COVID Singles Empowerment Day 2021
I love the fact that Valentine’s Day and Singles Empowerment Day fell on a three-day weekend this year. I love the fact that I have President’s Day off at my new school. Thanks to being single, I can move wherever without having to worry about a spouse/partner and kids, unlike some colleagues I have who are stuck and are just trying to survive.
My stomach barely survived my overindulgence last night, as I woke up at 6:30 this morning with some pains. Fortunately, Tums and Gas-X helped. My plan was to get that discount candy first thing in the morning before everyone else made their way in. I was told the manager at the Giant Food hadn’t come in to guide employees on the discount, so I took a nice walk to the Target at Cleveland Park and made my purchase, which will probably stay in my closet for a few months. I was the only customer in there at 7:15 this morning. Now that’s dedication!
After I made my way back, I used the weight room to work my biceps and back. This was followed by some reading and watching the 60 Minutes episode I DVRed last night. The topics: Solarwinds, Bill Gates’s plan to combat climate change, and a gymnast’s strategy to keep training through COVID. The last one was my favorite. Afterwards, I fell asleep with Chester on my stomach.
When I woke up at about 11, I had an appetite, so I ate the last bagel I had transported from New York (insert product placement for Suffern, NY’s Bagel Train, a must-visit when I go there). It was perfect timing, because I finished up my cream cheese too. After this, I did some binging of that show Community, about community college students. The characters are terrible people, but their antics are amusing.
After a few episodes, another nap was in order (also with Chester on my stomach). I then spent some time working on an article for Syllabus, a free online academic journal that showcases innovative syllabi. I’m developing one for a course on How to be Single and Happy, but this one’s more developed than the one I taught last year. I’m also including a unit on Global Singlehood, where students read about singlehood in European and Asian countries and compile a research project on singlehood in a country of their choice. I can’t wait to teach that someday!
I was supposed to attend a virtual workshop on Antiracist Practices in Grading, but there were some power outages in College Station, Texas, the host site, it was postponed indefinitely. I was slightly disappointed, but that freed up more time to write, read, and play my guitar. I also remembered I needed to reread Chapter 6 of Bella’s Singled Out to formulate some discussion in my class Wednesday (they’re reading the book and will have the opportunity to meet with Bella).
For dinner, it was some leftover Super Bowl chili and I finished up some taco shells and taco meat. For dessert, it was some Valentine’s Day candy. I had to have some of the discount candy on Discount Candy Day. Over dinner/dessert, I watched The Super, an early 1990s comedy starting Joe Pesci as a slumlord sentenced to live in his own Harlem tenement. When I got done, I saw Bella posted an article about Dr. Ruth and her stupid Tweet about hunting for the one for next Valentine’s Day. Could Ruth be any more unenlightened? I was delighted to see a number of people tear Ruth down, and of course, I Tweeted my comments as well. It’s Singles Empowerment Day; how can I not? I also did the same thing to my cleaning service, who opened with the line “You had a great weekend, you set the table for Two…” and closed with “…let your partner know you appreciate them.” We have to speak up!
As I write this, I’m grateful to have had a fun weekend, but I realized I made some grave omissions: while I spent the weekend indoors, I also had some texting contact with Misti, Heather, and Emily, fellow singletons and awesome friends. And Elyakim invited me to be an admin on his Happy Singlehood Group, and we’re meeting tomorrow with Kris Marsh to discuss a possible collaboration for a TV show. My background in Mass Media can hopefully help with this.
Back to the real world tomorrow. Fellow singletons (and even you coupled folks), I hope your weekend rocked as hard as mine did. Now, time to wind down for the night.
COVID Valentine's Day 2021
To say that Valentine’s Day would be different during COVID is a lot like saying water is wet. For the last couple of years I’ve blogged about my V-Day experience, I’ve spent a typical day at work followed by that nice special at Hooter’s where you go in, shred a picture of your ex in front of them, and get a dozen free boneless wings.
Two changes: 1) the pandemic; 2) I’ve moved from the traditional suburb of Newport News, Virginia to the urban landscape of Washington, DC. The nearest Hooter’s is thirty minutes away, in Fairfax, Virginia, and even in “normal” circumstances, I’m just not inclined to make that trip just for wings (they’re not even the best I’ve had, and I don’t exactly support their objectification of the waitresses).
Anyway, as an introvert, I’m quite adept at creating fun of the things within the four walls of my 1-bedroom apartment. But I did venture out this morning – all the way to the weight room in my building’s basement. Sundays are typically an upper body day.
