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Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Marry him or be eaten by your cat!

Another week another book that tells us that unless we get married we’ll be alone apart from excess chin hair and smelly cats. They seem to pop up at the rate of about one a year – these don’t be so fussy books – despite every single mental health study from the beginning of time rating single women as happier and healthier than married ones.

First we had The Rules which told us valuable husband choosing lessons like Never Accept A Date For Saturday After Wednesday, and Don’t Put Out Until He’s Spent Loads Of Money from two loud women one of whom is now divorced. It would take a heart of stone not to snigger. Then came If I’m So Wonderful Why Am I Single? Followed rapidly by Lori Gottlieb’s new tome of doom: Marry Him Or Be Eaten by Your Cat. Well that’s not exactly the title but Lori Gottlieb’s new book Marry Him! The Case For Mr Good Enough preaches that very message. Apparently if you’re a woman in say, your late thirties and unmarried you should be musing over whether you might have settled for that bloke with a ponytail who never stopped talking about himself and expected you to remember his mother’s birthday, or Barry who asked you to stop moving about during sex because it ‘put him off his stroke’ or that nice man who was so dull you’ve forgotten his name. You fussy bitch!

Here’s the really creepy thing. Lori Gottlieb is keen to hammer home the point that it’s not about being happy – it’s about being socially acceptable. Ms Gottlieb is a single mother at 40. Nothing wrong with that but she seems to have a curiously Victorian view of herself: 'After all, wouldn't it have been wiser to settle for a higher calibre of "not Mr. Right" while my marital value was at its peak?'

Marital value? Has she just stepped out of a Jane Austen novel?

But what really pisses me off is that you never get the equivalent books for men. It’s men who do better mentally out of marriage, so why aren’t we reading more books with titles like: Nobody Else Will Put up With Your Farts And Stupid Jokes and Guess What Mr Baldy Saggy Arse – You’re Not George Clooney(Even in a bad light)