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Onely On the Warpath September 7, 2015

Posted by Onely in As If!, Bad Onely Activities, Heteronormativity, Marital Status Discrimination, single and happy, Take action.
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Enlisted sailors go out and get married and have children. Because it works to their advantage.

A well-meaning coworker said this to my close relative–let’s call her Megan Muster–after Megan was finished crying in the bathroom. (Or maybe she was kicking the toilet, I’m not sure.)

Megan is a navy nurse who has spent months deployed to an unpleasant place which we’ll call “Stinky Stress Land”. She recently sent my family an excited email saying she was coming home, and I was set to meet her at a naval base near my house on a certain weekend.

But all that changed when her superior officer, the “Senior Nurse Executive” (SNE)–let’s call her Donkeybreath–told Megan that Donkeybreath was extending Megan’s deployment. Donkeybreath explained that of the three Navy nurses who were eligible for extension, Megan was the only one who didn’t have kids. So she had to stay in Stinky Stress Land.

In her email to my family, Megan said the SNE (Donkeybreath to us) told her the decision “ultimately came down to the person who had the least responsibility at home [italics mine].” At that instant Megan knew what was coming. Donkeybreath said, “LCDR Smith has a son at home, and LTJG Jones has two children. LTJG Muster, I know you don’t have any children at home. I’m so sorry, but I have to extend your Orders”.

Copious readers, I’m sure you can spot Donkeybreath’s many errors in logic. I’ll break them down for any new readers of Onely.org (welcome, and I promise I’m not always this p*ssed off. No, actually I guess I am). Let’s use some of Megan’s own words:

It doesn’t matter to the military that I have a family that I care about every bit as much as the next person.

Onely adds these thoughts: What if Megan had an uncle or a close friend that she was normally caretaker of, as opposed to children? Or what if LTGJ Jones were a closet alcoholic who beat his kids? Wouldn’t the kids be better off if LTGJ Jones stayed deployed and the kids remained with their stable, kind, grandparents?

Doesn’t matter! Not in our nuclear-family-obsessed culture. I’m concerned that our U.S. military is draconian and unimaginative and inflexible. I know we’re not Stalin or Pol Pot for goodness’ sake, but having a limited view of what and who constitutes “responsibility” can only undermine the morale of our troops.

As Megan also said in her email,

It doesn’t matter to the military that I have traditions with close friends that I was planning on.

No, because friendship is deemed less important than blood ties–for no real good reason that I can see. (And those traditions she’s talking about? Some of them include. . . actual children! No, she doesn’t roast them with a splash of cooking wine. For seven years she and her close friend have given kids candy on Halloween–the good stuff, peanut butter cups, not taffy sticks. Yes, gasp! She’s childfree but doesn’t hate kids! Craziness!)

But Megan wasn’t finished with her note yet:

Why should I even sit there and justify to her why my life is every bit as valuable as someone’s who has children? And the poor LCDR Smith who had to sit there and listen to her say this B.S. to me. He was squirming in his chair from the discomfort!

Whoa. Donkeybreath not only committed a crime–illegal discrimination–but she did it in front of a witness! Copious Readers, does anyone out there have legal expertise in situations like this? Any suggestions of what Megan should or could do in this circumstance? There is a law in the U.S. federal code that states it’s illegal to discriminate based on marital status (everyone ignores this law), but I’m not aware of a law that specifically states you can’t privilege breeders over non-breeders.

I’ve never like the word “breeders” much, but I’m using it here because I am so angry. Maybe later I’ll go back and change it to “parents”. Meanwhile, “Breeders breeders breeders breeders breeders!!!!!”

And here’s the O.Henry twist: The extension was “only” for two weeks, said Megan, who continued:

So whatever. I’ll survive. But it’s the principle of the thing.

And moreover, if it’s “only” two weeks, who gives a poop about kids or no kids? The majority of children left home in the States with a spouse or grandparents or whomever are not going to be much affected if their deployed parent stays away another two weeks. After spending months away from the military parent, the children are either fine, or damaged. Two weeks won’t make a difference. So what Donkeybreath should have done to choose between the three nurses for a two-week extension is flip a fvcking coin.

Onely hasn’t posted in a while, because I’ve been sick and just able to attack the daily necessities as life throws them at me: hunger, thirst, work, and–if I and my coworkers are lucky–personal hygiene. But upon receiving Megan’s email I spasmed and roared like a zombie bursting out of the earth, and this post came screaming out of me.

