While it’s not noticed, I love that there is an Unmarried and Single Americans Week, even though I’m not a huge fan of the word “unmarried, as the prefix “un” implies a deficit. I didn’t do this last year, but now that things are opening up in this urban landscape in which I reside, I figured it’s worth a blog post.
Live music is not just an interest of mine, but a way of life. My friend Mark came to visit me to see a band called Widespread Panic play at MGM National Harbor, just outside of DC this past Saturday. On Sunday morning, we woke up and took a walk to the Cracked Eggery, which is known for breakfast sandwiches served on challah bread. After he took off, I just vegged out and recuperated from the two shows I had been to (Friday and Saturday night). I watched a few episodes of that old show, WKRP in Cincinnati. Interestingly, out of the entire cast of characters, only two are married: one is a nebbish (Gordon) and the other is a sleaze (Tarlek). I also watched Wildcats, a light 80s comedy with Goldie Hawn as a football coach. No romantic subplot.
The workweek was busy. We’re in Week Five of classes, so the semester is underway, so much of my time consists of emailing with students and grading work. On that front, I offered my first-year writing students an extra credit option, taken from my How to be Single and Happy course: go somewhere by yourself (movie, restaurant, café) and write about the experience. It’s not due until Friday, September 30, but two students already volunteered. One went to a bar by herself, and the other wrote about her experience going solo to sign up for classes here. While not technically under that umbrella, that was a big step for this person, so full credit!
I also hosted a Meetup for my Asexuals and Aromantics group Thursday night. We went to dinner at this burger/Asian fusion restaurant called Pogiboy, near Farragut Square. Four of us showed up, and we had good conversation around a range of topics, from music to the differences in weather throughout the US to travel.
Saturday was the big day. After spending the morning grading student journals, I was off to Anacostia Park for a bike ride (pic above). The Anacostia River is a nice view, and one of the nice perks of being a DC city employee is a free Capital Bikeshare membership. It was fun riding along the river, and I got to pedal across the newly built Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge and past Nationals Park. From there, I headed to the CVS to get my second booster shot combined with a flu shot.
In all my single splendor, I’d been out the past five Saturday nights, and I’m planning to go out the next four, so I figured this weekend would be a perfect one to stay in. I made chicken and decided to break out the gnocchi I bought from Cornucopia, an Italian deli in Bethesda, a few months earlier. I watched my favorite movie, Midnight Run, a buddy action comedy with no romantic subplot, and decided to check out The Man from Toronto, another buddy comedy newly released on Netflix. Don’t bother with this one.
As I write this blog, I realized I have a full life BECAUSE much of it is spent solo. I hope my fellow singles-in-arms recognize that for themselves too.
I have to credit Heather for the title of this post. When we were at the O Street Museum and I mentioned that fans of the band Phish are referred to as “Phishheads,” she started singing this song. I had no idea what she was talking about, and she showed me this video. I thought they were sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks, but upon research, discovered it came from a 70s duo named Barnes & Barnes.
I always love getting together with fellow CoSPers IRL; they are true kindred spirits, especially Heather, a fellow bibliophile, ailurophile, solo, and introvert who loves her alone time as much as I do, and that includes traveling solo. But we had a good time.
After some confusion with the diagonal one-way streets that compromise downtown DC, we made it to the Mansion on O&O Street Museum, which is a visual cacophony of any kind of artifact you could think of. Below is just a sample of what they had:
They also had Disney memorabilia, Simpsons apparel, and a bunch of Beatles gear. And some secret doors, four of which we discovered, which, according to the museum, makes us above-average sleuths. I walked away with a Prohibition-era style sign that read “Bathtub Gin Joint,” which I’ll cut to read “Bathtub Gin,” which inspired our “fish heads” conversation. There was also a book called The Bronx Zoo, a day-by-day account of the 1978 Yankees season as told by pitcher Sparky Lyle. I’ve been keeping a daily journal of my academic year and hope to turn it into a memoir or piece of fiction, so this book would be a good exemplar.
We then walked toward Georgetown, the hoity-toity section of DC (high-end retail shopping and boutiques). Within all the chic is a cat café called Crumbs & Whiskers, which had these beauties:
The only thing I can say about this place is that if there were an image of heaven, this would be one of them in my view. Soft cushions and cuddly cats. Words can’t really describe it, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking:
From there, it was off to the ultra-chic 1310 Café & Bar. I hadn’t had French toast in a while, and Heather added to the Francophile theme by topping it with French fries. A light dusting of maple syrup on fries is actually okay. We marveled at how well-behaved the kids at the table next to us were, when that’s not always the case. We also discussed childfree restaurants, which I certainly appreciate.
