Where the (Right) Advice At?!

I’m excited by the fact that more of you are finding and reading this blog; whether it’s by accident or not I hope you stick around! Also, please feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from any of you to ease the loneliness a bit. Just kidding, it’s not quite that dramatic but still please do make your voices seen/heard!

Now, back to the topic of interest: relationship advice. There are so many love and relationship advice websites/forums/what-not for all ages out there on the web. Depending on your level of interest, you can find a few interesting articles on Yahoo about how to bail out on a bad date early or take quizzes to reveal your ideal suitor. Whatever it may be, there’s something lovin’ (or at least love advice) for everyone.

Well…almost everyone. Maybe it’s because I haven’t done adequate research or something, but for some reason such advice fails to fall in the hands of the spinster. When was the last time you saw a genuinely helpful article about what a person could be missing or an enlightening piece on what guys really, and I mean REALLY look for? (the answer to that question is that there is no answer).

Just as an example, I decided to take it upon myself to google something a spinster would want to know: “How to get a boyfriend”. I hope and pray that I do not suffer from this Google search and that others will not use it against me…like they have done in murder trials where the killer is exposed by tracing their Google search history (“How to commit murder” – though honestly, why would anybody be this dumb?).

Anyway,out of my findings, these two websites provided interesting advice:
http://www.wikihow.com/Get-a-Boyfriend
http://www.hookingupsmart.com/2009/09/28/relationshipstrategies/20-reasons-you-dont-have-a-boyfriend/

Let’s talk about the Wikihow first, literally, How to Get a Boyfriend:

1) Make sure he doesn’t have a girlfriend- It’s pointless to go after someone who is already in a relationship!
No shit.

-After 15 more reasonable but not very helpful items –

17) When you do have a boyfriend, don’t cheat on him by dating other boys.
I’ll try to resist the urge.

18) If you don’t have a boyfriend at this point, go back to the top of this article and read the steps again.
NOOOO WHY?!?!

Exactly.

Now hookingupsmart.com: 20 Reasons You Don’t Have a Boyfriend

I don’t want to go over each reason, but I can honestly say that it’s so dificult not to be guilty of a few of these items, let alone any of them. Without any of these “imperfections,” does this girl even have any personality leftover? And can a guy really not handle any of these things…well maybe they’re the ones not worth dating. I better stop myself before I become several of these traits (aggressive, too picky, self-aborbed etc.).

Although, to the author’s credit, she does provide a disclaimer that it’s not likely that anybody will be able to be completely reason-free, which just goes to show how difficult it is to answer a question like “how to get a boyfriend”. I wish I knew the answer, because not only would it make my life easier, I would share it with everyone to help create some love in the world. I’m not saying that relationship advice pertaining to less spinster-y topics are neccessarily better, but for the most part they aren’t as difficult or long-term problems to solve.

That being said, if anybody out there has a valuable piece of information to share or has read something of the like, please make it known! At the very least, I will deeply appreciate such sound advice and will share it with all my spinster friends (I try not to have too many, but what can you say we unite through our pain).

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Musical Influences: Songs for a Spinster Part 2

Today we move on to some of the worst possible songs for a spinster to hear, particularly on a bad day. My advice for sensitive or lonely people is to skip over these songs as quickly as possible and continue on with your day. It’s just not necessary to be this affected by a song. Also, I try to make these songs more mainstream so more people can be saved from these gut-wrenching, heart-breaking songs.

TERRIBLE SONGS FOR A SPINSTER:

1. Hiding My Heart by Adele (Originally by Brandi Carlile)

I wish I could lay down beside you
When the day is done
And wake up to your face against the morning sun
But like everything I’ve ever known
You’ll disappear one day
So I’ll spend my whole life hiding my heart away

Nevermind the fact that the subject of this song is already so depressing, but with Adele singing it the sadness becomes inflated by super steroids. There’s been studies and parodies on why her tear-jerker “Someone Like You” is so tragic, but the tiny bit of optimism in that song (“Nevermind, I’ll find someone like you”) is something that the spinster cannot afford to have. “Hiding My Heart” does not have any optimism, which is why however fitting this song is, it is still a horrible reminder of the long road ahead.

2. Love Story by Taylor Swift

Marry me, Juliet, you’ll never have to be alone.
I love you, and that’s all I really know.
I talked to your dad ‒ go pick out a white dress
It’s a love story, baby, just say, “Yes”.

