of our rose-tinted lenses towards romance, this trilogy is a far cry from romantic. But it seems to be what women are soaking up. If it’s in high demand, you know it will be well supplied.

If this is what we are calling romance, how will such material affect our grasp of relationships or our understanding of romance?  Worse, how many girls will become the object a man’s demands and somehow interpret that as romancing or endearing due to the convoluted message such literature sends out – regardless of how this story ends? Already we lack the kind of chivalry or gentleman-like qualities among relationships – men who open doors for a women, ask for a number, patiently wait until being wed to share intimacy ( crazy idea - I know.) This once was thought of as romantic. So since many women don’t have this and there seems to be a lack of a pursuit of women for the sake of companionship, romance and intimacy, instead do we accept this as “romantic?”
With all the materials out there to be read, with all the history, insight and knowledge to be discovered, why this women? When we can enrich our minds, why cloud it up? While we’ve seemed to work so hard to not be objectified and made an “accessory” for a man, it’s slightly humorous how females can be so entertained by it. Though popular now, it’s hard to imagine that 50 Shades of Grey will go down in the books as the next Great Gatsby. There are some trends just not worth investing in. I dare say this one doesn’t deserve your time.