Editorial Reviews. From Library Journal. This breezy memoir chronicles how actress Feldon (Agent 99 from Get Smart) found herself alone after a divorce and . Living Alone and Loving it by Barbara Feldon, , available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. In the first, second and third parts of this interview series with Barbara Feldon, the actress discussed her role as Agent 99 on Get Smart.
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After a relationship impasse, Barbara Feldon — universally known as the effervescent spy “99” on Get Smart — found herself living alone.
Book review: Living alone and loving it by Barbara Feldon
Little did she know that this time would become one of the most enriching and joyous periods of her life. Now Feldon shares her secrets for living alone and loving it. Prescribing antidotes for loneliness, brabara for fears, and answers for just about every question that arises in an unpartnered day, she covers both the practical and emotional aspects of the solo life, including how to: Dominque Browning author of Around the House and in the Garden Big-hearted, generous, charming, cheerful and wise Barbara Feldon has mastered the art of living.
Sign up and get a free eBook! Price may vary by retailer. Add to Cart Add to Cart. What comes is not to be avoided what goes is not to be followed. I wake up today in my wallpapered room tucked over my neighbors’ courtyard gardens. The spring foliage is transparent in the sun, birds chirp from the comfort of branches; all else is silent. After living alone for twenty years I’m still filled with arias of praise for the blessings of my sweet solitude.
Living Alone and Loving It
But I haven’t always felt this way. We complex creatures have a baffling talent for entertaining two opposite desires at the same time. Even while I was intoxicated by the idea of merging with an imagined beloved, I got a renegade thrill from contemplating living independently, freely choosing pleasures to include and intrusions to exclude in order to allow my life to sing.
As a child I would lie in bed at night listening to my parents’ sleep-burdened breathing and dare myself to creep downstairs, sneak out the locked front door and sample the thrill of simply standing under the stars by myself.
The anarchy of such freedom was spiritual ambrosia to a girl who rankled under the restrictions of childhood. But I wasn’t yet brave enough to risk it.
On our property, hidden from the view of the main house, was an old pony shed — alas, without a pony — with a slanted, scratchy roof onto which I would climb on summer afternoons. By escaping alond my miniature sanctuary I was expressing a need for independence — difficult to experience in the buzz of family life — while at the same time feeling reassured that my parents were within calling distance.
I continued my ambivalence about solitude though college; though I envied girls with private rooms, I was relieved by having the company of roommates. Then, after graduation, just as I was about to launch into the world on my own, I fell in love with and married Lucien. Although for many years I embraced bonded companionship enthusiastically, always there was that lingering desire to live by myself.
After our marriage ended and during my second relationship, with Burt, I once playfully floated the idea to him of our living next door to each other. I was charmed by the prospect of a personal space to which I could retreat at will in unaccompanied splendor.
When he laughed off my andd I didn’t persist, there being no precedent for such a maverick arrangement. Nevertheless, I continued to be fascinated by the lifestyles of the single women I met. Carla, a costume designer, lived by herself in the Hollywood Hills in a cottage decorated with Moroccan tiles that she had gathered on one of her adventures abroad. She traveled alone but she rarely ended up that way, often meeting people who invited her into their homes or, upon occasion, into their beds.
And, though Burt and I lamented Carla’s unwillingness to settle into a traditional relationship, I was aware that she seemed to have thrived on her choices.
As qnd went on and our relationship deteriorated, we were forced to realize that having no relationship might be better than having lifing unworkable one and I took comfort in the prospect of exploring another way of living.
On Saturdays, while Burt was sailing, I looked around for a studio apartment that I imagined decorating capriciously, a hideaway like a secret garden to which there is only one key.
I even began to collect things: But when the break actually came and we were separated not only formally but by an entire continent, the freedom that I had happily envisioned turned sinister and ambushed me at night.
I dreamed that I was in a damp prison cell when suddenly the doors swung open and I was free. After walking confidently through an icy, barren landscape, I stopped, turned and resolutely walked right back into prison. Freedom is hard to love, I discovered.
Bereft of the security of my relationship and without another one waiting in the wings, I felt like an astronaut whose umbilical tie to the spaceship had been severed and was doomed to drift alone through an endless universe.
I was tethered to no one — and perhaps never again would be. One dank afternoon I was in a taxi on my way to an appointment and I decided to get out and walk. I intended to say to the driver, “You can let me out here, I’m early. Could such a person exist? Could anyone endure, with equanimity, what I was suffering through?
I called my publicist and told her a lie, that I was going to write an article for an American magazine on women who lived alone successfully. Did she know anyone? A week later I sat across from Pam in a cozy English tearoom sipping Darjeeling and munching on scones smeared with clotted cream. She seemed puzzled by some of my, as the English say, “queries.
Living Alone and Loving It – Barbara Feldon – Google Books
Since I’m by myself writing all day, it’s rather nice, isn’t it, to have a meal with a friend. Besides,” she added merrily, “I’ve lived so many years without a man it’s hard to even imagine doing it again.
She was sympathetic but frankly bemused that I regarded the autonomy as a deficit. Although I would love to have the pleasure of a companion, if he feleon come along there just might be another way to find fulfillment. I wanted to kiss her! Future mentors would show me how to live alone not just comfortably but joyously. Still, I could not even approach that heady state until I confronted loneliness, the most fearsome dragon of all. Not the garden variety that we all encounter from time to time, but that desolate, hopeless “I’m alone forever” one.
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