The Single Girl’s Survival Guide

Single Girl's Survival Guide (Photo: Skyhorse Publishing)This is by far the most embarrassing thing I have ever read. It will probably be the most embarrassing thing I will read in my life. But in the interests of honesty (I read it, therefore it counts and I have to acknowledge it), here we go.

I picked this up from the library because a) it was facing out on a shelf, just waiting for someone having an insecure and lonely moment (hi!) to come along and pick it up b) last week was Valentine’s Day and I’ve been in a little bit of a funk about all the change and upheaval in my life this year and c) the writer is Imogen Lloyd Webber, daughter of Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is responsible for some of my favourite theatre shows.

I don’t know why I thought that this book would help pull me out of my funk. As it turns out, it kind of did, I guess, just probably not the way Imogen Lloyd Webber expected it to. There’s nothing really wrong with it per se, I just don’t actually feel like it told me anything I didn’t already know. It was cute and fun and funny, and maybe if I was five years younger and doing the girl-about-town thing, or if I was the type to frequent wine bars or bat my eyelashes at tables of boys, it would have been more relevant for me.

But everything felt just sort of silly and irrelevant and unnecessary (and why was there a random part about writing a resume?). I know how to get a job! I know how to decorate an apartment (I just need to get an apartment to decorate). I know how to open a bank account, and in theory, I know I should be doing very practical things like setting up a retirement fund and impractical things like treating myself to shoes.

But you see, Imogen, not everyone has access to unlimited funds (I know that Andrew Lloyd Webber famously told his children they would make their own way in the world, but c’mon, the girl’s getting money from somewhere, or else she was a lot luckier/smarter with a lucrative job in her early 20s than I was), or chose the right career path the first time, or has emotional detachment down to such a science that casual dating is a lighthearted thing that they do and then gossip about with their girlfriends afterward. That’s just not me. I think this whole book was just not me.

However, I wasn’t lying when I said it pulled me out of my funk. Much of this book reminded me of who I don’t want to be. I don’t think I can change most of the elements of my personality. I’m always going to take things too seriously and personally, rush in with my heart first and my head second, second-guess my decisions and rely heavily on my family and friends for love, advice and support. I don’t think ‘cheerful airhead’ is in my nature. But I don’t want to be like that. I’ve grown pretty comfortable in my own skin, and that’s a nice realization to come to. To put it bluntly, Imogen – and I’m sorry for this – I don’t think I need you to be a really good version of me.

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