What I'm Reading: Live Alone and Like It by Marjorie Hillis

Live Alone and Like It by Marjorie Hillis | Two Hectobooks

I'll dispense with the disclaimer right away: this book is from 1936 and it is not perfect in terms of modern values by any stretch of the imagination. When I was looking for the image to include here, I found this Captain Awkward post, which goes way more in depth about things and critiques it more than I'm about to do.

Because the fact is, I loved this.

So, I keep my love life off of the blog for the most part, for a lot of reasons. I've alluded to past relationship experience a few times, but that's about it. Believe it or not, I've actually dated a few people since I started this project. The internet seems to really like the confessional style, so maybe I'd have a whole lot more readers right now if I did write about my romantic entanglements, but again, I'm just not interested in doing so. But in case that's what you've been waiting for all this time, I'll say this much: recently I've had cause to experience some extra agony about my situation. I'm not living alone just yet, but I will be soon. I have lived alone in the past, and I've loved it! It's tough being the "extra woman," though, and some times are tougher than others, and I've been going through one of those tough times. I've been sulking and feeling sorry for myself a lot.

Marjorie Hillis, writing 80 years ago, gave me exactly the kick in the ass that I needed.

Live Alone and Like It is precisely what it says on the tin. Hillis's premise is basically that rather than being woebegone and mopey, one must create one's own enjoyment. Don't be sad that no one is inviting you out; invite yourself out instead. Get busy doing things that you want to do, and spoil yourself as often as possible. I really can't stress enough how this is exactly the message I needed right now. I can't implement all of it right away, but it's given me a lot to think about. I've never read an old self-help book like this before, and I really really loved the sassy but understanding tone of it.

I got this book from the library and I need to own my own copy for the inevitable time in the future when I'll need its slap upside the head again, in case anyone is looking for gift ideas for me.

For now, here are some samples:

It's a good idea, first of all, to get over the notion (if you have it) that your particular situation is a little worse than anyone else's. This point of view has been experienced by every individual the world over at one time of another, except perhaps those who will experience it next year.

As to the recipes, you can of course, get a good book and follow it. But anybody ought to be able to master the recipes for Martinis, Manhattans, and Old-Fashioneds without undue strain. Having mastered them, do not try to improve on them. You can't. This is not a field in which to use your imagination. Don't think, either, that it would be nice to have some unfamiliar cocktail for variety. Your guests won't agree with you. Worse, even, than the woman who puts marshmallows in a salad is the one who goes in for fancy cocktails.

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