Screamer posts often attract haters and heteronormaholes. Welcome! I look forward to verbally hosing your a$$es, unless you bore me, in which case I won’t bother.

Copious Progressive Readers, I hope some of you will have thoughts on how Megan can proceed after this disappointing interaction with this particular Military Mindset.


Photo credit: Wikicommons

Say You’re Sorry by Slamming Single People March 14, 2015

Posted by Onely in As If!.
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Dear Copious Readers, Onely continues its quest to provide you with news articles about discrimination against single people (singlism). We strive for timeliness, which is why we’re bringing you this article merely a month after it appeared in the China Post.

Taipei Mayor  Ko Wen-je  (柯文哲)  pissed off a bunch of people when he said that

Single women over thirty are A Threat To National Security.

Sexism! Stupidity! yelled everyone with half a brain. But no one that we are aware of yelled Singlism! Until now. Onely, with our full brain (Lisa and I together make one intact mind), yells Singlism Singlism Singlism! between giggles.

Copious Readers, what kind of laughter, if any, does Mayor Ko’s statement engender in you? I usually have one of several responses when I read about singlism. First, there’s the kind that “makes me go hmmm“: such as Best Cities For Single People! which implies single people should move to Chicago or Minneapolis just to find a partner–never mind that they already have a great job and friends and balaclava in, say, Fargo. Then there’s the kind of singlism that makes me mad, such as discrimination against single parents (see these Guardian articles here and here).  Then there’s the kind of singlism that makes me laugh. I’m not sure if it’s angry laughter like that of the bad guy in the last scene of a James Bond movie, or if it’s laughter like I get when watching, um, Will Ferrell movies, or if it’s the hysterical laughter of hopelessness. Probably the latter.

The story gets even crazier. Mayor Ko’s words created such a ruckus that he was forced to apologize. And this is how he apologized (I paraphrase here):

I didn’t mean single women over 30 are threats to national security. I meant that all unmarried individuals over 30 are threats to national security.

Oh well in that case, you are no longer sexist, so we forgive you.

Again, few people noted that Ko simply replaced his sexism with singlism.

The article describes his rationale nicely, but we’ll summarize here:  Ko said instability in a country creates problems with national security. (Ok, we’ll give him that point.)  Low marriage rates create instability. (Really? Taiwan doesn’t have enough instability from other sources, such as typhoons and earthquakes and economic disparities and Big China looming just over the straits?) The magic percentage of unmarried people a country–or at least Taiwan–can handle before it falls into complete disarray is. . . 30.  (Really? Not 27? Not 36?)  A low marriage rate leads to a lack of families. (Because apparently the only valid kind of family is one with a hetero couple at its head.) Without enough nuclear families, there will be a lack of social well-being (nonsequitor much?) and the government will have to step in to make things better (God forbid). Thus diverting resources from national security.

Full discloser: I used to live in Taiwan. I understand that Taiwanese politicians face a constant pressure from the threat of mainland China’s claims on the island, and this influences the politicians’ opinions about national security. However, in this instance I think Ko has cracked up.

And when I read about his singlist theory, I cracked up too, with laughter. So for that, I thank him.



From Proposal to Privilege: The Unearned Rights of Married People February 14, 2015

Posted by Onely in As If!, Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought, STFU.
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Copious Readers: Four of us singles’ advocacy writers banded together to write about the scourge of. . . Marriage Privilege! Bella and Rachel recently published this article on the subject in TruthOut, and you can find Onely’s take below. We hope you’ll check both them out,  as well as a co-authored list version cross-posted by Rachel and Bella on their blogs. Below, skip to the More tab to read specific examples of marital privilege.

Declaration of IndependenceMillions of unmarried people in the U.S. and around the world are targets of discrimination, yet hardly anyone has noticed. It’s time for that to change.

Successful social movements upend fundamental worldviews so that what originally seemed unthinkable to a privileged majority comes to feel ordinary to almost everyone. Although many marginalized groups have still not achieved true equality – as the recent events in Ferguson highlighted for the world – many have still made considerable progress in recent history: African-Americans became property owners, businesspeople, and U.S. President. American women got the vote, and the earnings gap, which shamefully still exists, isn’t as great as it used to be. Gays and lesbians garnered more positive portrayals in popular culture and gained the right to marry in some U.S. states and other countries.