The last part of the day consisted of books and ice cream, two of my favorite things. On our way back to Dupont Circle, we stopped at Second Story Books. I had been at the one in Rockville, Maryland, which resembled a warehouse. This one looked more like a bookstore. Wanting to limit my cash, I walked out of there with nothing, as did Heather. We agreed that while we’re bummed out that these independent bookstores are beginning to disappear, online purchases are a way to stretch our budgets.
While in Dupont Circle, Heather read a book of poems by Edgar Allan Poe while I finished Chelsea Handler’s Uganda Be Kidding Me, a true solo’s travelogue. We then got ice cream at Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream before the parting of the ways.
I’m part of a number of different discourse communities. In my work and music communities, someone always talks about their kids, which is par for the course. But it’s nice to meet people who have the same lens on those things that I do. Thanks for coming down, Heather!
And when I say “we,” I mean, people who identify as male and those who identify as female. I thought about this after a Meetup group called Solo Living in 35+, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. It just started, so groups tend to be small. In this case, it was myself and a new woman named Ruan, and we watched a group called Turtle Recall play at the DC Waterfront. The band was decent, but the conversation was even better, and on the Metro ride home, we discussed why it is so hard for men and women to be platonic friends and wondered why that is the case.
I vaguely remember being five years old and having female friends I’d play with. As I got older, I started gravitating toward other boys for my platonic friendships; females were for romance. One could not wind up in the “friend zone” with females. That was just the kiss of death.
Still, I found myself having platonic female friends without the desire for romance or sex, and as I got older and started learning more about myself, I realized I prefer platonic relationships. And when I posted on CoSP, many members (mostly female) posted about their male friends, some of whom suddenly stop being friends when they enter romantic partnerships.
As someone who has many female friends, I have some theories. I think societal pressure has conditioned us to think that if a male and female meet each other, there is some subconscious voice telling the two parties there must be romance, sex, or some form of physical intimacy. Whenever I see a male and female walking down the street each other, my first thought is: they’re coupled. I’ve actually made that mistake when I’ve referred to a woman or man as “your husband/wife/boyfriend,” only to find out they’re friends or relatives. So I’m as guilty as the next person.
There’s no immediate solution, but we do need to normalize male/female/agender platonic relationships.
I was excited about meeting up with fellow CoSPers, but I hadn’t had the best night’s sleep, so I wasn’t totally feeling. But I was gonna do it anyway, FOMO and all.
It ended up just being myself and Savannah due to COVID scares and work demands. We decided to meet up near the PATH station in Midtown Manhattan. I got there early and saw a group of marchers with signs about “Keeping Our Streets Safe,” no doubt related to SCOTUS’s overruling of the New York gun law restricting concealed carry (they’re not doing too well in this week, IMHO). They were accompanied by a dance class. Me, I chose to find a table and read, introvert that I am.
Savannah and I met at a TD Bank and decided to walk down Sixth Avenue until we found a place that suited our respective fancies, L’Amico. It looks hip and upscale, not the place I typically frequent, but as I’ve heard before, flexibility is a key component of happiness.
On this trip, I’ve been eating a lot more red meat and dairy than I normally do, so I ordered an avocado salad, as did Savannah. Of course, the free housemade chips they gave defeated the purpose of that, and we split a brick oven pizza (see top). Savannah revealed that even though she had gone the “escalator” route (married, children), she always considered herself a single-at-heart. She talked about going to plays with her “spinster” cousin (who turned her on to theater), and her mother remarking that they had a lot in common. She has a lot in common with a few folks who love theater in NYC, and I hope she can see some shows with them.
I also showed her, as I had Doug earlier this month, my copy of Bella’s Alone: The Badass Psychology of People Who Like Being Alone, and she appeared enamored. While younger folks seem to be pretty enlightened about the validity of singlehood these days (even those who want to travel a more conventional route), it’s nice to see people from previous generations start to “get” the message about singlehood.
I was glad I made it out and even happier that the social interaction allowed me to spend enough energy where I had an amazing night’s sleep.
Despite the fact that most teachers I know lean left on the political spectrum, education is a very conservative profession. This statement seems obvious; after all, teachers are supposed to be role models for students, so everything we do is under scrutiny from students, parents (even for us college professors), and the general public. But it’s interesting to observe.
