Teaser Time: The Science of Single

Got another excerpt from The Science of Single for ya. (One hour til publication day. It’s like Christmas/NYE/Birthday all wrapped into one. But honestly … better.) Mostly, I just wanted a reason to post this awesome painting by Dana Ellyn, part of a series inspired by SOS. (The paintings will be on display at Tryst this month. The opening is Thursday at 7pm that I sadly can’t make, but we’ll have another event on 1/20 where I will sign books and give you dating advice. If you want it.)

dana ellyn painting "mirror"

"Mirror" by Dana Ellyn

I have twenty minutes to decide what I’m going to wear before I’m late to meet Lorenzo. At this point, you’d think I’d have a trusty date outfit established that I could pluck out of my closet at a moment’s notice. Today, I’m working with an extra five pounds but feeling like it’s twenty, and it will require me to try on every last piece of clothing I own and endure a lengthy mental flagellation for not eating less and exercising more. The selection of pants that offer enough room is narrowed down to one pair of jeans, and I try on all my summer tops with those jeans to feel like I have some choices. I pull a blouse from the heaping pile of cotton and silk on my bed. It’s gauzy, it’s white, it’s ruffled; it will do. I primp and preen, while trying not to look too primped and preened, and check every five-degree angle of my butt in the mirror. I don’t know why I have to do this every time I leave my apartment, and sometimes I do it when I’m just hanging out at home. I’m in a constant state of neurotic wonder over the size of my ass, and rarely do I ever consider that if I used the time I spent inspecting myself doing squats or lunges instead, perhaps my ass wouldn’t feel or look so enormous.

Four minutes to go. I check my lipgloss for errant cat hairs and head out down my usual path to the strip of bars and restaurants in my neighborhood that’s slowly becoming less international and eclectic and more fraternity row. I pass the Christ House, a stopover for sick and homeless people. I usually gauge how I look by the number of hellos I get from the old men hanging out on the patio smoking menthols and chatting each other up. I’m greeted by a bald guy with skin like a black olive. He’s propped up in a wheelchair, one foot tucked in a bright white sock, the other foot missing, cigarette dangling from cracked lips, and a boom box to his ear. “Mmm. Hell-oh there.” He says it over the purr of Al Green, smiling at me through a stream of smoke.

When I look down shyly, I see light purple lace patterns bobbing around underneath my filmy top. I forgot to switch to my nude-colored bra. Crap. I can’t go home to change. I’m already going to be five minutes late. I trudge on and decide to pretend that I meant to have my pretty bra showing through. Left Bank, which looks like the set of The Jetsons, is empty except for one guy seated at the bar. “Hey!” Lorenzo stays seated and we shake hands. He’s much better looking than his picture, which I had him send even though this flies in the face of blind dating. His hair, complexion, and eyes are warm shades of brown, and he’s wearing a button-down and khaki shorts that seem to swallow him whole. He’s definitely not taller than me, but I knew this would be the case because I had deduced it from one of the pictures he sent.

Find out what happens!

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6 responses to “Teaser Time: The Science of Single

  1. congratulations on the publication of the book.
    you can now say you’ve joined the ranks of twain, plath, fitzgerald, cather, whitman, woolf, seuss, o’connor and that romeo and macbeth guy.

    • The Single Scientist

      Now that might be the best perspective on this book publishing thing I’ve heard. Thank you for reminding me of that. 🙂

  2. What a wonderful accomplishment. I can’t wait to read it and attend your local DC event(s).

  3. Hi!
    Congrats on the book, I actually just finished reading it earlier this week and loved it. (I freelance at a magazine and picked up an advanced copy from our freebie pile last month.) One of my favorite sentences is when you compare the number of red flags you are noticing on your date to Jeanne Claude and Christo erecting their “Gates” exhibit in the bar you are in. I truly LOLed!

    I can definitely relate to so many of the situations, revelations, and feelings you wrote about throughout the book. I think it is very brave of you to take on such a challenge. I know I can’t handle keeping up that level of searching/dating for a whole year! Thanks for writing about it… I may use it as a teaching tool for my family and friends who wonder why I am still single. ; )

    • The Single Scientist

      Ha! I love the idea of the “teaching tool” for family and friends. If I hear one more time “I just can’t figure out why you’re still single…” – lord help me. Last week I tried a new response: “Because that is what I choose.” It was liberating. Very very liberating. Try it. Really. (And thanks for reading and liking my book. Makes my heart warm to know it resonates with people.)

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