Even before the nationwide lockdowns, there were far too many people in the U.S. with not enough to eat. The pandemic has exacerbated that disturbing reality. More single than married people are suffering. Single people typically have far less money than married people, for a variety of reasons included discriminatory practices written into the laws of the land. But the big financial disadvantage of unmarried Americans is not the only reason they are more likely to go hungry.
[Bella’s intro: Because writings about single life are so often dominated by stories by and about single women, I am always looking for men’s perspectives (and from people who do not identify as either). I especially like this one by Daz Pearce, because it comes with an important moral: Sometimes, when none of your romantic relationships last, it is not because you have “issues,” but because, deep down inside, you really want to be single. And for good reasons – it is the best life for you. I call people who live their best, most authentic, and most meaningful lives by being single “single at heart.” Daz calls himself a “solo bird.” I like that, too.]
Many years ago, one of my colleagues became a father for the first time. One time, as I held his tiny baby in my arms, my colleague looked at me, grinning broadly, and said, “Bella, you’re a natural!”
[Bella’s intro: Maxine Trump (no relation) has thought a lot about the choice of whether or not to have kids. In fact, she directed a new film about it, To Kid or Not to Kid, that challenges all those obnoxious and insulting stereotypes of people who do not want kids. I haven’t seen it yet, but it is getting great reviews. In this guest post, she wonders how to be supportive to a friend who is having a baby, when there are plenty of good reasons to question whether baby showers are such a great idea.]
I love hearing stories of happy single people of every variety – women and men and singles who do not identify as either, young and old, rich and poor, queer and straight, singles of diverse backgrounds, single parents and single people who are not parents. Some people, though – maybe most – do not want to hear stories about single people who are happy.
[Bella’s intro: Keturah Kendrick is the author of a book I love, No Thanks: Black, Female, and Living in the Martyr-Free Zone. It is an inspired and unapologetic take on single life and much more, and I’ve discussed what I appreciate about it here, here, and here. Typically, I invite guest bloggers to write about single life, but because of this historic moment, I welcomed Kendrick to write about anything that moved her. I am grateful to her for this powerful essay.]
“Defund the police.” Whatever that has come to mean to you, whatever you think or fear it could mean to someone else – just set that aside. There is a bigger history, decades in the making, that preceded our current moment.
During the first two decades of my professional career, before I started studying single life, I studied the psychology of lying. My focus was on ordinary people and the lies they tell.
Ask if there is a double standard for single men compared to single women and the first thing many people come up with is the terminology. Single men are bachelors. Not bad. Sounds like they are free; they can live expansive lives. Single women are spinsters, or at one point, “old maids” (among many other derogatory terms). True, many have tried to reclaim the term spinster, the way the LGBTQ+ community rebranded “queer,” but it is still a work in progress.
The TV industry is fretting about the stories they will be able to tell as the coronavirus pandemic imposes unprecedented obstacles. A representative from one of the major networks, who spoke anonymously to HuffPost, asked, “How do you shoot, say, a romantic scene between two people?”