never married, over forty, a little bitter


I just finished two books by male authors this weekend. Both writers are in their mid-forties.

The book by Author A, who is conventionally successful and fairly well-known, was a memoir about his adolescent, college, and twentysomething years. It has won awards, but I found it to be a poorly-written book in which a typical, white, upper-middle-class suburban kid recounts his (typical upper-middle-class) coming of age as if it was particularly profound and meaningful. Yet, he didn’t seem to have any particularly profound or meaningful insights to impart.

The book by Author B, a novel about a bohemian character painfully transitioning into his thirties, was panned when it came out and quickly forgotten, but I found it to be brilliant, as I do his other books, most of which are unusually well-written and insightful novels about young adults. He is not as conventionally successful as Author A, but he does have a cult following.

I looked up Author A on Facebook. He’s married to a blandly good-looking woman and they have three kids. All of his photos are standard snapshots of the kids.

Author B, on the other hand, is single (maybe divorced), no kids. His photos and posts are about unusual books, movies, concerts, and events.

Now, B may have issues (and has confessed to a past substance abuse problem), but it’s clear where I stand.

With B! B all the way.


A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a woman I know here (from work, so I couldn’t just cut her off) who was uncomfortably pushy and aggressive and who gave me the feeling that if she ever heard the word “no,” she would go ballistic.

Well, I was right. I haven’t learned nothing in five years of public service in Los Angeles.

I’ve had a polite relationship with this woman and, at her canny insistence, occasionally socialized with her among other colleagues. I’ve been doling out my stuff to people and had given her a bunch of things, but my moving plans had to change in regard to one piece of furniture, which she hadn’t even been particularly interested in. Once I let her know, she proceeded to send me nine multi-paragraph emails detailing how wrong this was of me to “go back on my word” and listing how much more of a generous and thoughtful person she is in comparison. I knew I shouldn’t participate in the cray-cray, but I was so ticked off at her nerve that I responded that I thought she was the one who was being selfish and inflexible, especially considering the fact that I’d already given her a bunch of stuff.

Bad move. I set off her mental illness, instigating a flurry of further emails, texts, and voicemails from her in which she accused me of saying that she owed me for all the stuff I’d given her so she’d be returning all of it (listed piece by piece in an email in which she denigrated each item). By evening, she had left everything at my doorstop.

If nothing else this proves I had to get out of that job, and that I never want to do a public service job again. I’m spent.

I feel like I’ve made a lot of strides in putting up walls against vampires, but obviously I need to get better at it. I do feel like such a sitting duck as a single person, though.

This woman, in insisting upon work-related get-togethers, had gradually gotten my email and phone number and then my address. How I ended up regretting that! I must be much more careful in keeping garlic in the doorway.