I recently went down to Tampa, Florida to grade Advanced Placement examinations for the College Board. For those of you who aren’t familiar with them, high school students take them through the College Board and can earn college credit if they attain a certain score. So why am I talking about this in a blog related to singlehood?
I didn’t take a formal sample, but I’d say about 98% of the people I met at the AP reading were wearing rings on the index fingers of their left hands, and yes, the females had diamonds. I couldn’t walk fifty feet without hearing “my kids,” “my husband,” “my wife,” etc. I’m well aware that as singles, we’re minorities, but in the past few years, I’ve surrounded myself with people who tend to think like me, as is human nature.
While I have some friends I’ve seen every year who know and appear to respect my work in Singles Studies, it’s still hard not to feel like a minority in this more conventional crowd. And I understand why teachers would logically be drawn to conventional lifestyles. Most teachers and professors I know were the types of people that followed all the “rules” and social norms in school and in life (and of course, we tend to enforce those things in our classrooms), so it would make sense they would want more conventional escalator-style relationships and lifestyles. Here’s where being a singleton does have its advantages when traveling a new city.
Each year, I like to take a solo trek on the city’s free trolley from downtown Tampa to Ybor City, a neighborhood known for its classy ancient Spanish architecture and copious amount of cigar shops. Some people I talk to (mostly married folks) actually say they’re afraid to venture out alone (or they stay in their hotel rooms the entire time) because they’ve never done it before without a person. I can understand the security issues females face in that regard, but as someone’s who’s always been somewhat of a loner (like it’s a bad thing?) and has always been comfortable doing things solo, I generally can’t fathom people’s fears of doing things alone.
I was inspired by someone to take part in a “Professional Night,” where we had the opportunity to share stories about things we learned or things we taught. Since the first chapter of my book, How to be a Happy Bachelor, is all about how I learned to become a happy singleton. I was nervous about it at first, as I knew I’d be facing an audience that’s well, not single-at-heart. But, one thing I’ve learned is that if you’re scared of something, the best thing to do is run toward it rather than run away from it (I also had a little encouragement from my fellow singleton Heather through text).
When I did get up to read it, it got some appreciative laughs, especially when I mentioned how I like to subvert the “crazy cat lady” stereotype by constantly posting pics of my cat/son Chester. When I mentioned microaggressions such as “you don’t even have a cat?”, I got a couple of “ewww”s, which appeared to be supportive of my message.
The next day, I talked to a fellow reader, Chris, who’d attended my reading; he told me about a friend of his who teaches elementary school. His female colleagues repeatedly taunt, “When are you gonna get a girlfriend?” The dude responds, “When you get our nose out of my business.” I suggested his friend say, “Whenever you get divorced.” He laughed pretty hard.
The following day, Chris was talking to another guy, Matt; I gave Chris my card to give to my friend, and Matt said, “Oh, you’re the happy bachelor!” Inference: I’d been talked about. “You’re the guy who’s doing all that traveling!”
“Oh no,” Chris said. “That’s another friend of mine.”
Many of us do like to travel. And why shouldn’t we? There’s a big world out there, and we’re the badasses who don’t wait for anybody to join us.
If I go back next year, I’ll read more about my work in singlehood. And the next year. And the next. And I’ll keep spreading that message until the world accepts singledom. Granted, that probably will happen after I’ve passed on, but I can pave the way for future generations.
After all, we’re already on our way.
I’ve fallen in love with Hoboken in the last few years. While I did spend much of my early-to-mid 20s carousing around Hudson Street and Washington Street until the last trains home at 1:30 a.m., I appreciate it much more during the day. Hoboken Riverside Park has some great views of the waterfront and a nice greenery, and the streets have a vibrant feel.
Today was my meeting with Doug, the first guy outing I’ve had specifically from the CoSP page (unless you count Alan from Childfree & Single). My train was scheduled to arrive about 45 minutes before our meeting time, so I figured I’d walk around the park, but it turns out Doug’s an early bird like me, so we met up at Hidden Grounds Coffee Shop where we talked a nice variety of topics, my favorite of which was restaurants. Doug’s recommendations including Denic’s in Philly (I’ll have to try the pork sandwich with broccoli rabe), and the Dutch Eating Place in Reading Terminal Market, which (I think) fellow CoSPer Melissa and I went to when we saw Phish in nearby Camden, NJ back in 2018. Other places now on my list are Maruca’s in Seaside Heights and Dominic’s on Arthur Avenue.
