Single Professionals without Children; Why Are We Ignored? It’s a Crime!

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Please forgive me if I don’t “wax nostalgic” over New Year’s Eve. This holiday, as several others, leaves unattached singles at loose ends particularly at the stroke of midnight. What are we supposed to do?

New Year’s Eve is all glitter and flash which can be fun…. But, it is also most often associated with expending gobs of money and excessive use of alcoholic beverages. I like my wine occasionally, but have never ever been a “bar fly.” It’s okay in small doses, but I’d rather be somewhere else.

However, this is just one example in which single professionals “going it alone” are at a distinct advantage in our society.

We have made great strides in acknowledging single parenthood and even coupled parenthood without the benefit of marriage.  There are single adults by choice, and/or never having found the right person such as myself; There are those who are single by divorce or widow(er) status and don’t want to “try again.”  There are many in the LGBTQ community who may chose to habitually shop around versus commit to anyone.  There are disenfranchised people whose lifestyle choices and habits may always make them a single outcast. (You know who I mean…)  It’s the professional singles who are often “left out in the cold” whose interests are never considered.  Thank God we have evolved to the point of singledom not being “just a temporary holding pattern” until the white knight appears. Maybe we don’t need the white (or minority) knight! Maybe the white knight would be too high maintenance for some of us.

Consider the Facebook post I wrote on New Year’s Eve 2016-17 to reach out to others in the same boat as I.

SINGLES PROFESSIONALS UNITE! God needs to invent a holiday for single people. Truth be told, I’ve never cared for this holiday. We are forgotten by Hallmark, by families, by our legislators, by society as a whole. Occasionally, we are mentioned if we have “disposable income”, but that’s basically the extent of it.
It’s too bad, because we are a valuable resource, have a lot to offer the world and are just as important as the married people and parents. But, who ever realizes us as a group? So, to all the people in my group, you are important and don’t need to be defined by someone on your arm tonight! Upward and onward in 2017. Be who you are…even if you are single and like it that way!

In most cases, we are not considered in the family dynamic for what we can offer surrounded by the married ones; We are conveniently left out of coupled invitations, “the third wheel”. We are never considered by our elected legislators as needing fairer laws and public policies to help us meet financial burdens and future retirement.  We seldom have appropriate greeting cards for our busy lifestyles.

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With 51 percent of the America unmarried as of 2012, sociologist Eric Klinenberg wrote in his “Going Solo” book, that more than a quarter of us are living in a one person household and (irrespective of romance)  we’re not “getting a lot of love” regarding fair treatment.

For example, New York psychology professor, Dr. Bella DePaulo points out that we can start right from the top in government –

The U.S. government not only turns a blind eye to the problem of “singleism,” but helps enforce it, activists say. Just look at Social Security. “A childless singleton can work side by side with a childless married person, doing the same job, for the same number of years, at the same level of accomplishment—and when the married person dies, that worker can leave his or her Social Security benefits to a spouse,” says DePaulo. “The single person’s benefits go back into the system.”

UNRECOGNIZED AND UNCHALLENGED

Why does anyone have to be part of any kind of couple to get the same federal benefits and protections as anyone else?”

They don’t get the same kind of tax breaks. Co-op boards, mortgage brokers, and landlords often pass them over. So do the employers with the power to promote them. “Singleism—stereotyping, stigmatizing, and discrimination against people who are single—is largely unrecognized and unchallenged.” Other arenas include insurance and health care –

businesswoman-147101_960_720People don’t notice singleism, and if their attention is called to it, they think there’s nothing wrong. That’s why, for instance, car and health insurance companies get away with charging less for couples and families. “They can attract more business [that way],” DePaulo notes. In the process, they leave single people to essentially subsidize the benefit by paying more. “When married workers can add spouses to a health-care plan at a discount and single workers can’t add someone important to them, that’s discrimination,” says DePaulo.

