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Auntie Seraphic & Need Pep Talk

Thursday, August 29, 2013
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.