In an episode of Sex and the City, “A Woman’s Right to Shoes”, Carrie Bradshaw bemoaned the fact that singles do not have opportunities to celebrate their lives as do married people. “If you are single after graduation, there isn’t one occasion where people celebrate you,” she exclaimed.
Weddings, anniversaries, the births of children, baptisms…all pay tribute to couples and/or families.
But what about the millions of Americans whose smart phones don’t mark these milestones? In the words of Ms. Bradshaw, do they “get bupkis”?
September 19-25 is National Unmarried and Single Americans Week. This commemorative week began almost 20 years ago in Ohio as “National Singles Week”. The title was changed in 2002 to include unmarried Americans who have children, are widowed, or are divorced and therefore do not consider themselves “single”.
There are a number of statistics on unmarrieds and singles in the USA. This demographic heads up an increasing number of households, makes up a large part of the voting population and accounts for almost half of the American workforce. More people are living (and flourishing) without a romantic partner and many adults are choosing to get married later in life (Waiting to Marry, Parts 1-3).
This week celebrates those people!
Of course, people get married and start families everyday. There’s nothing wrong with these traditions and they will most likely continue in some way, shape or form until the end of civilization. But there are many people who enjoy their single status and who enjoy the perks of their single lifestyle and here are a few reasons why:
- “You can take care of yourself without having to worry about how someone else feels.”
- There’s no relationship drama.”
- “I don’t have to consider anyone when I plan my schedule.”
- “[I can be] free and independent!”
- “[It] saves money.”
- “You can focus on your career and your life.”
- “There’s less laundry.”
- “You don’t have to keep shaving your legs in winter.”
- “You can just get up and go!”
- “[You can come home] knowing it’s going to be quiet.”
- “[I can sleep] smack dab in the middle of the bed!”
- “[You are not] awakened by someone else’s alarm on the days when you don’t have to get up.”
- “I can eat or not eat whatever I want, when I want, and how I want.”
- “[I can leave] the house without having to utter an explanation.”
- “I am able to spend my money any way that I want to spend it.”
If you are now or have ever been happily single or unmarried, you know there is a sweet selfishness that comes with only having to worry about oneself. Sure, there are disadvantages to being single, just as there are disadvantages to almost anything, but it’s nice to be able to celebrate those things that make this lifestyle such an enjoyable one.
While many singles have the desire to marry and have children eventually, there is no shame in being without any of those things until the timing and the person is right. And if one chooses to remain single forever, well, that’s quite okay too.
Hallmark should probably catch up…
Happy Unmarried and Single Americans Week!