National Singles Week

I just learned today that September 17-23 is national singles week.

I must say I laughed, especially when I found the website unmarriedamerica.org, which was created to "celebrate the lives and contributions of unmarried Americans." That makes me feel like a Jerry’s kid. Singlehood isn’t like a race, we aren’t an oppressed minority. We don’t need a movement to get freedoms and rights.

Or do we? I get miffed at work when all the parents get time off to run and pick up their kids, go to a parent/teacher conference, a school function or doctor’s appointment. I worked with one person who actually took calls from the kids in the middle of meetings. They didn’t care who was there or even if they were in the middle of a sentence, the phone was still answered.

Can I get time off to go get a manicure? What about when I need to take my car to the shop because I don’t have a husband to do it for me? Is that grounds to leave early? Can I get an "aunternity" leave if my brother has more kids. I would love to go help out with the baby.

Maybe we are discriminated against. I saw a sign at church for a conference that said singles pay $45 but married couples pay $55. Why is it cheaper for two? That’s not fair. We should get a much cheaper rate since we only have one income to live on. I have to pay for my car, rent, insurance, student loans, etc all on my own. What about letting two singles come for $55. Why not? I’m not even going to get started on how churches don’t know what to do with singles, that is fodder for another post.

Just yesterday I had a conversation with the roommate about rites of passage in your early 20s and what classifies you as an adult. In our culture it tends to be when you get married, have kids and take on a mortgage. So it is difficult for someone who says at 22, "I’m not ready to get married" to know what to do with themselves. They have no idea where they fit in the pecking order. I’m not sure that is any more defined if you’re single in your 30s.

So maybe we do need a week. I think employers across America should allow singles to leave early everyday or take an extended lunch. Hey, if we’ve managed to stay child free there should be benefits to that too. What about special sales at local businesses? Married couples get a break on their taxes why can’t I get 25% off a haircut, pedicure or appetizer at TGIFridays? Let’s celebrate the fact that we are making it on our own and that life is okay. It might not be everything we expected it to be or look like, but when does that ever happen, even when you’re married or in a relationship?

I think too often we rush for the next thing, what’s next on the agenda or in life. Rather than stopping to enjoy where we are at this moment and absorbing all the joy, pain, laughter and love out of it. What have I missed out on because I wasn’t fully present in my life, because I was waiting for something else. Life is found in the messiness of the moment not some future anticipated goodness.

I heard the proverb yesterday that says: Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. (Prov 13:12). Think about that, when we are sitting around wishing for something to happen instead of focusing on what can be fulfilled right now we are literally making ourselves ill. I had a roommate one time who refused to decorate her room or contribute to making our house homey because she didn’t know what colors she would want in her future house with her husband so she didn’t want to spend the money now. Was she dating anyone, no? Was that her only goal in life, yes.

So I celebrate being single. It isn’t always easy. It isn’t always what I want but I am grateful for this season of my life. Here are the top 10 reasons I love being single.

10. The messes in my house are mine, only underwear laying around are mine, and I never do that anyway.
9. No in-laws. No matter how much you might love them, they are an adjustment. This includes splitting holiday time, yuck.
8. I wake up when I want to on the weekend. No screaming kids or husband anxious to start the day.
7. Spontaneous events and vacations. If I have the money, I can go, no one to ask if its okay.
6. I can spent $500 on shoes, if I want.
5. More time to be involved in ministry and give to other people (I had to throw in a biblical one)
4. I get to have lots of guy friends if I want and no one gets jealous. [It is a very sad thing when a good guy friend gets married though, end of the relationship as you know it]
3. I can spend as much money and time on my nephews as I want.
2. I’m not miserably married. I’ve realized that I could be married right now if I wanted to be and by the grace of God he has kept me out of a wrong marriage that wouldn’t be his best for me.
1. I now know who I am and can celebrate that.

Update: Here are the articles I wrote about National Single’s Week Single Sitcoms, Single Intentions, Single Temptations, Single Dating, Single Quote, Single Importance, and Single Conclusion)

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Posted on September 17, 2006, in Single Serving and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Here, Here! Now that I am back to life without someone to pick up my laundry, get my medicine or take me home from work when I am sick, I fully understand and think we need to be vocal about the unfair advantages of married folk.

  2. One giant “WORD” to this entire post.

  3. This week celebrate your singleness by doing something you could only do if you were single. I think Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City called it your secret single behavior, those things you can only do when you’re uncoupled. Today I woke up at 10:30 a.m. Then I spent 4 hours scanning in old pictures and color correcting them. For some that’s tedious, for me its heaven. I’m still in my jammies and its 7 p.m. gotta love days like that.

  4. 11. Putzing around the house wearing only your panties…

  5. I just read your message and I couldn’t agree with you more. Yes, singlehood is to be celebrated and appreciated. I love coming home to the fantastic leftover pie that my grandmother baked just for me, and not have to be concerned about it magically disappearing while I’m at work. And, I can also listen to the unhappy rantings of co-workers and friends about their crazy relationships and sit at home on the sofa in peace and quiet and say to myself, “Well, I don’t have that drama to worry about!” Then I’ll treat myself to a movie!! Bliss!!

  6. Go ahead Marti–great post. I just found your blog via a search for National Singles Week. Have you read Bella DePaulo’s Living Single blog? The blog, and her book “Singled Out,” touch on a lot of the issues you mention in your post. Very enlightening, and a little disturbing. My friend Lisa and I recently started a blog about the positive aspects of being single, and we quote her a lot–maybe too much, but oh well, there aren’t a lot of singlism experts for us to draw from. = ) Which is why it’s good to see your site! -CC

  7. Marti, I’m as thrilled as Christina to find your blog! To celebrate National Singles Week, I’m going to go to a movie alone! It’s one of my favorite things. Maybe I will also eat a whole bag of reeses peanut butter candies while I’m at it. I deserve it — I’ve got a ton of work to do but I deserve a movie and chocolate!

    — Lisa (the other “half” of Onely)

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