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The Dilemma of Single, Straight Women Looking for Something More Meaningful Than A Warm Handshake

Date younger men. Older men. Remember beauty is only skin deep. Remember smoke follows beauty. Remember Beauty was a horse. Eat chocolate, break out, visit a dermatologist—remember your mother said—It’s just as easy to marry a doctor as a poor man. Vow to see only women doctors. Vow to never speak to your mother. Eat more chocolate. Go running. Chase runners wearing sleek Lycra running pants or loose shorts flapping with the wind. Get hit by a car, break your ankle. Masturbation is safer and it doesn’t really make you break out. Read: soup cans, cereal boxes—stay away from romances, Danielle Steele, USATODAY, Twilight, Cosmopolitan, Project Runway, Top Model, Top Chef. Is Bugs Bunny Safe? Is Bugs Bunny a Man? Try blind dates: try your friend’s brother-in-law’s mother’s friend’s Cousin Howie. Try dating a man whose 6’7”. Try dating a man whose complexion is worse than yours. Try dating a man who tells your friend, your brother-in-law, mother’s friend: You’re no prize. Eat chocolate—eat really good chocolate. Forget Hershey’s, Nestle’s—eat Godiva, Perugina, the ten-dollar-a-pound-cures-hypertension-and-heartache bought only online or at Whole Foods. Become a chocolate connoisseur. Write books about chocolate. Become the first woman chocolate connoisseur. Get on Letterman, Leno, Jon Stewart, and Fox News. Host Saturday Night Live. Dream about chocolate—Hershey’s chocolate syrup, warm on hot fudge sundaes, dripping everywhere. Tell your shrink. She tells you: You are substituting chocolate for real sexual gratification.  No shit, but then what do we really want here? More chocolate—a lot more chocolate. I want to swim in it—bathtubs, water fountains, bird baths, indoor/outdoor swimming pools, drowning in milk, dark, bittersweet, choking with the sweetness, the richness the creamy creamy brownness—lolling like beautiful pink pigs lolling after the biggest bite, the deepest kiss—ever.


Currently, Heidi Rosenberg teaches at Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois. She’s published poetry and fiction in the Oyez Review, Sistersong, 5 A.M., Pearl, and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She is the 2005 winner of Pearl magazine’s Fiction Prize for her short story “The Weight of It.” She has also been an artist in residence at the Ragdale Foundation and is a past recipient of a Mississippi Arts Commission grant for fiction. While she’s originally from Louisville, Kentucky, she’s lived in New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, San Angelo, Texas, and Rice Lake, Wisconsin before making her home in Illinois with her husband and dog.

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