According to Seattle Law Professor Lily Kahng- Author of “One Is the Loneliest Number: The Single Taxpayer in a Joint Return World”, Hastings Law Journal,“Unmarried people also lose out when it comes to taxes.” Further – That married workers are able to transfer wealth and property to spouses—and others—tax-free, while the unmarried cannot; Ms. Kahng concludes that the joint return penalizes single people and should be abolished.

Married people had a supermajority of political power at the time the [current tax] rules were enacted, according to Ms. Kahng.

When we look at disposable income and quality time… by and large, single contribute more, says sociologist Eric Klinenberg –

On average, singles have more disposable income. They’re fueling urban economies that would be in much worse shape without them. compared to married people, they’re more likely to spend time with neighbors, to participate in public events, and to volunteer.

If you live in Europe – Marriage Historian Stephanie Coontz relates – “The penalties for being single in this country are worse than in Europe, where individuals have guaranteed access to health care, and they have options beyond a spouse’s death benefits for staying above the poverty line as they age.

And then there’s Outside the Office – Did you know?

Biased thinking persists, “For the single homeowner or property renter, discrimination is rampant, because the Federal Fair Housing Act does not prohibit marital-status discrimination,” Langburt notes. “Not only do landlords discriminate again singles; real-estate and mortgage brokers discriminate as well.”

According to these experts, the problem is scattered and isolated for formal tracking.  In fact, single women are the number one home buyers in the country, but there’s still a silent stigma that these women don’t have money to qualify or that they will be a flight risk.”

Being single – Not exactly a piece of cake… But I, for one, wouldn’t have it any other way!

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References and Literary Recommendations –

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/02/06/singled-out-are-america-s-unmarried-discriminated-against.html

Book – Singled Out- https://www.amazon.com/Singled-Out-Singles-Stereotyped-Stigmatized/dp/0312340826/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1483305894&sr=1-1&keywords=single+out+depaulo

Book – Going Solo https://www.amazon.com/Going-Solo-Extraordinary-Surprising-Appeal/dp/0143122770

Donna R. Gore

 

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Somewhat Bedazzled and Occasionally Frazzled…. Life as a Single Professional “In a State of Inertia”


Ladyjustice has been single forever and a day… and wouldn’t know what to make of the situation if there was a significant other leaving dirty socks around… 

Recently, LJ was driving to work, her mind racing as usual… and a question arose as to how many readers could actually relate to living the solitary single professional life with primarily one focused goal.   It was like a stream of consciousness with so many bits and pieces to take care of… This author cannot relate to having babies, being a soccer Mom or cutting many coupons. 

The seeming mundaneness of it all would throw this blogger into a tizzy…

‘Just like that character Jeff Jeffries in “Rear Window.” The action photographer of the jungle and deserts would never “settle” for the ordinary.  Now, don’t jump to conclusions, that kind of personal fulfillment is fine for many… but not for Ladyjustice.  It just doesn’t fit in with the history. 

We singles maintain the illusion that we can handle it all…  We are in control… We are organized and highly productive… We have to be….  We bedazzle and expect from ourselves what others “in their right minds” and Type B personalities would never consider.  Ladyjustice fills in whatever spaces with more projects and tasks and necessary chores.  …just until that right person wants to make her a priority – [the ultimate compliment in this life].  She never learned the fine art of relaxation. [‘Just like her father].  

This blogger doesn’t have a cat or dog. She is not an animal person, but is very much a people person.   If it weren’t for the fact that a little kitten or scatter rug is a potential trip hazard for LJ, there’s no nurturing to be found by the furry ones… 

Ladyjustice once tripped over her vacuum cleaner while cleaning and broke it!  Enter a once a month cleaning lady from Poland who does a fine job for “neat nick” Ladyjustice.  And… Renata never trips over her own vacuum cleaner!     

This single professional is perpetually “running on empty for either gasoline for the car (CT has the second highest prices in the nation) or groceries -that evil but necessary chore.  [‘Also very costly here]. 

LJ just can’t seem to keep up with these two!

