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Coming Home to An Empty (Of Humans) House June 27, 2018

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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IMG_4874Copious Readers, do you have the privilege of living alone? If so, what’s the very first thing you do when you Come Home To Your Empty House?

Some years ago, my long-distance boyfriend broke up with me because he was “tired of coming home to an empty house.”  Technically, coming from him that phrase meant, “I have a local woman scoped out to ease my loneliness, but if she doesn’t work out, I’ll come crawling back to you.” But whether you’re looking for an excuse to dump someone or not, “coming home to an empty house” is almost always portrayed as a negative experience. Why is that, when so many people across the world live in too-cramped quarters? The rich/western world’s disdain for “coming home to an empty house” is rooted in privilege. It’s also rooted in our obsession with couples and the nuclear family.

So. Let’s expand how we think about “empty.” Maybe I don’t feel an emptiness when I walk in the foyer because I have plants that need watering. Maybe I have messages waiting for me on my answering machine (for the purposes of this metaphor, travel with me for a moment back to the days of landlines). Maybe I have a friendly ghost. Maybe I’m sick of real people and look forward to sitting down with my Amazon Prime friends of One Mississippi. But mostly, maybe I love coming home to an “empty” house because. . . and here we get to the real reason I’m writing this post:

CATS!

As soon as my door swings inward I start to yodel in that way that all cat people do when they are out of human hearing (and sometimes, when they aren’t). I always start out with, “Hi guize!” This is a gender-neutral form of “guys”, which is necessary because I have two man cats and one woman cat. Then my vocabulary and sentence structure just go downhill from there:

How’s my special treasure trovey muppets? Are you purrs? Hewwo Theo, hewwo Murpity. Yes, kisses! Kiiiiiissssses!! I love you so so much. You are my most special moggie buppets yes indeed. You are like angels in my life forever! Where’s your brother? Where’s Big Al? Is he sleeps? I missed you alls so much. You are so very very specialest to me!

The other day  in the midst of these linguistic acrobatics I realized that I have never, ever greeted any one of my significant other with this much effusiveness. According to Disney (more…)

Please respond: Survey On Single Life June 13, 2016

Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, Take action, Your Responses Requested!.
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Hi Copious Readers,

Some dedicated writers-slash-singles-advocates have asked me to share this link and ask you to fill out the survey you’ll find there. These researchers are exploring how single people are perceived and treated by society. The result will be a book for lay people–by which I mean, not an academic book.

The survey is simple, digital, and multiple-choice.

Please share it forward if you can!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/singlesquestions

Thanks,

Christina

Want A Green Card? Get Drunk And Throw Glitter! June 5, 2016

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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Wedding-TraditionsIn a previous post, I declared our county animal shelter’s seating policy the most bizarre example of singlism I’ve seen.

Now I must amend that statement. The strangest example of singlism I currently know of goes thusly:

Background: My friend Aliza plans to marry to a Sudanese man. They met overseas but are moving to the U.S., which means he needs a green card. U.S. law says he is eligible for a green card if he marries a U.S. citizen.

(First, before I get to the weird part, I’m compelled by the focus of this blog Onely.org to mention that the green card policy is an example of one of over a thousand federal laws that privilege married people–for example, why can’t I choose a good friend to move to the U.S. with me in lieu of a spouse? And no, according to my sources there are no sponsorship programs as in Canada.)

Aliza wants a simple courthouse ceremony. Fair enough, right?

WRONG! The U.S. federal government requires that she submit, as part of the green card application process, evidence of their wedding, including photographs of their wedding ceremony. The blatant implication is that they expect pictures of relatives and friends dressed up, making speeches and getting drunk (though not necessarily in that order), champagne-dusted flowers flying through the air, a white dress, a black tux, and who knows what else the matrimaniacal legislators have in mind when they imagine a “legitimate” union between two people. The implication is that if their photographs are not convincing enough in the “traditional” way, Aliza’s husband is at risk of not receiving a green card.

