America's Most Critical Journal (since 1999)



Garbo on Valentine’s Day: A Survival Guide for the Single Girl


1 February 2015

As a life-long single woman I’ve dealt with endless questions relating to my singlehood.

It’s the usual inquiries that single gals get: “Why did I never settle down? Was it a conscious choice? Was my heart broken along the way?”

Because of my history I also get, “You were a screen icon for god's sakes, so you had the pick of the litter. How could you have not found anyone???”

You’ll probably want to make the (questionably) witty retort on my behalf, “Oh, but you wanted to be alone, right!?”


The truth is that I wanted to be left alone and when you have a partner in life you can’t be.

I like solitude and quiet.

And I like going on long walks on my own time and whims.

To make a date to walk down the aisle seemed antithetical to my true sense of being.

There’s also the reality of my lack of faith in humanity. People often disappoint me and then I never want to speak to them again; I’m not one for second chances. Why waste time disowning one more person?

To be honest, I prefer spending time with my Treasure Trolls and a huge blowup snowman that sits on an 18th-century ottoman in my living room.

Why? Because they can’t talk back. I mean, they do, in my imagination, but I control what they say so they entertain me.

There is an exception: a Renoir painting on my living room wall who has a smart mouth. I may throw her into the fireplace if she doesn’t quit bugging me about how (her words, not mine) I’m running from myself and my vulnerability and blah, blah, blah.

But enough about my problems.

If you’re single, then I suggest that on The Day of Love, when people are trying a little too hard to appear that they have amore or are incredibly heartsick about the lack of it, that you find a way to keep your mind off the foolishness.

One word of caution: Stay away from those ridiculous movies. What do they call them, romantic “comedies”? The only amusing thing about them is the boring storyline.

Consider doing one of the following:

1. Take a walk and just notice the world and the people in it. You’ll be glad that you’re alone.

2.  Go to a toy store and find something that makes you chuckle. When you get home place it near your mirror. When you have an insecurity related to your reflection, turn to your new friend and vent to it. You’ll be delighted when one day the toy talks back!

3.  Walk into a few ritzy bars and notice that there is always a Russian woman with a very short skirt and cheap perfume. She is a call girl. Can we trust anyone in this life?

4.  Buy yourself a Valentine’s Card and place it prominently in your visiting area. Not because you love yourself, as that’s a ridiculous concept, but because you are confusing “compulsive couplers” who may enter your house. When they ask you if you have a beau in your life, just stare back and make no audible sound.

5.  Do you have any wallpaper or other household decoration that depicts people or animals? Develop names and life stories for them. It’s the quickest and easiest way to feel like you’re surrounded by good friends. 

6.  Throw back vodka Martinis until you are seeing two. Your new imaginary friends will be doubled and you’ll feel like you’re having a lively celebration.

7.  If you have means, then visit a private island and toast to a party of one!

8.  Stroll through divorce court and perhaps even sit in on a case or two. You’ll be absolutely secure in your singlehood!

9.  Watch my movies Camille, Flesh and the Devil and Anna Karenina as I die respectively from acute sickness, drowning, and by throwing myself onto train tracks. You’ll be assured that love is a dangerous thing and you’ll be grateful that you don’t have to deal with it.

10.  As a favor to me, find a way to burn the original negatives for Ninotchka and Two-Faced Woman. Those were the only comedies I ever acted in and, I’m ashamed to say, could be construed as being in the “romantic comedy” category. I hope my after-film reclusive life will compensate and I will in no way be remembered for promoting happiness.

Have a great day and don’t forget to smile every so often.

Lauren LoGiudice is a writer and performer from NYC. Her most recent project, Garbo Dreams, involved Greta Garbo's last days alone in her apartment.