So, after a month’s silence, Normal Guy has been in touch again.
Since we last spoke, or rather messaged, I’ve been to Barcelona and partied at the Festa de Gracia, supped innumerable coffees and gossiped with girlfriends, been to birthday party, a fancy dress party and a retirement party … oh, yes, and I’ve also started a new job.
I’ve no doubt that Normal Guy’s schedule has been equally packed … but is it wrong that I’m a bit underwhelmed by his rather meagre missive, which amounts to just four words?
“Hey! How’s it going?”
Now, I understand that folks is busy, but such a short and superficial message says to me that you’re not really investing much in this friendship. Like, not even a full minute.
And yes, I know, I know. I know some people just don’t rock it by email. But four words? Four? At this rate, YEARS could pass before we have a proper conversation.
Since I’m sworn off menfolk anyway, I’m finding it hard to get excited about such titchy tidings.
What I am properly excited about, though, is a book that I’ve come across called Live Alone and Like It: The Classic Guide for the Single Woman.
The book, “takes readers through the fundamentals of living alone, including the importance of creating a hospitable environment at home, cultivating hobbies that keep her there (“for no woman can accept an invitation every night without coming to grief”), the question of whether single ladies may entertain men at home and many more.”
Nothing amazing about that, you might think … except that the book was published in 1936.
Apparently known as a bit of a bon viveur, the authoress, one Marjorie Hillis, was apparently fed up of hearing single women complaining about their lonely lives, so she penned the book as a call for single ladies to stop whingeing, take control and start enjoying their circumstances.
Sound just a little bit familiar?
Anyway, the inimitable Ms Hillis is an arch old bird, dispensing pearls of wisdom such as:
“One of the great advantages of your way of living is that you can be alone when you want to. Lots of people never discover what a pleasure this can be.”
How anyone could fail to love a book with chapter titles such as ‘A Lady and Her Liquor’ is beyond me, but it’s ‘The Pleasures of a Single Bed’ that has me snorting with laughter, making me realize that although the good lady was writing more than 70 years ago, some things never really change. Or, perhaps, the more they change, the more they stay the same…
“It’s probably true that most people have more fun in bed than anywhere else, and we are not being vulgar. Even going to bed alone can be alluring. There are many times, in fact, when it’s by far the most alluring way to go.”
Sounds like the old girl is right on the money. Now, according to the book, all I need is a maid to mix my martini and a set of matching bed jackets and I’ll really be living the lifestyle.
So if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a date with decadence lined up. Mine’s shaken, not stirred, with just a twist of lemon, please…