JANE GANAHL with DIANE MAPES & ANNE BUELTEMAN
Saturday, May 30 at 5 p.m.
Jane Ganahl assembles a chorus of sophisticated, edgy, and humorous voices who tackle the topic(s) of being female, unmarried, and in one's prime in Single Woman of a Certain Age: Romantic Escapades, Shifting Shapes, and Serene Independence (a new paper edition, New World Library). For what should be an inspiring, engaging program, she'll read from poignant, witty essays about women flying solo at midlife. Joining Jane Ganahl will be Seattle contributors Diane Mapes (aka Single Shot Seattle), author of How to Date in a Post-Dating World (Sasquatch Books), and stage actress Anne Buelteman, whose acting credits include Les Miserables. No miserabling here today.
No, this is not an announcement of something to go to. It's an announcement of something I went to.
Elliott Bay Books is the Big Kahuna of Seattle bookstores, the place you expect to hear all the big writers as they come through town, the bookstore that co-sponsors events with the Public Library and handles the book table at author events at Seattle Town Hall. I can't believe I'd been in Seattle nearly four months without making it to the events venue at the store.
Ann-Marie Stillion, the artist who did the wonderful illustration for my blog and a friend of Diane Mapes, invited me to jump on a bus with her and go hear the reading.
It was another gorgeous day in an unbelievable week-long streak, so hard to go inside at all, but still, there were 25 or 30 of us. Four men, even. Actress Anne was a no-show. But Diane read her wonderful piece, "Charlie's Aunt," about being the only single woman at the reunion of her sister's birthing class: moms, dads, and babies. The fun, the chaos, the reflections on remaining single and childless.
Jane Ganahl read her essay about getting together with her favorite ex, for dinner and, eventually, the night in the hotel in some city they both happened to be visiting. Bittersweet.
Her essay in particular raised for me the question that's arising everywhere, especially as I read the good blogs of my younger single women blogger buddies, at Singlutionary and Onely and First Person Singular. It's one thing to learn to be just fine on your own, but it feels sad to me to say, "Society is pushing coupling. Why do I need it?"
Because I guess I think some of us do still need it. Male + Female = What a nifty combo.
True, you can't always get it, even if you do want it. And even when you can get it, it's not easy, and there's a lot of confusion involved, but when you get it right, it adds to the world.