After this, I did some reading (this book, Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, by Into the Wild author Jon Krakauer, exposes some horrifying information about rape on college campus) and binge-watched Rick, Corey, Chum Li, and the Old Man negotiate for historical artifacts on Pawn Stars on Netflix. After an episode, I remembered that I didn’t have the grated parmesan cheese I needed to make that veal parmigiana I’ve been chomping at the bit to make this past week, so I grabbed my shopping cart and headed down to Giant Food (there were a few other items I needed to get too).
After a nap (accompanied by Chester on my stomach), there was some more fun with Pawn Stars, followed by a jam session with my guitars (the acoustic case is another one of Chester's favorite spots). I had played on and off since I was in high school, but the pandemic motivated me to spend some quality time playing every night, and lately, I’ve been teaching myself some blues. Every time I try to follow the tablature in the book, I end up making up my own licks. I’m trying to figure out where I want to go with this. Obviously, I’m not going to be a world-famous blues guitarist, but I’d like to find some people to play out with after the pandemic. But that’s for another post.
, Anyhow, I had been on pins and needles waiting for my article on “How to Write Single Characters” to drop on the Writer’s Digest website. I had taken a virtual workshop on Sensitivity Reading at Norfolk, Virginia’s Muse Writers Center last May. Sensitivity reading is a new trend in writing, where somebody reads a work to make sure marginalized groups are represented accurately, and my work on the portrayal of singlehood in popular culture. I got the idea to write an article about the portrayal of single characters in fiction. I sent it out last May, and two weeks ago, I got an email from Writer’s Digest asking if I’d allow them to publish. I was told it would come out today, and I’d been anticipating its release all day, right up until about 3 p.m. when it dropped.
I celebrated with my inaugural veal parm dish. I overcooked it in the pan, but it still came out well. I also got to celebrate via a Zoom dinner with my Mom and brother, Jeremy, who’s going to teach me how to make tomato sauce from scratch. A pic of the finished product below, along with my appetizer of salami, prosciutto, mozzarella, and a nice bialy (New York was the theme here). Jeremy and I got Mom a ticket to see a virtual Air Supply, so she had to log off after an hour so she could charge her iPad for the concert. From there, I popped in a DVD I bought from Amazon (I like to collect them), Little Man Tate, a 1991 gem about a child genius, accompanied by a brownie sundae, some V-Day chocolate, and too many chocolate almonds. The movie was even better than I remembered it.
As I type this post, I’m grateful that this weekend, V-Day fell on a Sunday and I have off tomorrow for President’s Day, which this year, falls on the same day as Singles Empowerment Day (the acronym for Singles Awareness Day sucks, so I renamed it), so I can relish in my experiences outside of strictly work. Till tomorrow, folks!
I have to give Lisa Vita credit for this post. For so long, politicians have been using the word “family” to emphasize the importance of what they do, especially Democrats. If I had a nickel for every time President Joe Biden mentioned the importance of “working families,” I wouldn’t even need to work.
Fortunately, Bella’s offered up a lot of Tweets in which she responded to these progressives making mention of the fact that individuals should be included in their plans. I think they do mean “people,” but why say “families” when they mean “people?” Is there some kind of expectation that we’re not aware of?
Fortunately, thanks to Lisa, I had the opportunity to research Stephanie Schmidt. Born and raised in Bergen County, New Jersey (just a few feet from the New York suburb where I grew up, and also where I lived for a year for my life), Stephanie appears to be a model for single women – well, women. Actually, people, no matter what the gender! She’s traveled the world, interacted with political leaders, and owns her home in Little Silver, New Jersey. In that last paragraph of the profile where the politicians typically mention the spouse/children, she discusses hobbies, including cooking for family and friends. Sounds like she’s living a full live outside of work!
Most noteworthy are recent Tweets where she actually advocates for fellow singles, like this one:
This is 2021, not 1950. 50.2% of adults are single today vs. 22% in 1950. It’s time we stop reflexively legislating from a 1950s assumption of what the American family/household/lived experience looks like, particularly when it comes to economic & tax policy.
Amen! I wrote a piece a few years ago about how politicians will eventually pay attention to singles due to the projected decline in marriage, although it may take a few generations for that to take effect. My hope is that pioneers like Schmid will ultimately quicken that process. After all, why does a married couple deserve $2,800 as opposed to $1,400 for an individual? They’re already splitting things like rent and mortgage. A single person doesn’t get to “pay half rent” as “LovinLife” said. So why should we get half the money?
I’m only saddened that I found out about her campaign; I would have chipped in some money to help. Definitely next time, though!
My name is Craig. I'm an educator, writer, and unapologetic singleton. When not reading, writing, or teaching, I enjoy hiking, running, watching movies, going to concerts, spending time with friends, and playing with my cat/son, Chester.