Thursday, 29 August 2013

Auntie Seraphic & Need Pep Talk

Birthday/Girls' Night. Had sudden flu. Went to Goth club anyway. 
Dear Auntie,

I've written you a couple times before and have always loved your advice. And I love your blog! I was wondering, if you need a topic idea, could you post a pep talk of sorts for the searching singles? Not so much a don't list, but a you're doing okay list? And not so much a "watch out for this type of guy" thing as a "it's not your fault you're pursued by weirdos" thing (two of my roommates have been bombarded with really weird men pursuing them, to the extent that these fellows have made more than a few events awkward and unpleasant). 

All the single women I know (and there seem to be so many of us) are struggling right now: there aren't any weddings, or engagements, or boyfriends. The pool of NCB is limited to just CB, completely missing the N part, and it's really starting to get old. Okay, to be entirely fair, there are a few NCB's here and there, they're just not interested in us, or they have recently announced plans to enter the seminary. To top everything off, it seems like every sermon this entire summer was about being faithful to your spouse, raising children, etc. Nothing for the spinster Aunts! 

We're trying to to keep on trucking, work, be happy and enjoy the privileges of being single (and there are so many! don't get me wrong!), but there isn't much caffeine in our lives and there is a feeling of lethargy in the air. 

Thanks for everything you do!

Need Pep Talk

Dear Need Pep Talk,

You don't mention how old you are, but my usual recommendation for the under-30 set is to scamper straight to the mirror and admire your beautiful under-30 skin. Say, "I love you, beautiful under-30 skin, and I promise to protect you from the wicked sun with hats and sun screen!"

Possibly this is shallow, but I don't care. You 20-somethings have beautifully fresh faces; enjoy them while you have them and preserve them for the future. 

Meanwhile, if there are no men on the scene, you and your friends are in a Golden Era of Singleness upon which you will look back fondly, and one day you will all desperately try to figure out some day you ALL can meet up, even for two hours, or just dream that this could ever have been a possibility. 

This spring, for example, there was a Mostly Married Lady Miracle when five of my old crowd, nicknamed, "Les Girls", managed to meet in a Toronto restaurant, all together for the first time since E's wedding. 

K had recently flown in from the West Coast, bound for a conference. E drove down from the city limits. L couldn't quite get away from it all, so she brought the baby. Half-Pint was... Actually Half-Pint is still only 22 or something and currently still Single, so it wasn't that hard for her. And I was visiting from Scotland. For the first ten minutes, we barely spoke. We just sat looking at each other, grinning foolishly. We were all together!

We spent all our time catching up and eating, so we didn't have an opportunity for "Remember Whens?" But had we the whole night to chat, we would have definitely got to the "Remember Whens." And there is a lot to remember from those days when we sprawled around the "Les Girls" house, moaning "Why are we still Single? Aaaaaaaah!"

There was, for example, the time we went clubbing with the sweet Muslim housemates, who refused to leave us when we got drunk, even though they were somewhat disgusted that we were drunk. And then there was the time E and L planned this amazing Goth Birthday Party for me, and I came down with flu in the middle of it, but made myself sick so my stomach would stop hurting and we could go to the club anyway. And then there was the time E and I went to Montreal with silly old Der Guter (see book), and Der Guter told my brother he was going to marry me. And there was the time.... You see where I'm going with this.

You Single Time is your Single Girl time, and by enjoying it together, you are laying up wonderful memories for the future. The future is there, fixed in the mind of God. You're travelling towards it, and although things you do today help determine it, God already has a Plan for you. So although naturally you are worried about what this Plan may be, or when you're going to see the Truly Life-Changing part of it, make sure you take a break from worry to simply have the fun of being girls together.

Because, you know, that is what I loved best about Single life. It wasn't the travelling--I travel more now! It was just being with the other Single Girls. And our caffeine came from the parties we threw--even if half the boys there were male religious--and from rushing off to clubs in the freezing dark--and from baking muffins and impromptu pyjama parties and checking out sales and discussing our studies. And now, as I sit in my attic in Scotland, I think back on those days, and I am so glad that I had fellow Catholic Single girls to share them with.  

Meanwhile, the absolute best book I ever came across about Single Life is called "Live Alone and Like It" by Marjorie Hillis. It was first published in 1936, so it assumes you're either going to live a chaste life or to have to pretend you are, and it also assumes, as I do, that most Singles are going to eventually marry, so you must seize the opportunities being Single gives you. It has a wonderful tone, so if you need an extra lift, do get this marvellous book

I hope this is helpful!

Grace and peace,

P.S. You're not really responsible for what goes on in the heads of the weirdos. You can, however, head the weirdos off at the pass with firm "No's" as soon as they appear. I don't know what you mean by weirdos, so let us just call them "eccentric or socially awkward men whose advances you wish to reject." A kind but firm "No" in time saves nine. Speak to them loudly and offer them unsolicited advice, like a mother or schoolteacher, nun or aged aunt. 


Anonymous said...

Oh, I love this post!
I don't have a lot of single friends, but our priest loves to throw impromptu BBQ's, trips and meetings and they're just the best. I don't know if I'd find the time to attend them if I weren't single and I'm certain it wouldn't be possible if I had kids. So yes, I'm enjoying this time of my life!

Sometimes Sad Single said...

What about when you're 37 and your single friends are in relationships or married with babies and you are feeling lonely and do not have other single girlfriends to enjoy life with?

Seraphic said...

Well, when I was 37, L was married, and E was in a relationship, but I still got together with them from time to time, most memorably in E's tiny but gorgeous flat, and also with K and Half-Pint. And I got together with my friend Trish, who was not in a relationship, too.

And sometimes I WAS lonely, but if I was feeling super-lonely, I got onto the computer and blogged for y'all. I used to post up a lot of dance video's for "Friday Night Video Dance Party" posts, as some of you may remember.

It is so important not to lose touch with your friends when they get married or just because they are dating! But it is also important to go out and meet people or even just to stay in and write blogs or contribute to com boxes.

Seraphic said...

I should add that you often have to take the initiative in planning Girls' Night, and you also have to work around everyone's busy schedules. Sometimes you have to call up a pal and say, "Can I come over and play? I'll hold the baby." Or, "Want company while you do the shopping?

Although the stuff you do together may change--and I may never seen the inside of a club again, sigh--and the frequency, that's no reason to be lonely.

Oh, and night school courses are cool. I really like my Polish course because there I feel like I'm actually part of wider Edinburgh society.

Anonymous said...

I call myself the "flexy single one" because I am easily able to meet my married or dating girl pals on account of my single status. I go hang out with them and their babies and I bring take out from all the restaurants we used to frequent pre-kid and I always keep a little toy in my bag for the small ones. As far as going out, really, visiting the zoo is lovely for me and much easier for my friends with kids when I'm there to help corral. my dating girls are tougher. I find it easier to connect with married ones because they've come down a bit from the clouds.

Julia said...

As a sunscreen addict, I'd definitely second your advice about using it. My skin is the whitest white of all whites, and if I want to avoid bursting into flames when I step into the Australian outdoors, sunscreen needs to be part of my weaponry.

I heard some controversy about sunscreen actually increasing the risk of melanoma (or whatever), but hey, I'm not getting burnt.

Anyway, sunscreen seems to have worked for you too, Seraphic - your skin looks awesome.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Thank you so much!!! :-) I am going to order that book right now. . . I already have yours of course! ;-)

~Need Pep Talk