Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A Girl Who Needs A Guide

That's me sometimes. A Girl Who Needs A Guide. And I found one this weekend - The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing. I was in Barnes & Noble on Saturday night (with Easter the next day, I was laying low on the social scene) & noticed the book. I'd heard great things from K. about it & since it was marked down to $5.98 from $23.95, I was sold! I finished the entire book that night & am seriously tempted to read it again this week. You know you've hit a note when you close a book & say emphatically to the empty room: "Exactly!"

This book is so wonderfully honest & real. As one of the reviewers said, "I finished the first chapter and said, 'Wait, I know this girl.'" I'd venture to say that we all are this girl at various times in our lives. I know I have been - might be now.

In the final chapters, she is interested in a guy, but nervous because all of her previous relationships have gone to pot. So she gives in to the spectre that all single women have looming over them - The Rules. She buys a book called (I kid you not) "How to Meet and Marry Mr. Right." She internalizes its rules and ends up walking around with two girls twittering inside her head: "Don't be funny! Don't accept a date less than 4 days in the future! Don't be negative! Let him pay! Keep him guessing! Don't call him!" In short, don't be yourself in any way. She nearly loses the guy, but comes to her senses & ditches the "rules girls" in time.

As I mentioned, most single women deal with these rules. They either accept them & use them to their own advantage, or battle them ferociously. I am one of the battlers. My best friend, with all of the best intentions, reminds me that the game is going to be played whether I am playing or not. She thinks that I should go with the flow and make the rules work for me. Try as I might, though, I can't do it. When I like someone, I want to call them and talk to them and hang out with them without checking these activities against a mental checklist of "single girl no-no's" first.

We'll see how that strategy plays out in the long run. ;)


hetherjw said...

Don't worry about not following the rules. From this side I think all the rules were made up by those two girls trying to live in your head and were never fact checked with the male half of the equation. Being yourself is always the only rule you need.

kate said...

YES! Stacey, you read it!!! I am so glad that you loved it too, it is one of those books that has shaped me and described me and formed me. Beautiful and funny and sad and true. I know it sounds shallow that a chick book affected me so deeply, but the truth is that it ISN'T a chick book at all, and it isn't really a book about relationships, its a book about stumbling across beauty when you're just trying to survive. i love it. and i'm so glad that you love it too, stacey. yay for that. ::beams::