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Nancy Jo Eckerson: A single girl’s guide on how to thrive solo

In the spirit of the season, I, a single girl, have come to share my approach to bringing in a fantastic new year. Although I am eager to meet my true love, like many of us awesome ladies, I have learned to thrive without my perfect pal by my side.

Here is the list of tools that I have found are a must in order to live happily-ever-before the happily-ever-after shows up.

Because I live in Western New York, the very first thing I purchased for my solitary confinement was an electric blanket. I will never forget the first blizzard when I slipped between those heated sheets. It was heavenly. Like a military rescue, General Electric kept me toasty warm.

Secondly, I solved the dressing dilemma with the purchase of a zipper pull. Honestly, this thing is a life-saver. There isn’t a dress made that I cannot zip myself into anymore. If I ever meet the inventor of this fantastic contraption, I will shake her hand.

My third tool, a very clever invention, is the bracelet holder. It is a minuscule mechanism that you can use to put on those delicate bracelets that have a teeny-tiny clasp that has to be fastened at a 180-degree angle to the floor, blindfolded, with both hands tied behind your back. Thankfully, I am now enlightened about this mechanical godsend.

The fourth accessory was my own creation and serves as a temporary substitute to fill the inevitably lonely nights now and then. I light several candles, pour some wine and write to perfect strangers, sending my wishes for health, love and joy. I then go pixie during the week, tucking these epistles into department and grocery store shelves. It’s creative, kind and sneaky – all the ingredients for easing a case of the lonelies.

Lastly, I am working out the details for another perfect addition to my survival kit. This one provides a solution to the missing “instant excuse” that married women take for granted. It occurred to me when I called one of my dear friends, who sleepily confessed she was still in bed at 10 a.m.

I quacked, “You lucky duck! You are still in bed?” She replied, “Oh, yes, I had a bit of a runny nose and my husband said, ‘You are to stay in bed, rest and not do a thing all day.’ ”

Strict orders from a spouse are clearly vacant from my life. There is no one saying, “Get in bed, Nancy, and watch TV all day!” So I am devising yet another tool for my single girls’ guide: a deck of commando cards. It is the get-out-of-jail card equivalent to having a husband. Embellished with footballs, cars, ships and baseball bats, this collection will enhance any excuse you have to offer.

“Sorry, but my significant alter-ego says I can’t take on any more stress.”

“Oh, I am so bummed, I wanted to come and help you paint your house, but the universe said, ‘No way, honey, not with that sore shoulder of yours.’ ”

“Gosh, I was looking forward to emptying the litter boxes while you’re away on vacation, but a still small voice squelched the whole idea. ‘Honey! Don’t you remember? You are allergic to cats; I won’t let you do that!’ ”

While I wait for my divine deck-o-cards patent, feel free to devise your own “excuse-me” cards to round out your single girls’ guide, and while the universe is conspiring to bring you and your soulmate together, enjoy another wonderful year. Happy 2015 to you all!