I’m sitting in my car waiting for the light to turn, when I glance over to a smallish white yard sign presented on a grassy island between a Super Target and a Taco Bell. As it is, I just love being stuck in traffic right in the middle of corporate hell. I’m embarrassed actually. Embarrassed that I sometimes give in to purchasing items from corporations that were manufactured, no doubt, by a 6 year old who has no shoes, and shipped from as close as 10,000 miles away.
Perhaps I can drive away before someone (including myself) notices me here amongst the other corporate worshipers.
But when I come across this cute little gesticulation, I just can’t decide which embarrasses me most: my aforementioned consumption choices or the affirmative answer I must give to the question it is asking me.
My first thoughts are defensive. ‘Ummmmm, yeah!’, I think. Is there a problem with this? Did you know that 51% of the adults in the country are single? (These are statistics I heard somewhere, so they must be true)
This little sign then offers me a website that I may visit should I want to overcome this state that I have gotten myself into. Now I have to take pause for a moment and consider the implications behind this. According to this sign, (and to western society) being single is not where a person wants to be. In fact, we are told that being single is a symptom of something that we must remedy. Think of it as a terrible disease, if you will.
“Leprosy?” “KillLeprosy. COM”.
Now for those who have Leprosy, please do not take offense that I have put you in the same league as a single person. I HAVE NOT. My point is, we’re both stigmatized. We’re both plagued. But yours is curable.
Is mine? There are no guarantees! Many people die lonely deaths in a room with tiny windows, a hot plate and unused Folgers single-serving coffee bags. Will this be me? Will it be you?
I will say this: I refuse to believe, if I do end up being without a partner for the rest of my life, that it will be bleak. As my old colleague Anita used to say, “There are worse things than being alone.”
Yes there are Anita.