So, on Friday night, I had the opportunity to go out to dinner with a new group of guys, and while it was fun and I enjoyed their company, I feel kinda left out when a few of them started talking about their wives and such, and three of them were going to Atlantic City for a “bachelor party weekend” (not my cup of tea anymore, but still). There were other singles at the table, but I happened to be sitting next to the married crowd. Oh well.
I didn’t know what to expect logging onto this discussion group of Amy Gahran’s Off the Relationship Escalator, a book I read for my research for How to be a Happy Bachelor. After my morning run, I logged onto the Zoom group and was placed into a breakout room about “Preserving Autonomy,” where I heard others talking about the same issues we discuss on CoSP. I had to give them Bella’s site, as well as that recent Atlantic article, “The Hidden Costs of Living Alone,” and that OpEd from Charles Blow, “The Married Will Soon Be the Minority,” the latter of which really cheers me up.
There was another talk about intimacy outside of a committed romantic relationship, which I’m on board with. I’m more intimate in my platonic friendships than I’ve ever been with a romantic partner. I got a great deal out of it, and those feelings cancelled out the isolation I felt Friday night, but I was a bit sad to leave that space of truly like-minded individuals. And then I thought of the idea of a singles-centered utopia.
I would like to live in a community populated by single-at-heart people. No coupling or romance, and I’d especially love a world where marriage wasn’t privileged. Equal tax benefits for all, equal leave for all and no microaggressions. I remember reading about solo-dwelling communities in Eric Klinenberg’s Going Solo, and for my retirement, I’d like to live in one (or if I have the money, start one of my own). Spaces like CoSP are starting to make me believe that something like this can be possible for us singletons.
Happy Ace Week!
After coming back from my concert Friday at about 1 a.m., I set my alarm for 8:30, knowing I’d be dragging my blistered feet to the big Women’s March. But the way I see it, this abortion ban is an intersectional issue involving feminism and Singles Studies. Those old white men who think they can control women’s bodies are also implicitly saying that having children is mandatory, which ties into societal propagation of the “relationship escalator.” So I wanted to put together a CoSP meet for this.
I had fallen out at about 2:30 earlier that morning, and my eyes were burning, but I knew this was a worthy cause. That being said, that thermos of coffee was much needed. Janice and I ended up meeting at the Metro Center station downtown, and walking over to Freedom Plaza to meet up with Maggie and Dan, a couple, but allies in our singlehood fight. We met up with Maggie at the volunteer tent, and we made our way to the front of the stage. As the sun beat down on us, we admired all the cool signs (including “Keep Your Rosaries Off My Ovaries,” “We Stand with Texas Women,” “Real Men Are Feminists,” and Maggie’s “Men of Equality Don’t Fear Equality” sign, which got a bunch of requests for pictures). Janice and I also talked music, Singles Studies, and travel, a few of my favorite topics.
There were a large number of speakers, including Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis Johnson, and Erika Forbes, a progressive Reverend from Texas who supports LGBTQ rights. The music had a female empowerment theme, including “Vogue,” “Miss Independent,” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” The Soul Rebels, a funk band from New Orleans, also showed up to play a few songs. One woman even said, “It’s great to see men here.” As a cis white hetero male, it was certainly humbling, but it’s important that I be aware of my position and that I use my privilege to help other marginalized groups.
At around 1:45, we marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, past the Capitol, at which point Dan said, “This is what a peaceful protest looks like.” I responded, “Yep, no need to go storming the Capitol.” A bunch of people booed and made unflattering gestures at the Trump Hotel. Once we reached the Supreme Court, the crowd split off, and tired as I was, I made it with our group to We the Pizza, which had some pretty good slices. Not quite NY worthy, but pretty darn close. The Powerade I drank with the pizza helped revive me some, as we walked back toward where Dan parked. Janice split off to hit the Metro, but since I don’t see Maggie that often, I hung with them until I reached the Metro Center station.
That night, I needed to nurture my introvert side, which I did with leftover pizza, the end of the first season of Seinfeld, and the third season of Dear White People. I was exhausted, but I felt good in showing up and being a part of a movement that’s way bigger than me and that ties into something that’s become a big part of me these past few years. It was even better having a fellow singleton there. Thanks for coming, Janice; we’ll be in touch!
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.