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Thursday 21 August 2014

Eamon Keane: I’m sick of singletons being treated like lepers

Published 09/04/2014 | 18:15

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Eamon Keane
Eamon Keane

ENOUGH already. On behalf of S.I.N.G.E. – that’s Singletons In Need of Good Experiences – I would like to cry halt to the disgraceful discrimination we suffer.

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Brave single men and women are treated by the rest of society as if we were lepers, citizens who are about as useful as an IKEA Instruction Booklet, feckless types like Hugh Grant’s character in About A Boy.

S.I.N.G.E are mad because a survey from the UK last week claimed that we singletons are the most miserable bunch when it comes to being happy.

We are ranked behind couples, whom we are told have a much better life. Worse still, we are miles behind couples with children, according to the survey by insurance company RIAS.

This discrimination starts early. I remember in my teens there was a spell when most of my mates had girlfriends. When it came to graduation night, I was a real life living leper. Frantic calls were made to get me a girl.

We went to a party after the dinner and already the other real couples had sniffed out that we weren’t a couple. I slinked off into the night, an outcast at 17.

And so it continued. You grow older and your singleton status becomes more than just a romance issue. Your whole identity gets caught up in it.

Certain family members and friends look down on you with a smug pity. ‘Ah shure God love us he tries his best but...’

And it is worse for women. Don’t kid yourself about advances made by feminists. A chunk of our society still brands single women as failures. They are regarded as either mad careerists or batty spinsters.

It gets so bad that the smug coupled even make up excuses for our singleton ‘disease.’ One of the most common ones is: ‘he/she must be gay or lesbian’. This is particularly popular in rural towns whose inhabitants first discovered that homosexuality existed around 2005.

Some parents want nothing more than for their kids to continue the blood line. They cannot accept singleton ‘failure’.

Excuse

They love the sons and daughters who can produce a couple of sprogs. I guess it does mean there is less likelihood of you nesting in their house into your 30s if you are married with children.

Historically one reason trotted out for being single was that you were actually going for the priesthood or into a nunnery. Obviously this is dying out. It has lately been replaced by the excuse that you are going into politics and hence cannot get married.

I suppose only a singleton could navigate the destructive effects of late night working sessions in the Dail bar on relationships.

S.I.N.G.E. would also like to highlight the fact that we singletons are financially discriminated against. Married people pay less tax. Plus they work less, availing of months and months of maternity leave and something else called ‘paternity leave’ (whatever that is).

Want to go on holidays? The pernicious ‘single supplement’ means you will pay more. And what about weddings? We singletons are herded into a table in a distant corner of the room, corralled like cattle waiting for the slaughter.

The wedding planner’s main goal is that singletons should pair up by 2am, just as the band finishes playing ‘Wonderful Tonight’. We will then be accepted into the glorious Coven of Coupledom.

Enough of this. S.I.N.G.E. mean business. United we stand (well, until we feel a bit tied down by the whole thing).

We’re holding our first public meeting tonight in the back bar of Copper Face Jacks – well you never know do you?

Irish Independent

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