After we finished our coffees, we walked back over to the park, took some pictures, and discussed male perspectives on single life, as well as some personal things males don’t typically share with each other. Essentially, we share many of the same experiences navigating happy singlehood as 40something-year-old males. We get those well-meaning “oh you’ll find someone” microaggressions. Maybe not as much as females, but we get them some. Doug and I agree that when we go out to do stuff, we’d rather not have to report back to a spouse, the way some partners make each other do (case in point: past friends of mine and Doug’s).
We made our way over to the Black Bear Bar & Grill for lunch, where I ordered a lovely hamburger mac & cheese wrap with a side Caesar. We walked around for a bit more, and when I see a bookstore, I can’t not buy something (or at least that’s been the theme during this trip). I went with two used classics for $8.
Doug and I parted ways at 4:30, and he’s off to Cleveland. I love your trips, dude. That’s a nice thing about being an employed (knocking on wood) single person; we can travel to places and not have to worry about partners, kids, etc. And we talked about visiting each other in our respective cities.
I wish more guys could do what we did yesterday. The world would be a happier, safer place for everyone.
Thanks to the pandemic, it had been a great while since I’d gotten together with anybody from CoSP (five months, when Michelle and I met for dinner that Indian taco restaurant in the East Village). My last trip in NY was mostly spent on lockdown, and I still managed to catch the Omicron. But this year, as things are opening up, I feel I should get back to doing the things I enjoy doing, like hiking, shopping, and meeting up with my fellow singletons. This particular was my second outing with Laura, my fellow CoSPer from Brooklyn.
After a day of work on my tenure packet, and of course, writing, I took the New Jersey Transit to Hoboken and caught a path across the Hudson to Christopher Street, from which I walked to Poke Bowl on Canal Street. Usually, I start my trips to Manhattan by indulging in an authentic NYC pizza slice and a street hot dog, but I’m trying to be somewhat good.
I got to the spot at about a quarter to 6, fifteen minutes before our meeting time, and as I was getting ready to text Laura, she appeared. I got this lovely miso chicken and shrimp combo, mixed with some green vegetables. While eating, Laura and I shared our future adventures, and I’m enthralled and impressed by the amount of biking she does (i.e.; triple-digit-mile treks through Pennsylvania). I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was eleven; when I moved to DC, I became a Capital Bikeshare subscriber, and for me, riding from my apartment in Van Ness to Dupont Circle is an adventure. I’ve got a bunch of concerts and hiking planned, and as I write, I realize there are many ways to adventure through singlehood (yes, I used the word “adventure” as a verb).
We walked over to Ferrara’s in Little Italy. She got a truffle cake, while I ordered my customary chocolate-dipped cannoli. We sat on bench in a little covered area, where we got real about singlehood, which is a conversation that always ignites lots of emotions. Excitement, anger, passion, all at once. Then the “monsoon” came; rain, thunder, lightning, which enabled our conversation to continue. Between Laura’s umbrella and my rain jacket, we were one prepared being.
Eventually, we decided to brave the raindrops, and it started to lighten a tad. Not wanting to traverse through puddles, when we parted ways, I decided to brave the subway to get to the PATH, and my brief jaunt on the Q line reminded me of a brief shot in Eddie Murphy’s Coming to America, where we see a subway adorned with graffiti, which was characteristic of 1980s New York City. It wasn’t quite as violated, but my fellow passengers included a dude sleeping across three seats and another guy yelling in gibberish and cursing to the air. Not quite the subway I remember.
Anywho, as I walked from Union Square to the 9th Street PATH, the rain turned to a light drizzle, and I was at peace, as I always am when I hang another CoSPer. Laura, you rock!
While I wouldn’t go as far as to say I’m grateful for the pandemic, there are some good things that have emanated from it, namely Zoom conference. While I do prefer the Brigadoon-like feel of the in-person conference (being in a world of people interested in what I do), Zoom has given me a chance to connect with scholars in Singles Studies, many of whom are based globally. NeMLA was fun and insightful, and I always learn from the Popular Culture Association and Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC), but with Singles Studies, the work reaches beyond the intellectual and hits me emotionally.
Ketaki Chowkhani and I have developed a wonderful connection through our work, which led to the International Singles Studies Conference, and through that, I’ve developed another friendship with Elizabeth Foulke. There have also been Zoom chats with Elyakim Kislev, and Bella DePaulo even spoke to one of my classes last year about her work in Singles Studies. This might have still happened with Skype, but the pandemic has amplified the opportunity for this remote conversations.
