The Editor’s Bookshelf

From time to time every woman finds herself single. Some women rejoice in this, revelling in her “me” time, her ability to do what she wants, when she wants. Others go into a sort of slump, feeling alone and lonely and wondering desperately why this is. And still others, most of us I believe, fall somewhere in the middle, with ups and downs and highs and lows. Yes, every once in awhile you might find us a little sad at the lack of all of the “together” pronoun usage in our lives (you know, we, our, us and the like), but most of time we are excessively busy and perfectly fine. Here, in this gray area, is where we fall back into our old habits. And this, my friends, is what The Between Boyfriends Book is all about.

Let me just start by saying that the writer, Cindy Chupack, is kind of a genius. I mean, she was a writer on Sex and the City, so this should go without being said, but I still feel the need to point it out. She has a way of looking at each part of a relationship, from beginning to end to that search-and-sometimes-find area in between, that is all at once fresh, hilarious, and completely true.

This is not a book about happy endings, or sad endings for that matter: it is a book about the fact that there is no ending. That when it comes to the fields of love and dating, expect the unexpected, and hold on to your heels, ladies.

Chupack’s book is split into eight sections and 36 chapters, each putting a witty title to the most commonly seen and experienced situations that you find in the dating world. From “The Breakup,” to, “Some Things to Talk About in Therapy,” to, “It’s Not Us… It’s Them,” to, “Okay, Maybe Some of it’s Us,” and finally, “Your New Boyfriend,” the sections are split up tin a way that you can read what you want when you want, at the point of your dating life you’re at. Personally, I read it front to back and laughed the whole way through, but the point is that you don’t have to.

Better than the sections are her titles of some of the common experiences of men and women. She treats each chapter heading like a dictionary definition, explaining what her new and completely accurate terminology means.

Here’s a few highlights of some of my favorites from Chupack’s chapter titles:

“RELATIONSHIP RERUNS: A sobering stage when you realize that the men you meet are basically repeats of the men you’ve already dated.” (57)

“SNOOZE-LOSE SYNDROME: The pressure single women face due to the miniscule amount of time a decent guy is actually available; our lamentable inability to put a guy on hold like a sweater.” (103)

“CUPIDITY: The faulty logic that leads a well-meaning but clueless third party to believe that two random singles are perfect for each other.” (78)

And my favorite, “THE FREQUENT CRIER CONUNDRUM: Men who are too sensitive and the women who can’t love them.” (137)

Each chapter covers a different issue that can, or cannot be dealt with, usually accompanied by a hilarious anecdote that Chupack or one of her friends have gone through. And don’t worry guys, Chupack spends an equal amount of time trashing our own female bad habits, not just yours. She’s brutally honest, and that makes her personal stories easy to relate to. If she’s realizing that she screwed up and can laugh at it, it makes it much easier for us to relate and do the same.

The thing I enjoyed so much about this book was not that I happened to read it while I was single, though that’s true, it was that Cindy Chupack doesn’t try to romanticize true life. She tells it like it is, and that’s just refreshing. She also makes it clear that though male female relationships have some common themes, each is individual, as is each reaction, and that really, that’s okay. In fact, it’s just the way it should be: that’s what keeps life interesting.

And as Chupack said, don’t be afraid to read this book in public ladies: then the attractive guy sitting across from you will know you’re avaliable.

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