But during the transition from odd to obvious, there’s always push-back. People cling to their worldviews, beliefs that make them feel secure and rooted and right. A challenge to those views, even a gently-worded one, is scary.

Odd and scary is the idea that marriage provides invisible and unearned legal, political, and economic privileges to its participants, at the expense of unmarried people. Obviously this discrimination is not as nefarious as, for example, racism has been. But it does exist. It’s even codified: over 1,000 U.S. federal laws favor married people. This factoid becomes even stranger when you consider that today about half the adult population of the U.S. is unmarried (whether due to desire, divorce, death, discriminatory laws, or other life circumstances).

If you find yourself rolling your eyes at the above, saying to yourself that it’s not that big a deal, consider this: For a very long time, men went about their lives confident in the assumption that their ordinary experiences were just that – ordinary. Men were overwhelmingly represented on TV and in newspapers. Men were widely favored in the workplace. Men did not need to realize that women had equally valid perspectives and strengths, which were largely under-represented in dominant discourse. They were overwhelmingly represented on TV and in newspapers. They were widely favored in the workplace. They did not need to realize that women, African-Americans, and other groups had equally valid, but underrepresented, perspectives and strengths. In 1988, Peggy McIntosh, a Wellesley women’s studies scholar, took the lessons she had been teaching about male privilege and turned them on herself, as a white person. Her race, she realized, made her privileged, too.

Decades later we’ve progressed to discussions about male privilege and white privilege, and these conversations have raised our consciousness about all sorts of other unearned privileges, such as those conditional on age, social class, and sexual orientation. Yet marital privilege – a pervasive, powerful package of unearned benefits – remains largely unchallenged and rarely recognized. It is almost completely invisible to the populace at large, even across other categories that are now very visible, such as race and social class.

Yes, people know that if they marry, they get stuff, such as blenders and the option not to testify against their spouse (the narrower meaning of marital privilege). But these are seen as rights, not as privileges that disenfranchise other social groups (such as single people).

Many people are familiar with the socio-cultural aspects of what we call “marital privilege.” Perhaps the best-known example is the widespread assumption that single people will “die alone,” with no one at their death beds, croaking the words “if only I had married” to the spiderwebs on the ceiling. As single people ourselves, we have heard this warning from otherwise intelligent individuals, people who seem to forget that the world is awash with chaos like car accidents, cancers, and barracudas that could obliterate their spouse and leave the remaining partner to “die alone” (and be eaten by their pets).

If you’re part of the married half of society, you may never have questioned the social and economic benefits you automatically receive just because you tied the knot. That’s okay, because marital privilege is a stealth privilege: couples and singles alike are simply not taught to recognize it. McIntosh explained that whites are not taught to recognize their white privilege. We believe couples are especially unlikely to notice marital privilege, because the thing about privilege is that the people who have it can afford not to see it.

That’s why we’ve provided some ways to recognize if you are experiencing, or have experienced, marital (or couple) privilege in the U.S.:



Ashes to Ashes, Spouse to Spouse January 17, 2015

Posted by Onely in As If!, Food for Thought, God-Idiot or Asshole?, single and happy.
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Ashes_Stock_6_by_birdsistersstockThis is a true story, and a sad story. And it’s an amatonormative story.  (Amatonormative means privileging certain love relationships over others.)

Once upon a time, my mother’s sister, my Aunt S, died at sixty of a heart attack while sitting at the kitchen table with my Uncle K. Although Aunt S had been married to Uncle K for only (if you can define “only”) about five years, Uncle K was well-liked by our extended family because he was kind, funny, intelligent, and really loved Aunt S. We all grieved the loss of Aunt S, but Uncle K was especially torn up of course.

We have a tradition in our family that when one of us dies, we sprinkle their ashes in a certain lake, which like my relatives shall remain anonymous. One afternoon we all gathered at our family property at the lake. Uncle K had brought Aunt S’s ashes in a brown wooden box. The traditional dumping site was a spot several hundred yards from the shore, where the trunk of a large tree lay in the sand.

We had a motorboat, a rowboat, and three pedal kayaks.

We had this many people: Uncle K. Uncle K’s two sons from a previous marriage. Aunt S’s three daughters from a previous marriage. And Aunt S’s siblings: Mitch, Jake, Blake, and my mom.

