Hallmark… what’s good? I thought you had everything covered. You even have Mother’s and Father’s Day cards for single parents! I went into Betty Sue’s Hallmark and didn’t find a single card, not even one of those 99cent jawns, for National Singles Week!
I bet you all didn’t even know a National Singles Week existed. I admit, I didn’t know until recently. It’s true, though. September 21-27 is dedicated to those of us who are not yet married. Yep, you can still join in even if you have a boo. No ring, no vows means your in!
What’s the point, though? Isn’t marriage supposed to be a good thing? Of course. Well, to most people. I personally do not have anything against marriage in and of itself, although I do have some issues with the way some people construe the institution of marriage.
If you love marriage and all that jazz, you can still enjoy this week, fellow singles! Hmm, I wonder if this is why TVOne ran a reunion of the Living Single cast on Monday. How convenient!!
Psychology Today lists reasons why we need National Singles Week. I’ll pick out a few:
1. We need it because living single is how we spend the better part of our adult lives. Americans now spend more years unmarried than married. But even if we spent only a sliver of our lives single, we should be able to use that sliver to pick any door or puncture any myth.
3. We need it because fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you, if you are a plastic Barbie or Ken doll or you play one on TV. If you are a real person, you are no more likely to live happily ever after if you get married than you were when you were single. We need to know that.
6. We need it because we are shorted on the 1,136 federal benefits, protections, and privileges that are available only to people who are legally married. We need it because there is housing discrimination and there are tax penalties and pay disparities linked to marital status.
7. We need it not just for the privileges and protections but also for the opportunities to give and to care. Because I am single and don’t have any children, no one can take time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to care for me if I fall ill. That’s a missing protection. But I also can’t take time off under the same Act to care for a person who is important to me, such as a sibling, a nephew, or a close friend.
10. We need it because if single life were taken more seriously, then the relationship life of all people, single and married and everyone in between or on the side or undecided, would be expanded and enriched. Follow the finger of married people as they point to an important person in their life and you will end up staring at a spouse. Follow the finger of a single person and you may find yourself gazing at a close friend or a sibling or cousin or a mentor or a neighbor. Look more closely at that person and maybe you will newly appreciate the importance of the entire category that person represents. Friends are hardly “just friends.”
11. We need it because single people who live solo can show us that living alone is not the same as feeling alone. They remind us of something that is too seldom acknowledged in a society that so celebrates the buzz of social life, something that people of all marital statuses can appreciate – that solitude can be sweet.
12. We need it because the de-stigmatizing of single life does not undermine marriage, it strengthens it. When single people can live their lives with all of the same respect, benefits, protections, and opportunities as people who are married, then those who want to marry are free. They can pursue marriage for the right reasons – not to run away from the stigma of being single, but to embrace the attractions of being married.
HAPPY SINGLES WEEK!
I need to get a freakum dress now and go party this weekend with all the other single folks! OWWWWW!