The organization is pretty much down to a science….  This author even bubble wrapped all of her knick knacks and most of her pictures on the wall about a year ago…. for purposes of a quick getaway and “to be ready to move to San Diego mode.”    The moving van is paid for and on hold….  

Ladyjustice attends the Church of the Blessed Whirlpool (Washer and Dryer) religiously every Sunday morning.  However, God will forgive her, as she prays everywhere, is spiritual, compassionate and giving to a fault. 

This author maintains the survivalist philosophy of even though you are singally responsible for everything getting done in life, LJ refuses  to devote her entire weekend tochores errands, bill paying, laundry, meal making etc.  Therefore, it’s three or four errands after work each day and dinner at 7 pm or later.   Oh, the “molasses line” at the post office, where LJ is a fixture.  By the time she gets to the sole workstation, she facetiously asks, “Are you serving dinner today?” 

Ladyjustice is very dedicated and involved with her clients eight hours a day and sometimes longer or on her own time.  The wide variety of crisis response LJ contends with on a daily basis would try anyone’s soul. 

These are people on the fringe of life with multiple disabilities barely eking out an existence.  Sadly, they are not the pride and joy of anyone.

 In fact, they are disconnected from or without any family.  No one else at LJ’s government agency wants to work with them because….. They do not show potential and they are so sheltered from the real world view, often with an entitlement mentality.   Ladyjustice has needed a change for quite sometime, but cannot forsake the security of a job with benefits just yet… 

If suddenly LJ went missing and appeared in a Susan Murphy Milano Journal article [Horrid thought!] the predictability and time line would be fairly easy, as this author lives in her “state of inertia” until she can make the next great opportunity happen. 

 ***Don’t be fooled into thinking that “just because you are bright, educated, attractive, experienced, etc. etc.,” that opportunity comes knockin’ at your door while you are watching CSI … It doesn’t work like that!  You really, really have to work at creating your opportunities and not expect others to do it for you… You have to be prepared to sacrifice normalcy. 

This in and of itself is a herculean task when you also have a full time job…. Any spare time ….is devoted to the pursuits on behalf of special people at Imagine Publicity in addition to http://donna.gore.com. 

What would a typical timeline be for a typical day in LJ’s abode?  What would Tom Shamsack or Denny Griffin look for in locating the life that belongs to Ladyjustice currently? 

Well, there wouldn’t be any blood, or cigarette butts or alcohol or McDonald’s wrappers around. No unmade bed [Yes, Holly Hughes, Ladyjustice does use hospital corners! Ha!] No dishes in the sink, junk mail is immediately brought to the dumpster en route to the house…. 

Tom and Denny would locate packed boxes of books, furniture, a cheery voicemail message on the answering machine and lots of writing materials in the computer room. Everything spent over two dollars is written in an accounting book; and the car keys always go on the little shelf by the door… 

There once was a great invention… probably in the 60’s called casserole dishes. They are the perfect one dish meals for busy people.   Ladyjustice delights in using this every day to bake her fish, poultry, beef or most other entrees with fresh vegetables …. And maybe a starch.   Eureka…, you have your balanced meal at the ding of the timer while busy on the computer answering e-mails, writing the endless story blogs etc….  June Cleaver would have liked it that LJ is carrying on the tradition! 

Speaking of inventions… Isn’t that streaming video and radio technology great?  The other day, Ladyjustice had Crimewire for breakfast!   This blogger has heard other shows in the shower … Well, not really!  You just push the little button back to the part you missed! 

Ladyjustice seriously doubts she will transform herself into slob of the century or even slow down if Ms. Right appears on the scene in the future! 

About 30 years ago, LJ shared a condo with her dear friend, Shirl.  It was an “Oscar and Felix” existence. For 5 1/2 years, there was this running “argument discussion” about,   “I don’t have time to put things away” versus “If you put things where they go, you’d find them a lot easier and save time…”   Ahhhh, those were the days….    We both are still “forever single.”

 

Ladyjustice