Not my usual thing … and I likely would not have guessed that my first book review would be on a book about dating … but here we are.
My cousin Tracy, the author has a nice ability to tell stories. That’s harder than a lot of people think. Far too often you tell a story without the right level of emotional punch to it. Some people tell a story with no emotion, and others tell it with melodramatic emotion (too syrupy or too “this is the end of everything”). Tracy manages to strike the right chord for what she intended: a humorous book about what it is like to get into the dating world after having a daughter and two divorces. The fact that she can tell these stories in a manner that allows the humor to develop naturally, all while not going overboard, says as much about the journey she has been on: she has grown a great deal along the way. She can look back at her marriages at let go of the bitter emotions she had about them, and learn to focus on finding that special someone who is undoubtedly out there for her.
One particular story tells of a date who started getting a little physical on an early movie date. She has an excellent use of vocabulary to describe her reaction to the situation. I was laughing quite a bit until I realized: “Idiot! You are laughing over a story about a perv feeling up your cousin.” Of course I realized that she was trying to provoke laughter in her choice of words. She had gotten over it, so I at least couldn’t get down on myself too much.
Before I picked up the book, I thought it would be one of those “self-help” books, and I was kind of trying to figure out how long it would take before it put me to sleep. As I read it, I realized it really was as story book … at least until I put the book down. That was when I realized it was a self-help book, but one that was giving advice in the guise of the stories of things that had happened to my dear cousin (both good and not-so-good).
Now that aside, what would a confirmed bachelor have to gain from reading about the (mis)adventures of a woman looking for husband #3? That, too, I was unprepared for. I’ll admit that my initial curiosity was more along the lines of “why, a relative of mine got published!” … but as I read it, I gained some insight into, what I might suppose, is female psychology (a subject I could write 2-3 sentences on … OK an exaggeration, I could write one sentence max).
Some time in the past, one of my friends who routinely reads this blog (and I won’t out him here, but he knows who he is), advised me to get some single female friends … not a girlfriend, but at least a few single female friends if for nothing else so that I can get an opportunity to talk to the and learn about how they see the world. I really did try and take that up. I found it nearly impossible. It seemed that some women just couldn’t accept that a single male guy would be interested in a purely platonic relationship. However, Tracy also gave me some insight: as women get into their 30s, and if they are single for whatever reason, and are looking to get married, then the energy that they invest into friendships with men need to be ore single of purpose: it isn’t that women with this status are necessarily opposed to hanging out with men … just that they don’t have time to deal with men who might not be a potential husband. Being someone who has no plans to marry, that’s something I hadn’t considered before.
So … even people like me could gain insight from this book. That’s saying something! I hope my cousin gets out of this what she wants.