We were milling around when someone noticed that Uncle K and the kids were missing. Without so much as a how-dee-doo, they had climbed into the motorboat, puttered out to the tree, and spread the ashes with great ceremony and words of remembrance–or so they told us later, because none of the rest of us had been out there to see it.

I was shocked that Uncle K didn’t at least offer to squeeze one or two of Aunt S’s siblings into the boat–or at a minimum, arrange a caravan of slow motorboat and pedal kayaks out to the tree, so that my mom and her brothers could also spread their sister’s ashes.

None of the siblings felt they had the right to protest. After all, Uncle K was Aunt S’s spouse, and spouses trumped siblings, right?


But I had to respect my mom and Mitch and Jake and Blake for maintaining their silence and letting the grieving Uncle K have his moment of selfish amatonormativity. That emotional afternoon was probably not the right time to pick a fight. Instead, Aunt S’s siblings honored her in their thoughts and by looking at the lake, instead of partaking in the physical ritual itself.

But if my sister had died (God forbid) and her husband had co-opted the boat and gone out to sprinkle her ashes without me, I would have thrown a profanity-filled fit right there on the beach, then tried to swim after the boat, then choked on water because I’d still be screaming about what an amatonormative a-hole he was. He would have had to abort his ashing ceremony to turn the boat around and rescue me, and once on board I would have tried to sprinkle the rest of ashes, but my hands would be wet so the ashes would stick to my fingers instead of drifting off onto the wind.

Copious Readers, how would you react in a similar situation? Respectful albeit slightly bitter silence, or temper tantrum?


Photo Credit: Bird Sisters Stock

Guest Post: Single in the Cocktail Hour of Life December 31, 2014

Posted by Onely in Dating, Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities, Guest Bloggers, Guest Posts, Secret Lives of the Happily Single, Singles Resource.
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Happy 2015 everyone! Christina here. It’s a new year–we’re all one year older and despite what the Clinique “anti-aging” posters at the mall say, another year past is nothing to be afraid, sad, ashamed, or angry about. All of us who have made it this far are privileged. So let’s not say that forty (my age!) is the new thirty. Why do we need to go back to thirty? (When I was thirty I was a poor grad student with a broken toe that had me limping for several months.) Instead, let’s say forty is the new forty! Copious Readers, please welcome Beth Portolese, who taught me that concept:

Onely is happy to have a guest post by Beth Portolese, founder and publisher of FiftyIsTheNewFifty.com, the online magazine targeting people in “The Cocktail Hour of Life.” As always, we note that guest posts may or may not entirely reflect the views of Onely.org (though usually they do).

Over 50, Single and Gratified

Guest post by Beth Portolese

I am a woman in my 50s with no husband and no children. What I do have is a happy and fulfilling life. Regular readers of Onely are probably not surprised by this. Being unmarried and childless (or childfree, depending on your POV) and living happily single is not necessarily an oxymoron, although folks might think so when reading women’s and general interest news magazines or watching television.

I didn’t anticipate winding up this way. When I was a kid I figured I would get married while I was in college and be on my way to having my first child right after I graduated, because that is what magically happened to and for girls at the time.

The reality is that I got married at 33 and never got around to having a child before my marriage slid downhill. Since my divorce, I have had a few relationships, but have spent most of my time single and definitely living solo. And, for the most part, I prefer to live this way.

Why is it that so many people feel that heterosexual men and women who don’t fit the standard mold of being both partnered and parents must be unhappy and lonely? It’s a mystery to me, especially since I’m well aware that you can have a partner and feel quite alone anyway. I have many single friends who feel the same way and we have created an ‘urban family.’ My particular group formed because we all live in Manhattan and worked together at some point resulting in us having gotten to know each other over the years. My brother and a few other siblings were added into our group, which increased its size. We all come together for various events and holidays to support each other, celebrating the good and productive things in our lives.

I recently saw a piece in the news about a gene Chinese scientists believe they have discovered. It’s being called the ‘singleton gene’. Apparently, their research shows that those who have this gene are 20% more likely to be single than others. Hmm, well maybe I have this gene! If so, perhaps the fact that I enjoy not having the responsibility of a relationship is genetic. If genetics enter into it, people might accept that being alone is normal for some people – it seems that when people believe biology = destiny, they feel a lot more comfortable.