Such a remote conversation occurred on May 3, 2022. I usually rise at about 7, but since this talk was being offered by the University of Cambridge at noon, my alarm went off at 5:30, to which I said, “Okay, I’m up!” After making breakfast and coffee, I logged onto the platform. Ketaki and I have been working on our Singles Studies collection, so we each presented part of the introduction, which essentially defines the oppressive problems of singlism and matrimania, delineates some of the key players who’ve brought these issues to light, and discusses how our collaboration (and subsequent conference and collection) came to be.
We also presented work from our courses in Singles Studies. I shared the various activities my students engage in so they can be comfortable with their singlehood, whether it be for now or forever (dining solo, analyzing popular culture elements for singlist messages).
Ketaki’s syllabus fascinated me when I first read it; students examine and discuss a number of seminal works from our field (i.e.,; Singled Out, Happy Singlehood, Table for One) and some lesser-known, though no less important, pieces (“Death by Stereotype,” “Single But Not Alone”). The memes her students created on the class’ Instagram page were fantastic as well:
Katherine Fama’s talk about singles studies scholarship hiding in a range of places, such as fiction, in which there are both explicit and implicit celebrations and expressions of and advocacy for single lives waiting to be recovered and included. I was delighted to see a full schedule for a conference called “Single Lives: 200 Years of Independent Woman in Literature and Popular Culture,” which was just that: a conference devoted to legitimizing single women in our media. Scholars from all over the world presented (including from the University of Texas at El Paso, my alma mater), and now that virtual conferences have become normalized, I’m hoping for more of these international gatherings.
The discussion portion brought some great questions, including one from Elizabeth on singlehood as viewed the lenses of religious institutions, whether widowhood qualifies as “being single,” portrayals of single television characters, and whether a married woman who regularly does things alone qualifies as single. Here are some of my thoughts:
Religion – Steph Penny writes regularly about this topic, and Ketaki cited Single Friendly Church, a group striving to help churches become more inclusive of singles.
Widowhood – I would say “yes,” as many widows and widowers struggle to adjust to single life after their partners pass. This is why everyone should practice being alone, because at some point, even in the best of marriages, one spouse will pass, and the other will have to adapt. Conversely, widowhood is also seen as the only acceptable type of singlehood, given the stigma attached to divorce and having never married.
TV characters – Katherine said it all here; while singlehood isn’t portrayed as negatively on TV as it used to be, we still have some work to do. Even Sex and the City, edgy as it was at the time, ended with all four characters coupling up.
Married women doing things alone – This woman might fall under the category of what DePaulo would define as “single at heart.” This woman might live her best life as a single person; she just happens to be partnered.
Another random thought that occurred was the abundance of scholarship occurring in the Eastern Hemisphere. And I realized that while many of us advocate with fury in the US, it’s even more pronounced in India. Ketaki introduced me to Bachelor Girls, a horrifying documentary about the inhumane treatment of single woman trying to found housing in Mumbai. In India, marriage is such a centralized part of life that when rebellion occurs, it comes like fire. And I feel it coming from scholars like my friend Ketaki, as well as Saumya Sharma. And I love that heat.
The panel ended at 8:30, which is usually the time I’m getting out of the shower. While I was still tired, I felt the same degree of sadness I did when our Singles Studies: Global Perspectives conference ended. I spent hours connecting with people I’m connected to beyond the surface level, and once it ends, I’m back in the world. But I’m more determined to do my part for the cause afterwards. And Chester was waiting for me too, as he nudged me toward the couch for a power nap. I followed his order, and this reward was definitely earned.
Thank you, Reetika, for organizing and facilitating, and a special thanks to Ketaki for thinking of me.
We’ve made plenty of progress in the area of what it means to be “masculine,” but we still have a great deal of work to do. Opinions like the one spouted by Scott Galloway in “The Most Dangerous Person in the World: A Young Man Who’s Broke and Alone”, as published on CNN.com, represent a dangerous way of thinking.
I concede he makes a few good points about toxic masculinity. Our society teaches men to be competitive, and this can extend to not “take s**t from anybody,” which, in turn, can lead to violence. However, most of Galloway’s advice to these “dangerous,” “broke,” and “alone” men is regressive. Here’s why:
Galloway attributes this “problem” to the fact that “people don’t go to church as often.” However, to attribute it to a lack of churchgoing is at best, simplistic, and at worst, harmful, particularly as the author is a self-identified atheist. In fact, our history has shown that much of the world’s violence has been perpetrated in the name of religion (i.e., the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisition).