We’re not sure that shots of me and Aliza wearing sundresses (or maybe sweats–in any case, the bride will wear polka dots) signing papers at a court desk while our respective date and husband stand sober in suits in front of some random photobombers (other couples? speeding tickets?) will make the cut.

–Christina

Photo Credit: The Wedding Band Shop

 

Tell Bill Maher “Singlism” Is a Thing He Should Broadcast April 17, 2016

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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Hi Copious Readers,

A few people on the Facebook group Community of Single People (not/not a dating site) noticed that recently Bill Maher used the term “singlism” on his show, but he seemed to think he had just come up with it on the spot. The term “singlism” has actually been around for years (coined by Bella DePaulo to mean discrimination against singles), and we think he should know that–and should be interested in discussing the phenomenon on his show.

Tweet it: @billmaher @realtimers #singlism

Thanks!

–Christina

 

Nuclear Families Defy Laws of Physics April 12, 2016

Posted by Onely in As If!, Marital Status Discrimination.
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Cute_grey_kittenI want to foster a cat(s), so I signed up for our county shelter’s foster class. Years ago I went through a phase of fostering Special Needs cats–with kidney, skin, urinary, psychological, and projectile snot issues. So I’m no feline foster virgin. But rules are rules, so I have to get my butt in a chair at the class.

But did you know that human rules can override the rules of physics? Yes! Especially when we’re talking about rules of singlism/matrimania/heteronormativity. Check out this paragraph from the orientation letter for the foster class. I don’t even really need to comment on it, because the WTF factor is perfectly apparent. Aw heck, I’m going to comment anyway, because my snark filter is broken:

Apparently, according to our county shelter, spouses and children of potential foster parents don’t take up any physical space in chairs! So they don’t need to RSVP for the class–they can just show up randomly and seating magically appears for them. If I wanted to bring a friend to the class, though, she would have to RSVP because she, as a mere friend, *does* take up physical space and require am actual, non-magical, reserved chair:

Please only RSVP for yourself. If you are bringing your children or spouses (which is allowed – but please be mindful that training room space is very limited, and the presentation is about an hour long), you do not need to include them in the number of people attending. If you have friends who are also interested in the program, they need to fill out the application and wait for an email inviting them to RSVP for themselves.

[Bold and italics are mine.]

–Christina

Photo credit: Wikicommons

 

Tackle a Bad Day with This Tip March 24, 2016

Posted by Onely in Uncategorized.
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Onely.org is opening a dialogue on the effects of chronic illness on single people. Singles are discriminated against by the government even when they’re healthy. I’ll get into the nasty, nitty-gritty politics later.

Today we offer a Tick Disease Survival Tip:

 

Like many chronic illnesses, tickborne diseases go up-and-down. For patients who can leave their houses, it’s often nerve-racking and overwhelming if you have one, or more than one, errand or social event to attend in one day. You ask yourself, “Will I crash in public? Lose my temper with friends? Keel over in pain in a random parking lot?”

No matter how many loved ones you have in your support circle, you can not just grab one and stuff her in your purse or pocket to comfort you on your spontaneous errand.

What you *can* do is put your best old plush friend from childhood in a Ziploc bag and take him along. Freaking out at the volume level of Hendrix playing in Trader Joe’s? Stabbing pains in your buttcheeks?Just stick your hand in your purse and there’s your little friend. Aw.

If you’re a man, and your plush friend is bigger then a wallet, this may require you use a murse (man purse). But why not? We’re bending the “rules” here in many ways. Wouldn’t it be a better world if adults carried around their teddy bears? 

I had an awesome coworker who brought a bear to work every day. But his bear was dressed in chain mail so he’s bad ass, not babyish. Unlike my little dog Cow Pup pictured above, who wears all the latest trends in Mange.

-Christina 

Marriage–Even The Dead Are Doing It March 21, 2016

Posted by Onely in Food for Thought, Great Onely Activities, Look What Google Barfed Up, Uncategorized, We like. . ..
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Even though single people–especially women–are taking the Western world by storm in politics and pop culture, our culture still has an unhealthy (unrealistic) obsession with marriage. Historically, marriage played many different roles in different cultures and this post does not intend to demean all the traditions behind marriages across the world.