Onely Commits Amatonormativity Twice In One Conversation December 20, 2014

Posted by Onely in Bad Onely Activities, Everyday Happenings, Great Onelies in History, Heteronormativity, single and happy.
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For a blog that for years has been waving its bloggy arms and screaming about how our world is largely set up for couples, especially hetero couples, and about how they are privileged at the expense of other kinds of loves and families (this is what we mean by amatonormativity, sometimes also called heteronormativity), we at Onely sometimes screw up and act just as badly as the people, governments, and organizations we critique.

And by “we”, I mean me, Christina. I don’t believe my coblogger Lisa, who is much more in tune with peoples’ feelings, has ever been so gauche as myself.

But first some background, in defense of my recent episodes (yes, plural!) of amatonormativity:

–For years my friend Natasha has been looking for the love of her life. The perfect man. She’s suffered many breakups, after one of which she told me, “He was my everything!” When I explained that, in fact, she also had a cat and parents and siblings and friends and a house and a job, she gave a surprised little “O!” with her mouth in that same shape. As if that had never occurred to her.

–For years she talked about how she was tired of being “alone”. For years I tried to talk her out of this need she felt to be part of a couple. Find yourself first, I said. Just do things you like and be happy and it will happen. Go on the internet if you are truly in a hurry. It increases the statistical likelihood that you’ll meet someone compatible (or get killed). Lots of my friends have met this way (and even lived to get married).

Eventually I just stopped trying to Onelify her. I started wishing she would find a stable boyfriend. (That is, opposite the one in college who played basketball and one night said he was being a snippy asshole to her after one game because his team had lost, and they had to act sad and upset.) She was crankier when she was single. If she was single and I wan’t, then she got crankier at me. Then she wanted kids. I wished she would find a partner because obviously it was important to her. My bloggy diatribes about living single and confident and proud were not for her, and I finally accepted that.

SO then the other day we were talking on the phone and Natasha said she was going to an Italian speaking meetup that night. So I said, “Great!”

Do you think there will be any eligible bachelors there?

(First, who still uses the term “eligible bachelors”? Me apparently.)

Natasha was silent for a moment. “No, it looks as if it’s mostly women. But I can never make enough good girlfriends.”

Huh? Who are you and what have you done with Natasha?

I (more…)

A-hole or a Hypocrite? Marital Status Discrimination in the Voting Booth November 6, 2014

Posted by Onely in Bad Onely Activities, Food for Thought, Heteronormativity, Just Saying., Marital Status Discrimination.
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3011331342_e5a2676af5_zHello Haters,

Get your running shoes and start digging your toes into the dirt so you are ready to sprint to the comments section by the end of this post. Though you might want to spare your fingers. You don’t need to tell me how much of an a-hole I am; I already know that and feel bad enough about myself as it is.

Copious Readers,

What would you have done in the following situation? Did I make the right or wrong call?

As you know, we at Onely have been harping since forever about Marital Status Discrimination–which happens when laws and corporate policies favor married people over unmarried. We hate that. So imagine my dismay when I saw that on (U.S.) midterms voting day (Tuesday, November 04, 2014) I would be forced to vote on the Virginia legislature’s House Bill 46, introduced by Delegate David Ramadan (R-87) :

Virginia Property Tax Exemption for Surviving Spouses of Armed Forces Amendment:

The measure was designed to exempt real property from taxation for any surviving spouse of a member of the United States Armed Forces who was killed in action, as determined by the Department of Defense.

It’s always terrible when anyone is killed in action. But when I read about this proposed legislation, I had to think, “But what if the person KIA wasn’t married, but had a very important person (or persons) in their life who filled some or all of the emotional/physical/financial criteria that a spouse might?” All military personnel should be able to choose a person to be exempt from this taxation, should the servicewoman or man be KIA. Otherwise, our government is not only discriminating against unmarried people, but against unmarried people who risk their lives in service of our country.

I sat in the voting booth much longer than normal (meaning longer than thirty seconds) considering whether to fill in the Yes oval or the No oval. I considered voting Yes, because I didn’t want spouses of U.S. servicepeople to have to pay real property taxes if they didn’t have to, because of course it sucks very much that their husbands/wives were KIA, and they deserve whatever recompense the government can/will give them.

