This is a heartening article for all single women (and possibly even men) who sometimes feel not “full-blown self-loathing, more a hollowness that [hits] in the chest at certain times”. It is SOML, aside from the happy ending part. But I’m not 39 yet, so I guess it’s still heartening. (Except that I’d rather not wait until I’m 39. But aside from that…)
I’m tempted to quote bits, but it is hard to avoid quoting the entire thing. But here goes:
“My solace came from the place where single women usually find it: my other single friends. We would gather on weekend nights, swapping funny and tragic stories of our dismal dating lives, reassuring one another of our collective beauty, intelligence and kindness, marveling at the idiocy of men who failed to see this in our friends.
“Mostly, we would try to make sense of it all. Were our married friends really so much more desirable than we were? Once in a while someone would declare that married women were actually miserable, that it was they who envied us. But this theory never got too far — we knew our married friends wouldn’t switch places with us, no matter how much they complained about their husbands.”
“Like single women everywhere, I had bought into the idea that the problem must be me, that there was some essential flaw — arrogance, low self-esteem, fear of commitment — that needed to be fixed. I needed to be fixed.”
“A lot of good things happened during my period of constructing Sara 2.0. I went to artists’ colonies, taught storytelling to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, adopted a rescue dog, learned to do a handstand — all under the banner of “Learning to Love My Single Life.” And I made sure everyone knew my life was super-duper awesome with or without a man — my adorable apartment! my fulfilling career! my amazing friends! But I also knew I couldn’t play that card too often, lest the Greek chorus conclude that my well-oiled life left no room for love.”
Read the rest over at the NYTimes blog.