So this semester, I was lucky in that I was granted the privilege by my university to teach a one-credit course on How to be Single and Happy. I was pleasantly surprised to see that eleven students signed up for the course, and they are a bright, engaged bunch indeed! Over the next three months, I plan to be providing a blog almost every week on what we discuss in class.
This past week, we began by discussing the first chapter of Bella’s Singled Out, as read by the students. One person, Mary, speculated whether a couple that makes the decisions as to where to go out to eat is actually singlism, or if it’s just the couple being rude and commanding. And is that couple really worth hanging out with? After all, as singles, we generally do have a choice as to who we spend our time with? It led to a thought as to whether such everyday slights might be a reason as to why some people get into/stay in bad relationships. They don’t want to be marginalized. One student, Michael, made an interesting comment that not everybody necessarily wants to be single, so those people who are marginalized may make bad relationship decisions. Note to self: start off next week’s class with the definitions of single by choice and single by circumstance.
I’ll also have to define legally single vs. socially single, since I also gave an assignment for students to interview someone who has not married. Michael asked if the person they interviewed could be “in a relationship,” to which I said, “Yes.” Domestic partnerships definitely deserve equal weight in the eyes of the law, as well as that of social acceptability.
I also have to call myself out. Mary also pointed out that the potential interview question, which I gave as a guide, “why have you never be married” could be perceived as offensive. I’ve actually called people out for asking that of me, so I have to practice what I’m preaching. Good job, Mary!
Students brought paragraphs to class about instances of singlism and matrimania they had observed or experienced. Mary brought up the TV show Say Yes to the Dress, which is one of countless shows that sensationalize weddings (I YouTubed a seven-minute clip and felt the need for a nice long shower after watching a minute of it and turning it off ). We brought up that a wedding can easily lose its intimacy by being publicized. Tammy was asked about “her children” and “a boyfriend” by the seven-year-old Girl Scouts she supervised. She did concede that to a seven-year-old, every adult looks “old.” In addition, the only adults a child from a two-parent home probably only sees is married, but that’s why we need to start teaching kids it’s okay not to couple up. Someone (I forget who, but if you’re reading, feel free to tell me and I’ll include your name) brought up how Disney movies like The Princess and the Frog teach children the myth of “happily ever after”, but Warren brought up how more progressive Disney films Brave and Moana did not feature love interests. #digit
And, finally, came the “comeback sharing.” I featured the following on our projector screen:
Come up with a “comeback” with the following exchange:
Friend/Family Member: Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
Pick one of the responses:
a) Friend/Family member: Awwwww.
b) Friend/Family member: What’s wrong with you?
c) Friend/Family member: You better get on that.
William: Everything. Everything’s wrong with me. (Love the sarcasm).
Michelle: What’s wrong with you? (Love the snark.)
Monique: I’m focusing on my career goals. (Love the straightforwardness).
Next week, we’ll get to hear the interviews with the singletons in our students’ lives.
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.