Oh hellllll no. No, no, no. Just no. Nothing much to say about this one, other than the fact that whoever thought this romantic fantasy was a good idea can slowly rot away on a deserted island somewhere. Alright, that may have been a bit harsh, but white dress, love story, really??! Somewhere out there a teenage girl is looking at a plethora of wedding gowns and planning her dream wedding. She will be faced with the harsh reality that nothing in life is that fluffy or pure. Good luck to you.

3. Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy

Goodbye, my almost lover
Goodbye, my hopeless dream
I’m trying not to think about you
Can’t you just let me be?
So long, my luckless romance 

Oh dear. A spinster can look at this two ways. 1) Literally: The person that could have salvaged her from being forever alone is now gone for good. It was risky, but the small glimmer of hope for graduating spinsterdom was enough, but clearly it did not pay off in the end. 2) Figuratively: The “almost lover” is the hope for finding a happy and steady relationship someday. Now that this hope is gone…all that remains is the luckless romance that will carry on for a long, long time.

4. Boyfriend by Justin Bieber

If I was your boyfriend, never let you go
Keep you on my arm girl you’d never be alone
I can be a gentleman, anything you want
If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go, I’d never let you go

Justin Bieber is basically forcing the listener to imagine herself in a relationship (probably in one with him, which induces further trauma). This song puts the spinster in an extremely vulnerable place, and it’s not one that she can easily get out of. Once she is dreaming about what it would be like to “chill by the fire eating fondue” with her potential boyfriend, she’s forced down a very very dark path that she can’t easily turn away from.

5. I Can’t Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt

Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these lonely hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t ‘
Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

Yup. Basically a spinster can’t make anybody love them. Listening to this is simply a horrible idea, because there is a realization that it’s not really up to the spinster to solve this unromantic life, rather, the fate is in another person’s hands. Not only is a frightening truth, it’s something that is hard to change. Seriously, it’s easier just to skip this song.

Musical Influences: Songs for a Spinster Part 1

Songs are often popularized by the fact that they convey a universal idea or feeling to its listeners, and for the spinster, this is no exception. Like everyone else, spinsters are also subject to songs that particularly support their situation or ones that are especially damning reminders for how alone they are. Here is just a brief look at some of the best and worst songs for a spinster or spinster-to-be.

GREAT SONGS FOR A SPINSTER:

1. Single Ladies (Put a Ring On it) by Beyonce

All the single ladies (All the single ladies)
All the single ladies (All the single ladies)
All the single ladies (All the single ladies)
All the single ladies
Now put your hands up

Leave it to Beyonce to make being single super cool. What’s more, she’s calling out to all the single ladies to join together, united as one force to celebrate their independence as a single woman. This is one party that only the single ladies are invited to, so for everyone with some kind of significant other you are not welcome! Too bad Beyonce is taken…

2. Somebody to Love by Usher and Justin Bieber

Baby listen, I just need somebody to love,
I don’t need too much, just somebody to love,
Somebody to love.
I don’t need nothing else,
I promise girl I swear,
I just need somebody to love.

Preach it. Although this song puts the spinster into more of a passive position, it’s important to know that even celebrities like Usher and Justin Bieber, who pretty much have everything can still be lacking in the romance department. But then again, their single status does not remain unclaimed for long. Yet, there’s always this song to fall back on.

3. Crave You by Flight Facilities

Why can’t you want me like the other boys do?
They stare at me while I stare at you
Why can’t I keep you safe as my own?
One moment I have you the next you are gone

While not an exact description of the spinster since these lyrics insinuate that the singer does receive some love, it perfectly embodies the fact that the spinster is never loved by the person you want. By the number of rhetorical questions, you can also tell just how desperate and hopeless these pursuits are. The song goes on and on in vain with no solution ever in sight. So true.

4. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson

 Just me, myself, and I
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone

Please…being single and alone is a luxury, and not everybody is able to afford such a privilege. Everyone out there who thinks this is a sad life? You’re all mistaken because Kelly Clarkson shows how awesome spinsters are. You know what, you probably can’t help feeling lonely when you’re alone but nope that’s not how it is for the spinster. You wish you had the ability to be alone. Weak.

