Author and former Top of the World teacher focuses on dating’s funny part


A former Top of the World Elementary teacher has written her first book that she hopes will infuse a social activity often associated with frustration and tension — dating — with a strong dose of humor.

After eight years, Mary Minerman completed “The Spinster’s Guide to Dating,” a satirical look at anecdotes from her own life and that of friends, along with quotes and statistics, geared toward middle-age Orange County women who she said might have lost motivation for finding a spouse in a world of “real housewives, rico suaves and 50-year-old guys looking for their 20-year-old soulmates.”

“A lot of women in their 40s and 50s, and even 30s, become sad because they have not found ‘the one,’” Minerman said. “I wanted to do something to make them laugh and not feel so alone.”


Spinster is typically defined as an unmarried woman, especially an elderly one, but Minerman sought to change that label.

“I think a spinster is a woman who never found anyone to marry who would make her happier than she is single,” she said.

Minerman, 56, taught second and third grade during 25 years at Top of the World. She retired in June, saying, “I felt like I needed to do something else.”

The Dana Point resident and single mom of a grown daughter always enjoyed writing and drawing and illustrated the book, using a Sharpie to sketch designs. She worked on the book on weekday evenings after completing lesson plans and Saturdays and Sundays.

The book contains a “Best Of” section along with quotes on dating and relationships and suggestions for love songs and romantic movies.

The “Best Of” section offers a pickup line for a woman to try as heard on the TV series “Two and a Half Men.”


Evelyn: You look a lot like my fifth husband.

Norman: Really? How many times have you been married?

Evelyn: Four.

While the book is targeted toward woman, Minerman said men like it too.

“There’s a universality in dating and the search for that special someone,” Minerman said. “Everyone can identify with that.”

She gave her own example of dating life that many can relate to.

“I had a date with great potentialgo down in flames a little over a week ago and am enjoying time with my friends while I get overbeing sad,” she said.

After years of teaching children, Minerman has now become the student, learning the ins and outs of marketing and promoting a book.


“The Spinster’s Guide to Dating” is available at Laguna Beach Books and the website Friends and former colleagues gathered at TOW attendance and reception assistant Claudia Redfern’s house late last month for a launch party celebrating the book’s release.

Minerman donated a portion of book sales to Tim and Erica Rahall, whose 6-year-old daughter Rylie is battling ataxia-telangiectasia. Erica Rahall teaches third grade at TOW.

A-T, as it’s known, is a rare genetic disease that attacks children, causing progressive loss of muscle control, immune system problems, and occasionally cancer. There is no cure and the average life expectancy for a person with the disease is late teens to early 20s, according to a description on the A-T Children’s Project website.

The Florida-based nonprofit raises money for life-improving therapies and to help find a cure for the disease.

The Rahalls will use part of the money to pay for a walker Rylie needs next year while saving the rest for a motorized wheelchair.

“She has such a caring heart,” Rahall said of Minerman. “To bring attention to a rare disease, our family is so grateful.”