Onely.org does, however, feel that marriage’s strong roots in abuse or belittling of women require that we look at the institution closely to see if it still meets our social needs, or how it can be adjusted to be a more equitable institution (IMO: Separ-ate Sex from State!). Or, allow marriage between the dead and the living. Either way, things need to be shaken up.

The below information on GHOST MARRIAGE comes from the very interesting Salon article by Ella Morton.

CHINA:

I am a previously-avowed Sinophile, but I don’t know the current status of the following tradition, so Copious Readers, feel free to weigh in:

The Ghost Marriage tradition (which is supposedly no longer legal, but happens anyway sometimes) developed from (shocker) the patriarchal family structure. When a childless single woman died, she left no one behind to honor her spirit. (Sound familiar? How many of you childfree woman out there have been asked, “But who will care for you when you are old?”) Part of the problem was that the woman’s birth family could not display a memorial for her; it had to be put on an altar in her husband’s home. But no husband, no altar. Solution? Ghost marriage. According to Morton,

A woman’s spirit can be worshipped by bringing her into the family of a husband who has been chosen for her after her death.

 

JAPAN:

I am a new Japanophile (?), having recently started Beginner 101 Japanese and read all about the classic Haiku travelling poets (Issa named himself after the bubble that comes up when you put a teabag in hot water–I plan to rename myself as well a soon as I come up with something half as fantabulous). However, I do not know about the ghost marriage aspect of Japanese history/culture so I’m hoping some Copious Readers can additional provide perspective.

According to Morton, who quotes Bride-Doll Marriage scholar Ellen Schattschneider, people who died early resented the “sexual and emotional fulfillment” they never received through living marriage. (Sound familiar? How many of you unmarried people have been told that you just don’t know what love really is, or that your life is meaningless, or that you aren’t as good at communicating and sharing as married people?) These supposedly  repressed, frustrated single dead people took out their frustrations on the living. Says Schattschneider:

Spirit marriage, allowing a ritual completion of the life cycle, placates the dead spirit and turns its malevolent attention away from the living.

 

(more…)

Single? Then you don’t have money problems with your family or friends March 2, 2016

Posted by Onely in As If!, Heteronormativity, Marital Status Discrimination.
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Billets_de_5000Warning: May contain unsound rhetoric such as rants and name-calling. (Welcome to the blogosphere!)

On the surface, it seems single people are now Cool. For example, the media has been regularly highlighting the importance of singles, especially women, in regards to the U.S. economy and politics. Feminist writer Rebecca Traister’s book All The Single Ladies has gotten many (deserved) favorable reviews from a range of outlets. However, we singles advocates need to not get too comfortable or complacent.  There is still singlist bullpoop out there, in huge steaming piles. For instance, someone is starting a new organization to help people manage money–but only in the context of the nuclear family. The founders declare themselves “a Christian organization” but obviously their “Christian values” only extend to people who have state-sanctioned sex.

How do I know this? I subscribe to a website that solicits help naming various new companies. They regularly announce contests to name new startups, or a revamped doctors’ offices, or what have you. According to an email I received, the above-described financial consultation organization’s goals are to

help families create a strong and healthy relationship with money in their marriages. We are focused on married people and families with young children. . .

and to

help families strengthen their emotional, spiritual, and practical relationship with money. . . think of relationship enrichment and financial advice combined. . .

Because apparently single people don’t have any loved ones they share financial issues with and so don’t need any guidance navigating those murky money waters. According to the founders of this organization, my single cousin doesn’t need help managing the low-interest loan she took from my parents for nursing school; according to this company, as a single person, I  didn’t need help recovering the 500 dollars from a ticket incurred on my car by a former friend of mine; according to this company, only spouses and children pass money between each other, and those are the only financial relationships that need “enriching” (probably no pun intended–I doubt the authors were smart enough).

