A Dater's Life

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Book Review -- The Between Boyfriends Book

I'm not a fan of self help in the slightest. I'm more of a drink-another-glass-of-champagne-and-everything-will-look-brighter kind of gal. But after my last dating disaster (actually, it was more of the doldrums than a disaster, but that's neither here nor there) I decided that maybe some professional help might be needed.

So I headed where every gal in search of professional help goes (well, besides Saks): Borders. And proceeded to sneak my way to the pseudo-psychology wall. A list of titles follows: How to Get Married after 35 (er, do I want to get married? do I need to decide while I'm in Borders?); Finding a "Keeper" -- A Handbook for Women Over 35 In Search of Mr. Right (why are these books all about single women over 35 finding Mr. Right? am I missing something?); Date Like a Man: What Men Know About Dating And Are Afraid You'll Find Out (okay, why would I want to date like a man when I can barely figure out how to date like a woman?); Why Men Love Bitches: From Doormat to Dreamgirl-A Woman's Guide to Holding Her Own in a Relationship (do I even need to comment on this title?)

When I spotted a lone copy of The Rules on the shelf, I started to tremble*. But then I spotted: The Between Boyfriends Book by Cindy Chupack, Emmy-winning writer for Sex and the City (RIP: 1998 - 2004). My kind of self help, indeed. I scooped it up and on a rainy Monday night, buried myself under my covers for a fun read. The book is a collection of essays, though it reads well as a unit that delves into the the pains, the realities, and the absurdities of being a single woman. It's obvious that Chupack penned some of SATC's most memorable episodes as the voice is very reminiscent of the show with its original wit and sharp observations of what it's like to be "between boyfriends." In fact, some of the lines and experiences pretty clearly developed into some of the later episodes of the show.

Chupack doesn't claim to be an expert in dating or relationship advice; she claims more than once that she doesn't know what she's talking about (er, kinda like this blog; are you still reading?) But, much like our fictional girlfriend, Carrie Bradshaw, Chupack comes across as a friend who's on your side, who's been through the same bullshit that every single gal goes through; and most importantly, she comes across as a woman who still has hope in love. Some of the essays toward the end dragged a little bit (and a few drift from the focus a touch) though I read it in one sitting, so perhaps a re-read will make the last ones more memorable.

The book makes me realize that how to date can't really be taught in a book but can only be learned through experience and self awareness; however, a book can give you a story to make you feel less alone. And The Between Boyfriends Book does just that!

*Okay, I exaggerate. I didn't really see The Rules in Borders. But the whole experience reminded me that my friend Melanie's mother sent us a copy of The Rules when we were in graduate school, and we thought the whole thing was so hilarious that we made up a dating board game complete with a point system to determine how long your relationship would last. Unfortunately, we decided that if you sleep with a guy on the first date, you would lose 10,000 points and he would gain the same, and that was a deficit that would be impossible to overcome -- even if you didn't return his phone calls for the next thirty two years; both of us being sluts, we decided to just go to the bar for some drinks and promptly forgot about the whole thing. Until Borders, that is.



At 2:19 PM, Blogger d. chedwick bryant said...

Like your blog very much--hope to read a new post soon--interesting!

At 11:40 AM, Blogger TessaJ said...

Thanks! It's been a dry few weeks for dating as I'm getting ready to move, but I anticipate many juicy posts this spring.


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