The gift list was deemed "fantasy," but in a Great Recession, sans speakeasies, it seems somewhat tasteless. Unlike the article's author, I would not ask: "What's Christmas without a dash of unfettered fancy?" Here's a fettered one: jobs in your stockings.
What Singular, based in Los Angeles, would not request is a mate.
According to the magazine's research, which cites U.S. Census reports, 50% of Americans are unmarried; in LA, that number rises to 55%. Geared to the 30+ crowd, the magazine celebrates and validates the single lifestyle. Those who have, to quote its press, "more time, more financial freedom and can do as they please without having to check in with a partner."
Cover girl and actress Amy Sedaris, billed as a "social firecracker," is a perfect example. I love the fact she created an imaginary boyfriend, used mainly as a send-up, and taught Martha Stewart how to make a grilled cheese sandwich with an iron. Her apartment has plaster meats hanging from the ceiling, and she gives all profits from her homemade cupcake business to her pet rabbit Dusty. This woman knows how to have fun! And that's the underlying premise of Singular. Single people, including divorced and widowed readers, are just like everyone else, so stop the pity party. The editors have a point: Judging from U.S. divorce rates, happy marriages are at a premium. That's why Singular's content -- lifestyle, travel, finance, food and profiles -- resembles any other general-interest publication; it just focuses its stories to a target audience that possess sizeable spending power.
And apparently Singular thinks some will spend it on Exotic Flights. The two-page ad spread says its "mile-high club gives new meaning to flying the friendly skies." It certainly redefines "takeoff." Exotic features flight attendants who wear stiletto heels and miniskirts. And by mini, I mean you can practically see their pupik. Former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Sen. David Vitter may be frequent flyers, since the airline charges on an hourly basis. Why not just call it Hooker Air and claim the seats, to paraphrase Sen. Larry Craig, accommodate a "wide stance"?
On a more natural note, the December/January issue, Singular's second, offers green entertaining tips: buy locally, shop organic and add decorating accents made from sustainable materials. The fete described here was mouthwatering. The pub also supplied Simon, a witty advice columnist worth syndicating.
Singular, direct-mailed to 70,000 well-heeled Angelenos, is also available at area Barnes & Nobles, Borders and Whole Foods outlets. It's almost relentlessly upbeat, like a Tony Robbins playbook for singles. That's why its "Orgasm of the Soul" article trumpets the joys of laughter. The story quotes researchers who estimate that 20 seconds of sustained laughter is the cardiovascular equivalent of three minutes on a rowing machine. Hoo-boy! Forget the gym; I'm watching DVDs of "Fawlty Towers" and "30 Rock" again. It's cheaper and far less stressful.
On balance, Singular, a glossy, well-produced bimonthly, is a reminder that what counts is quality of life. Marriage doesn't guarantee happiness; and whether single by choice or circumstance, it can be a fulfilling existence. Most telling, both men and women celebrate their status in its pages -- the ultimate expression of sexual equality. Consider it a singular sensation.
Published by: Singular Communications, LLC