Singular Solutions, Volume 8

Singular Solutions, Volume 8


Singles advice guru Marnie Macauley has humorous and savvy solutions for relationships that aren’t so exclusive and wedding gifts, the second time around.

Singular Solutions, Volume 8

nexusplexus / 123RF Photo


Marnie: I’m a 26-year-old female, who’s been in an exclusive relationship with “Bob” for two years. My question: is it wrong to want to go out without him sometimes? HE thinks because we’re “together” I shouldn’t go out unless he comes along. When I do, he searches my purse, my car, and my pockets. I’m confused. I love him but want to be able to do what I want and go to clubs, etcetera. What do you think? — AveryLA

MARNIE SAYS: Ah, now you see, you almost had me until you gave yourself away chickiepie … toward the end of your plaintiff missive. To clarify, I think that “exclusives” not only need to grab their own space, they must or risk strangling each other with “his and hers” tennis sweaters. So yes, while coupling means cleaving, it shouldn’t take a meat cleaver to separate you. But, angel, in your case, the place is the thing.

Getting It! Your Personal Strategy:

*If your “etcetera” includes, a Sofia Coppola film festival, enrolling in a “Risking Change” workshop, spending a delicious strictly girls night out, or enjoying a cucumber mask at the spa, then go and enjoy!

*But clubs? C’mon chickie! It’s not nice to fool Mother “Marnie.”  Unless you’re talking about chess clubs, the club scene isn’t about wholesome fun and games. It’s about boozing and cruising. And your guy’s onto you. If his red flag is up, you hoisted the pole.

*If you’re cruising, be a brave Henny Penny and return to “singular status.” But, if you say you love this guy, watch what barnyard you play in, kiddo, or the sky may fall.


Marnie: I’m a single guy, never married, in my thirties. A close frat brother is getting married for the second time. He has two children now, and had a very large wedding seven years ago where I was best man. It cost me a fortune for the bachelor party, then the engagement and wedding gift, not to mention gifts to his children when they were born and on their birthdays from their “Uncle Jeff” as they call me. He’s engaged again. While I understand this is HER first wedding, I have already contributed very generously to HIS first household. He’s invited me to a large engagement party and to be his best man at their large wedding. I really don’t want to get into debt, but I don’t want to lose the friendship. Any suggestions? — Going Broke Jeff

MARNIE SAYS: For you angel, here’s my definitive opinion, as a gift  – and a torture for any who disagree.

Getting It! Your Personal Strategy:

*In the matter of gifts at second weddings dos, two words apply: Enough already. While I’m sure they’d be appreciated (why not?) they’re not obligatory.

*The engagement party. IF you want to make a loving effort, consider memories. Do you have a school pic of the fellow? Blow up and frame. Or, use your rip-roaring sense of humor. Write down all the “little” things – cute anecdotes and early facts about him that are a “must know” for “Irving’s” bride. Frame it. Finally, you could bag “gag” gifts. If he’s a cereal freak (like Seinfeld), get her a gift basket of his favorite cereals. He’s also a night walker? Include a mini-Flashlight.

*Best-Manning it. You can’t possibly be his best man, as much as … darn, you’ve LOVE to. But, you’re on a “special project” which is keeping you busy 24/7 and you simply can’t do both the job and him justice.

*Then go, enjoy. Pay your respects, give his new wife “memories” – and stay solvent, in friendship. If she’s important to him, she’ll matter to you. Your waybackhistory opens up a nifty and inexpensive, but thoughtful gift op.

Speaking of Wedding Gifts:         


After eons of ideas and brainstorming, I finally found a foolproof way to make a fortune. Guaranteed. Wedding gift insurance.

Buy a wedding, shower or engagement gift, then pay a percentage (to me). If the happy couple bites the dust within six months, you get the price of your gift back — minus depreciation.

It seems to me everyone’s entitled to one go-round, if they choose. That includes: one tutu with enough net to capture Moby Dick, one “housewares” engagement party, and one wedding with a champagne ice swan.

One friend, who is once again an “ex,” recently opened a Kitchen, Bathrooms, and Lingerie ’R Us on my gifts alone.

As a new single after years of marriage, I have one bath towel and one wash cloth for company. On washdays I watch them go through the spin cycle.

I’ve left my son less in my will than I’ve shelled out for wedding gifts only to hear the happy couple vaulted from Honeymoon Village to Divorce City before they’ve had time to unwrap the Popeil Slicer and Dicer.

Enough! If you must toddle down yet another aisle, do it in Las Vegas.  Send all you know a postcard from the Hubba Hubba Elvis Drive-In Chapel saying: “We did it!  We’re thrilled you’re not here — and so are you.”

Given the divorce rate, it’s surer than roulette and safer than blackjack.

Then we’ll save the gifts for the truly needy: the single people who’ve been shelling out with nothing in return and deserve two wash cloths — one for them and the other for their favorite guest.

Copyright © Marnie Macauley / 2013 Singular Communications, LLC

Marnie MacauleyAdvice guru Marnie Winston-Macauley — therapist, author, speaker — has been a radio, TV, and syndicated advice columnist and counselor for over 20 years. Witty, wise and totally irreverent with a self-professed loathing for psychobabble, she’s written over 20 books and calendars, along with  hundreds of relationship columns and features for prominent publications.  She has her MS degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work.  In media, her work has garnered her Emmy and Writer’s Guild Best Writing nominations. She is widowed and now living single. For personal advice, you can also find Marnie Macauley on or on Presto Experts. She invites you to join her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 
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