5. I Don’t Need A Man by The Pussycat Dolls

I don’t need a man to make it happen
I get off being free
I don’t need a man to make me feel good
I get off doing my thing
I don’t need a ring around my finger
To make me feel complete
So let me break it down
I can get off when you ain’t around
Oh!

THAT’S RIGHT. We single ladies don’t need no man. This is not exactly the most reliable source but it doesn’t really matter, we all know it’s true. It’s time to embrace the spinsterdom and just roll with the punches. Do you feel the support yet? Everyone’s so proud of you, don’t ever change! Keep your head up and stand tall.

Until…Songs for a Spinster Part 2. Stay tuned for the unveiling of five worst possible songs for a spinster to hear. These songs quickly induce tears, causing large amounts of self-pity to flood the spinster banks. More to come shortly!

The types of couples you see at the Shanghai subway

The commute to my internship is a daily, 3-stop subway ride. Although it’s not really a long time, it gives me ample opportunity to gather field research in observing all the different kinds of couples that I encounter there.

So here is an incomplete list of these couples; hopefully you will be lucky enough to see them all in your own forms of public transportation:

1. The Siamese Couple:

This couple is basically one larger person. They stick together no matter what, even if it’s in the most crowded situations you can always find them firmly attached to one another. They hold on to each other for support to keep balance and stand side by side on the escalator, blocking everyone’s way.

2. The Fighting Couple:

Clearly, these two people are not having a great day. Whatever repressed anger they have with each other masters its full potential on the subway, and it’s a great source of entertainment for everyone surrounding them. Their argument continues all the way until they exit the cabin.

3. The Lovey-Dovey Couple:

This one you can find in a lot of public settings, but an especially inappropriate place for excessive PDA is the subway, in my opinion. It’s not exactly the same as the Siamese couple because they’re not necessarily attached at the hip…just attached through the lips or some other form of touching and feeling.

4. The Couple with the Crazy Kid:

For some reason, this is the couple I encounter the most on the subway. Maybe it’s because it’s rush hour and everyone is invading everyone else’s personal space, but there’s almost always a howling kid that exercises his/her lungs to full capacity on the subway. The couple tries their best to soothe and quiet him/her, but in the end they have no choice but to give up even amidst disapproving stares from others.

5. The Couple with the Really Cute Kid:

You don’t always spot it right away, but when you do it makes your subway experience instantly better. This kid is so cute and obedient that you kind of just want it for yourself…and if you’re in China, sometimes they’re wearing huge, frameless glasses. You constantly fight the urge of snapping several stalker shots of this baby.

6. The Couple Not From Here

It’s not even so much that they aren’t speaking in Mandarin or the Shanghainese dialect, it’s their volume that makes their agenda clear: they’re definitely not from Shanghai. They also tend to carry several large bags that contain their personal belongings, which often causes at least some distress when they try to exit/enter the subway.

7. The WTF Couple:

Providing that they produce some of the best-looking people in the world, I really have nothing against inter-racial relationships. However, sometimes they just look so awkward from the outside that you really have to do a double take. It’s not necessarily always a huge burly guy with a tiny Asian girl that brings about the WTF moment, sometimes it’s a couple where you honestly can’t tell which one is the guy and which one is the girl.

Welcome! Now let’s get down to business.

With a 9-5 internship where little needs to be done, finding something to do with all the time I have is a daily struggle. With too much time comes too many thoughts, and with too many thoughts comes one that has slowly dominated them all: being forever alone.

Even though I’m no middle-aged woman living alone with as many cats as I am old, as sad as it sounds this is a future that I can easily imagine for myself. My past and present have only affirmed my potential as a spinster, and the future does not look bright either.

After struggling with the idea of becoming a spinster for quite some time, I have decided to dedicate a blog to emulate my thoughts on being single (and on relationships but predominantly the former since that is my area of expertise). Instead of focusing on how pathetic this aspect of my life is, I vow to use this blog to assert my independence (or at least I hope to). So for those who are in a relationship, out of a relationship, has never been in a relationship, hopefully you can all find some common ground with my story. Even if my thoughts do nothing but make you feel better about yourself, at least I will have provided some joy to somebody in this world.

I’m not sure what this will become or where this spontaneous idea will head, but at the very least someday I can read these posts and laugh at my own ignorance. However, if you feel very much alone please be reminded that I will be there for you – and if your story is sad enough you may even gain membership to the spinster club that I founded with my friends (but more on that later…)