Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Science Of Single--Rachel Machacek

I picked this up because Citizen Reader posted a review.

Frankly, this book made me wish Cookbook were single because together we would write a much more honest and hilarious memoir of dating. This book winds up being pretty dull even though Machacek goes on some funny bad dates. Partly this is due to the fact that's she attempting to be objective or perhaps not let everyone know all her business. Um, if you are writing a dating memoir, that is very tough, honey, as dating is the epitome of personal business. And she's got the "science" angle to it, which is not much of a science at all--basically she tries all sorts of dating services, bind dates, "It's Just Lunch", dating in other cities, consulting a dating coach and following dating guide advice. My office's methodologist would find this very flawed.

You can't be objective about dating. It's too individualized, as a decade or so of DateLab archives can show you. You bring your own issues and preferences to the table and trying to make it with someone else should get you to confront them. For instance, my issues are:

Independence issues--because my parents ignored me, I am very comfortable in relationships where I am ignored. Attention kind of freaks me out.
Mental health issues--the depression, the anxiety, the crazy make me the Kerry you know and love.
Not really knowing how to make small talk--again, as my therapist said, when you don't have a family that does this you don't really know how.
Seeing red flags everywhere--I admit it, I prejudge. Hence the no geeks and gamers thing.

I know, i SHOULD BE SO MUCH FUN TO DATE. Line up, men!

Machacek isn't interested in exploring her her issues or letting the reader know what they are, although she acknowledges she's in therapy (nothing wrong with that!) But you sort of get the feeling that she's not giving the dating thing her all, or enjoying it, and that she's holding back. She also really doesn't want to have to meet a potential husband sort through any of these online dating service or other "unnatural" ways--she wants a chemistry- filled meeting in a natural setting, like her parents who met in an adult education class. She just gives mixed messages to the reader throughout the book. An example of this is how she approaches sex--she doesn't want it to seem like she's made a decision to have sex, that she just goes along with it in the moment. Like the time she goes out with the sex-aggressive guy from eHarmony, stays over at his place, and then just acquiesces when she wakes up to a naked guy who mentions he's got condoms. Um, honey? It's not a shame to want sex. That's one of your issues right there.

I did pick up some good ideas from this book--to try the Onion personals and to be more forward in my dating pursuits. But I really regret the time I spent reading this book.

1 comment:

Cookbook said...

I could still do it. Being attached for almost a year has not made me forget! ;)