There's this tragic mistake that newly single people (and when I say 'people' I mean, of course, women - newly single men get straight out there and start recruiting lovers without first wallowing in misguided public displays of self-worth) make when they split up with their partner and are at home all miserable, in that panicky first flush of aloneness. It'll probably be familiar to you. They post pictures of Marilyn Monroe all over their social networks, usually accompanied by some kick-ass declaration apocryphally attributed to the woman herself.
The internet is awash with hazy black and white pictures of Maz looking smoking, with 'if you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best' printed over her beautiful face in a cursive font. They're always posted by single women. And I want to take this opportunity to say to those single women, stop it. Stop it now. Please. You're giving us all a bad name.
I know what you're trying to imply with this move, my single darlings. You're trying to convey that you are just like Marilyn: lovely and vulnerable, smart and tough beneath the soft bruising of your recent hurt. It's how we all feel when we've been rejected. You want to tell the bloke who dumped you, or who ran off with another girl too quickly after you dumped him, that he's missing out. Look at me! You want to say. I'm curvaceous and sassy and I don't give a shit.
But you need to know it isn't fooling anyone. You do give a shit. And what's more, you are not Marilyn. Marilyn was an exceptionally fine-looking, uniquely charismatic woman. And I'm sorry, but you aren't. Neither am I. If we were, we'd be starring in movies, flying by private jet, dining on yachts with caddish elderly men, coming up with our own kick-ass declarations of self-worth and dying of barbiturate poisoning before we'd reached our full potential.
You're nothing like Marilyn, thank God. This was a woman who died of a drugs overdose while she was still young and lovely, either at her own hand because of some arsehole or at the hand of some arsehole himself. Not only does posting her words as though they have anything to do with you make you look desperate and deluded, it also reveals your terrible taste in role models.
I don't know what you're up to right now, but it's three o'clock in the afternoon and I'm dressed in pyjamas, eating cold potato dauphinoise with my hands. I keep running my garlicky fingers through my hair. I haven't got a bra on. The curtains are closed and, just as I was typing that last sentence, I found a chicken bone tangled up in my duvet. This is the fate of single women, and it's really rather wonderful, although, I admit, it wouldn't look that good in soft focus, captioned in cursive font. And it isn't likely to make any of my ex-lovers regret my departure from their lives. But then again, I don't suppose posting images of a woman far better looking than I'll ever be will make them regret losing me much either.
Listen, single people, to the most important advice I'll ever give: you can't be concerned with getting back at your ex. That is rule number one of the single-lady bible. Your ex does not give shit about you anymore, if he ever did. Get used to it.
And before you know it, your ex will be emailing to tell you he's sad and lonely and still masturbates over pictures of you, even though he's married with a baby on the way. And you'll just laugh, eat your potato dauphinoise, and suck the fat off that chicken bone. Who needs Marilyn?
This was first posted on the blog Reasons to be Single.