However, I also considered voting No, because I didn’t want to support a law that I felt discriminated against single people in our armed forces–first, because discriminating against single people who protect our freedoms is yucky, and second, because I felt I would be a hypocrite given all the writing I’ve done about Marital Status Discrimination.

Yes-No-Yes-No-Yes-No. . . Well, you know those chairs in elementary school gymnasiums are just not comfy for this kind of extended rumination, plus people have an annoying habit of “waiting in line” behind you for you to finish your vote. Eventually I had to decide: should I be an A-hole or Hypocrite?

I chose A-hole. I voted that spouses of people KIA should *not* get those tax exemptions. Yes, I felt like a jerk. But I figured two things: One, there was no way I was going to escape that butt-numbing elementary school chair without feeling like a jerk in one way or another. Two, chances were that most other people would vote Yes on the measure, because like me, they would feel like jerks for voting No. So I could be reasonably sure the legislation would pass even if I took a small stand against Marital Status Discrimination by voting NOPE.

And I was right. The measure passed by 87.1 percent, with 1,829,691 votes.

I’m still not sure about my decision. Had it been any other law favoring married people, there would have been no question on how to vote. But when you get the military involved (I have a number of relatives and friends in the Army and Navy) those boundaries start to become less clear. Thoughts? (Virginia residents welcome.)


Photo credit: David Poe, Mockstar

Happy Unmarried and Single Americans Week! (Creepy Census Edition) September 27, 2014

Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, single and happy.
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September 21-27 is Unmarried and Single Americans Week.

Yay, rah rah, gooooo Singles!

So we here at Onely figured we had to make sure to get *some* sort of post up by the 27th, otherwise what kind of singles’ blog would we be? Got to post. . . got to post. . . got to post. . . got to post. . . But post what?

Well, we could join the rest of the mass media, which have been reporting like mad on the fact that single people now make up more than fifty percent of the U.S. population. Again:

Yay, rah rah, gooooo Singles!

Our cheerleading feels a little icky, though, when we think too hard about how the U.S. Census arrived at this figure: They included 15- and 16-year-olds in their definition of “unmarried adults”. Um, ew. I imagine a high school sophomore opening her front door for a census worker who asks, “Hey there, little lady, are you married? No? Seeing anyone? Free for dinner, perhaps?” No no, I joke too harshly. Census workers have a hard job and they do it well–at least in this case, where they were able to give us beautiful figures such as this one: 44 percent of the adult population is unmarried. That’s 105 million people.

In case you’re one of the few readers of this blog who’s thinking, “So the hell what?”, here’s what:

The U.S. government discriminates against every one of those 105 million people. We talk about this injustice all the time on this blog, so we won’t go all Singles’ Soapbox on you this time, but I did want to tell just one story that shows how unmarried people get the sharp end of the stick and, by extension, illustrates why we need a special week to draw attention to how single people are simultaneously both awesome and screwed.

I got this story, like all good stories, from a fit of eavesdropping. I couldn’t help it–my coworker several cubes over has a loud voice. No, to be honest, I just have very good ears. Anyway, there once was a thirty-something coworker of mine who had a sister who had a husband. Now, this husband was not a nice man. In fact, to use the words of the coworker, he was an A$$hole. His wife didn’t like him. In fact, she hated him. She was going to divorce him.

But before she could, the husband died. Unfortunately, I couldn’t overhear from my coworker exactly how he died. Perhaps he accidentally got stuck in the trunk of a car rolling into a large deep pond. No matter. He was dead, and his wife was, if not happy, then not exactly snorting teary snot into her Kleenex either. But her not-unhappiness quickly changed to full-on happiness when she realized that she would now be able to quit her job!

Yay, rah, rah, gooooo Social Security!

My coworker’s sister is now living on the $3,000 per month social security checks the government gives her for having been married to an A$$hole she was planning to divorce anyway. Now, I don’t know how long they were married. Some people might say she deserves the money for having put up with him for–for how long? One year? Ten? I don’t know, and here’s the point: to the government, it doesn’t matter.

Well, it matters to me.

I’m not saying $3,000 per month is a mungo huge bunch of money. But it’s not pigeon feed either, especially if it can allow this woman to quit her job and lounge around at home (although my guess is she doesn’t live in the D.C. area, which I unfortunately could not confirm via my eavesdropping).