He then cites a decrease in college enrollment from the male side. This citation is emblematic of a systemic problem: that of a declining return on investment. As a college professor myself, I advocate for students to go to college. But not every person is suited for college; some are better off in trade schools, and people like me (those not great with their hands) need carpenters, plumbers, and electricians to do the kind of work that escapes my mechanically disinclined brain. The cost of college continues to rise, leaving many millennials in debt, as well as unable to find jobs that meet their costs of living.
Moreover, his advice at the end to make money, get strong, and have sex is misguided and offensive. I’m not going to argue that making money isn’t essential to one’s survival; you need it to pay for necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing. But it’s the desire for (egregious amounts of money that has fueled criminal acts committed by people like Bernie Madoff, Jordan Belfort, and Barry Jay Minkow, whose actions resulted in a lot of broke people, a problem Galloway mentions in his very title.
As someone who jogs, hikes, bikes, and lifts weights regularly, I agree in part with Galloway’s contention that men should become “super strong.” But to be able to “eat everybody’s lunch – or at least outrun them?” Mr. Galloway, didn’t you say earlier that we don’t have to “be ahead in every interaction?”
And finally, Galloway’s insistence that men need to have sex is indicative of the toxic masculinity problem that still occurs today. In many social circles, and in society at large, men are conditioned to hunt for sex and told that “they’re not men” if they’re not having it or at least seeking it out. Such social pressure contributes to coercion and rape. Moreover, Many men are beginning to identify as asexual and aromantic; Galloway’s comment is exclusionary and dismissive of this growing population who don’t gravitate toward sex.
Additionally, many young males’ unmet “need” for sex has resulted in the Incel movement, a hate group that’s based on a collective anger toward women for not finding them attractive. A few of their members have even perpetrated violence. Elliot Rodger went on a killing spree at the University of California at Santa Barbara because women would not sleep with him. Rhetoric such as Galloway’s may not necessarily lead all men, or even all incels to commit crimes such as assault and murder, but it can result in the types of mental health problems he references, as they can stem from low self-esteem based on not being able to have sex.
If the most dangerous person in the world is the young man who is “broke and alone,” then views like the ones written by Galloway are a direct contribution to the problems he’s citing. His advice is not doing society any favors.
Back in 2016, when I was first discovering the world of Singles Studies, I conducted an April Fool’s experiment on Facebook where I changed my relationship status to “In a Relationship.” It received 90 likes, most of whom I hadn’t tipped off about my plan to use this as an April Fool’s joke, so I assumed most of them were genuine. I then compared them with the 40 I received for an article I published in an academic journal, 40 I obtained when I found out I was recruited to teach an SAT Prep course in Malaysia for a week and a half, and 113 for when received my Ph.D., which was 23 more likes than the relationship status change, but when you consider it, only 1% of the United States population has received a Ph.D, while being in a relationship the majority of the world has done, so 23 extra likes is fairly small. Ultimately, it proved my hypothesis, which is the world values romance more so than professional accomplishments.
In the last six years, I’ve met a lot of new people, so I thought it would be fun to replicate this experiment. This time, the reactions were markedly different. This time I got 25 “laughs,” 14 “likes”, and 1 “love,” and that “love” came from a person who commented with a GIF that read “April Fool’s.” Four comments referred to my cat/son Chester, one had a GIF of a cat winking, and another even said, “Cats don’t count!” to which I disagree.
In short, the experiment failed. But Sylvia, one of my fellow CoSPers, that I’ve become more vocal about my single status and love of it over the past six years, so people know better than to come at it with singlist or matrimaniacal comments (even if they’re thinking them).
And that leads me to a point. Confidence is key when you live an unconventional lifestyle. And it applies everywhere. Dating “gurus” will tell you that if you approach someone with confidence, they’re more likely to be attracted to you. Interview experts recommend confidence in an interview, because that attracts an employer. The simple principle applies to be single, whether you’re single by choice, by circumstance, or some measure of both. It comes naturally to a lot of people, and others have to learn it. In some cases, we have to deprogram ourselves from the conditioning that marriage is the path to happiness. And while government, the media, and everyday life continues to give us that message, this skill will be needed.
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.