Disclaimer: the following post is not meant to imply that I hate men or marriage, that I hope to remain single for the remainder of my natural life, or that I have anything against those who choose to marry, have children, or watch Lord of the Rings. Or those who have children while watching Lord of the Rings.
This single woman is not about to gripe about the relative affirmation that came in the form of this article and a gazillion others like it after the census data were released. It may seem strange, but I consider this a validation for me and my 20- and 30-something group of closest girlfriends, all of whom are either single or divorced. Currently single women make up nearly half of the female population. We aren’t freaks, or at least it isn’t this particular issue that makes us so; we aren’t just an isolated DC phenomenon, a product of a transient environment and an overabundance of middling Hill candidates; we aren’t alone in the desire for companionship coupled with hesitation about committing before our time. And we aren't settling like some of our mothers or grandmothers might have felt they needed to.
Love it, Love it, LOVE IT.
What strikes me as most interesting is one network’s apparent need to provide examples of famous folk to make the story (or the social situation) a valid or believable one. Stars! They are so just like us! They shop for Camembert at Whole Foods and buy their toilet paper at Nordstrom and some of them are even – gasp – single! It’s the Not that there’s anything wrong with that and the Some of my friends are black and/or gay and/or bionic Syndrome all over again. Ugh.
Oprah has long served as the independent, single woman’s poster girl. She's classy and paired with a supportive man and autonomous and stylish and probably a kick-ass best friend (She and Gale so aren't gay. Not that there'd be anything wrong with that.) But has anyone noticed the other models of singledom news outlets have been trotting out for display? I won’t name any of them here, given that I actually respect these women and would hate to hurt their feelings as I’m pretty sure at least a million famous people read my corner of the Interweb, but please, can you not pick us a hottie? One who didn’t go to school with Laura Ingalls and who has made a movie, spearheaded a philanthropic effort, owned a company, or stood up for herself (or her country), within the past five years?
These latter women represent what most of us as small children feared would result from a life living unmarried past pubescence:
• They are workaholics. They seemingly have no real hobbies. Except for knitting, and not in the cool way, in the smells-like-mothballs way.
• It's not just that they're single. They're pretty much asexual. Asexual, and not in just a preference way, but in an absence-of-female-parts way.
• If you look really, really close, some of them have a third eye. In an extra-eye-kinda way.
• They like men’s clothes. On themselves. And they look like they wear n*de hose and nursing shoes to big events. (That last should be enough for all of you.)
News flash: Not all currently single women over the age of 25 share Gollum’s charming features or are polydactyl, people (and Oprah and Gale SO aren't gay)! We are charming and cute and loving and some of us even have breasts and cool hobbies like blogging and drinking and playing hide and seek with our cats.
(Then again, maybe Oprah should remain the only poster girl.)