I’ve been putting up with all sorts of A$$holes every day, such as: my neighbor who lets her unspayed cats roam the streets yowling and birthing little, skinny, suffering kittens; my coworkers who spend hours talking top-volume about chickens, Tourette’s Syndrome, the Kardashians, and the Redskins; and my boss who joins in with them (seriously). I even lived for one year with a woman who told me she double-bagged the cat poop because the CVS bags sometimes had holes in them, and then she asked me in all seriousness “Do you know what I mean?” So I’ve had my share of A$$holes in my life, but the government isn’t giving me a monthly check–because I never married any of them. Poor planning on my part. Maybe I should show a little more cleavage at work and learn the name of the Redskins’ main pitcher.



Recommended Reading: The Last Conception September 13, 2014

Posted by Onely in book review, Reviews.
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Gabriel Constans. The Last Conception. Melange Books, LLC. White Bear Lake, Minnesota. 2014.


51OayA6JBeL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_To my mother. To my wife. To my husband. Authors commonly dedicate their books this way. Nice, but boooring. (To everyone, that is, except the mother, wife, or husband.)

Gabriel Constans dedicates his book The Last Conception

To Love, in all its manifestations.

We here at Onely are interested in all aspects of the single experience and particularly like to learn about single people from different backgrounds than ourselves (Lisa and I self-identify as white, upper-middle-class, agnostic, heterosexual women). The beginning of Constans’ novel allows us into the world of single scientist and first-generation Indian-American lesbian Savarna, whose parents–still unaware of her sexuality–have been pressuring her for years to marry and give them a grandchild. Any unmarried, child-free reader whose parents have pressured them in this way will wince along with Savarna as her parents become increasingly fervent in their matchmaking–all while Savarna is trying to figure out her relationships with two different women. (I refer to her as “single” because initially she is not part of an “official” couple.)

Appropriately, as an embryologist Savarna spends her working hours manipulating eggs and sperm to help women conceive. She herself, however, doesn’t feel the tick-tock of her biological clock. If she did, this book wouldn’t exist. (Or it would be very boring.)

The Last Conception teaches that Indian culture places even more importance on marriage and childbearing than U.S. culture. So we have several layers of tension going on throughout the story:

–Savarna the happily childfree woman vs. her grandchild-wanting parents

–Savarna the American vs. her Indian parents

–Savarna is not religious, but her parents who travel to India once a year for some ceremonious gathering that Savarna has never attended and vaguely considers cultish

–Then there is lesbian Savarna vs. the heterosexual world her parents inhabit (though from habit as opposed to bigotry)

–Even Savarna and her closest girlfriend have differing opinions on commitment and children

–Savarna is torn between loyalty to herself and to her parents–whose constant nagging about reproduction, we soon discover, stems not from desires to pinch bubble cheeks or see if their grandchild has their eyes, but something far more weighty.

Through the course of the book these subtle battles wage, peak, resolve and eventually weave together into an ending so satisfying I really wish I could share it here. I’m afraid to say much more because I don’t want to put out any Spoilers. Let’s just say that ultra right-wing conservatives would hate this book, especially the conclusion. (All the more reason to read it!) One of our favorite words here at Onely is amatonormative, which means the normalizing of a few specific kinds of love relationships while marginalizing all others. The Last Conception kicks amatonormativity in the a$$.

Which is why it gets one thumb up from our blog. The other thumb is busy turning the pages for a second read-through.


Book Release: A Voice For Singles With Chronic Illness August 27, 2014

Posted by Onely in book review, Reviews, Single with chronic illness, We like. . ..
Tags: , , , , , ,

indexA while ago we here at Onely.org gave our dear Copious Readers a heads-up and review about Nika C. Beamon’s book MISDIAGNOSED: THE SEARCH FOR DR. HOUSE.

Now we wanted to announce that it’s available on Amazon.com as a paperback and Kindle book.  It’s also available on Smashwords and as a Nook Book.  Look for the paperback version on Barnes and Noble.com. Congratulations, Nika!

She also wrote a guest post on Psychology Today that ties into the book and talks about how to deal with being sick and single.

Copious Readers, I hope you’re not sick and that no one you love has a serious illness. But even if you are so lucky, check out Nika’s book anyway, just for educational value. You might find a whole new world of weirdness as you enter the seamy, stupid underbelly of the U.S. healthcare system.




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