Last week, Jennifer Doll offered a familiar lament in the pages of the Village Voice: “Dear Single Women of NYC: It’s Not Them, It’s You.” Though her focus is on New York, Doll could have been describing almost any large American city in which the number of single, straight, employed, and emotionally competent men is apparently dwarfed by the number of women who want to meet them.
The “man shortage” is a perennial go-to for articles aimed at women readers; these pieces differ mainly in the degree to which they blame the crisis on women’s ambition, pickiness, or sexual aggressiveness. Keep reading »
His emails are always filled with their/there/they’re mistakes, but you never say anything. A friend asks you both a question about, say, what’s going on in Egypt and you have a strong opinion, but you let your boyfriend respond. Date night involves watching a high-brow French film and you just nod your head politely as he explains the movie’s complicated message, even though you understood it perfectly fine on your own, thank you. You are also capable of assembling a piece of Ikea furniture on your own, but you ask for his help anyway, because it makes him feel manly. These are all examples of what journalist Liz Jones, writing in the Daily Mail U.K., would call Silly Me Syndrome (SMS), which “happens when a woman dumbs herself down so as not to offend the man in her life. It is something we learn to do at a very early age, because women are born smarter than men.” You know, “Oh, silly me. I forgot what nine times seven is again.” Keep reading »
“There was (and still is) something wrong with me. And it’s the same thing that’s ‘wrong’ with pretty much every single woman in New York complaining she can’t find a decent man … We don’t know what we want. And so we want a little bit of everything, over and over again.”
Jennifer Doll’s words on the plight of the NYC single woman in the Village Voice last week have been keeping me awake at night. She’s right. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I’m rendered inert by my confusion. I’m stuck. Keep reading »
It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Present Tense,” who wasn’t crazy about the pearl necklace her boyfriend of one year gave her for Christmas and worried he was going to give her something similar for her upcoming birthday. “I don’t want to seem like I’m not grateful, because I am, but I never wear jewelry and am not really a fan of pearls.” She said. “Should I just act like I like it and let him buy me another or is there some way I can let him know that pearls just aren’t my thing?” After the jump, find out whether she got another pearl necklace for her birthday or not. Keep reading »
Yesterday evening, I met The Young One outside my office with no idea of where we were going or what we were doing to celebrate Valentine’s Day. I’d pressed him for clues all week and the most he would give me was, “You’ll really like it,” and “If you wear heels, nothing too high.” We began walking, zigging and zagging down the unseasonably warm New York City streets. Every time I thought I had an idea of where we were headed, he’d laugh at my guess, shake his head ‘no,’ and make an abrupt turn. Finally he said, “This is it,” motioning toward an awning with the words “Ballroom Dancing” printed on it. Keep reading »