So why would the founders limit their demographic so severely? Because they’re small-minded, ignorant, and ultimately on the road to self-destruction before they even get started. Given the many federal laws that privilege married people over singles financially, you’d think that maybe singles are more likely to need money guidance (for example, how to pass property or money to a non-spouse without paying a huge gift tax).

The organization says that for their new name, they are “open to both abstract and names that clearly describe who we are”. Ok then! A few suggestions, for names and slogans:

Financial Help from Heteronormaholes

We Tell You Who’s Important

Some Hearts Are More Equal Than Others

Matrimania In Your Wallet

Copious Readers, do you have other suggestions?

–Christina

PS. See also: http://nymag.com/thecut/2016/02/political-power-single-women-c-v-r.html by Traister

Photo credit: Wikicommons

 

 

 

Singlist Quote Of The Week February 27, 2016

Posted by Onely in As If!, Look What Google Barfed Up, Marital Status Discrimination.
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Let them study, get married, then they can get their own phones.

–Ranjit Singh Thakor, president of the Mehsana district in Gujarat, India, speaking about single women.

Per this Reuters article by Rina Chandran), an increasing number of villages in Gujarat and Bihar Provinces forbid girls and single women from having cell phones, because the phones ostensibly “distract them from their studies” or cause them to elope. (No word on why men are not similarly affected by cell phones.)

Hmm, I recall a couple hundred years ago (I’m very old)  when another leader supposedly said of a marginalized demographic:

Let them eat cake!

Whatever happened to her?

–Christina

Singles: Married People’s Poop Pollutes Less Than Yours February 11, 2016

Posted by Onely in As If!, Marital Status Discrimination.
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Copious Readers: Just FYI, my long absence from Onely is not because I have lost interest in singles’ issues–on the contrary, I read about them every day in my Google feed–but because I have been sick. I had to focus more on the immediacies of daily life: food, medicine, mortgage, and, ahem, reruns of “Worst Cooks in America” on Netflix. But I was inspired to fight my way back to the keyboard through the pain for you, Copious Readers, to let you know that if you single, you had better get married, because if you’re married, your sh&t don’t stink. 

hqdefaultA tiny article in my parents’ local paper on Thursday, June 18 2015 announced: One Quarter of Septic Systems Found To Be Failing. (It doesn’t seem to be online; but here’s the article that predated it.)

Never one to shy away from an opportunity to read about poop, I explored this issue further, and I found the strangest instance of singlism (discrimination against single people) that I have yet encountered in all my years of writing this blog.

But first, some background: My parents live in a little log cabin on a lake within minutes of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Native Americans considered it sacred long before my great-grandparents built a cabin there. My great-grandparents settled there long before the area was named “the most beautiful place in America” by Good Morning America. After that, the park drew increasing numbers of the kind of tourists who had a lot of money, but not a lot of imagination–the kind of people who have to be told where to visit, instead of inspiring themselves with their own research. (Yeah, yeah, bitter much?)

With the resulting crowds and McMansions in the woods (our little cabin is now megavintage), there’s been a struggle to maintain the area’s aesthetic integrity. Nearby Glen Arbor Township became “the first township in [Leelanau] county to require septic and well inspections for properties changing ownership,” according to the article. Failing or poorly constructed septic tanks can contaminate groundwater in a watershed that feeds dozens of small lakes, as well as Lake Michigan.

But here’s the thing:

If you sell the property to your spouse, you do *not* need to get your septic tank inspected.

Your twenty-year-old tank could be leaching poop-laced water into the surrounding earth 24-7, but that’s ok, because if you’re married, your poop doesn’t contain bacteria and toxins that pollute the soil and water tables. Or so it would seem, according to this ruling by the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department. As soon as you say, “‘Til death do us part,” your colon automatically purges itself of all environmentally toxic and pathogenic micro-organisms and chemicals (which is why wedding clothiers are increasingly offering the Silk Diaper option as an add-on feature to your dress or tux).

Who knew?

–Christina

Photo credit: Jim Duncan, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1TZlwKHVo0

 

 

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