Apparently single-shaming is an epidemic, and I have become its latest victim. At work, I was discussing random mundane things with a co-worker I am not really friends with — you know that co-worker that always has something to say and you just pretend type on your computer while they stand at your desk yammering, in hopes that they’ll go away — that co-worker. During the one-sided chat, the topic of money jumped into the conversation, which went a little something like this:
Me: I usually work two jobs.
Co-worker: Well yah, you’re SINGLE.
Me: That’s not why. My work ethic …
Her: My husband makes good money and I don’t have to worry about that. I don’t have to worry about whether there is enough.
I guess being single equates to being a broke, lonely loser. Women are shamed for being single, while men are praised for it. I’m a lonely loser for being single, but a man my exact age, is a “player.” And the fact that I work, sometimes two jobs, and live on my own, pay all of my own bills, and am independent, means nothing because at 36 years old, I am single and a loser, according to her.
As soon as I caught onto the fact that she was single-shaming me, I felt this insane need to defend my singledom. I became defensive and kept trying to spew out as many reasons I could think of as to why I am absolutely fine as a single woman, but she kept purposely interrupting me. Every single time I tried to finish a sentence I started about how I am OK, she would cut me off.
Why did I let her single-shaming judgement bother me so much? There are tweets, IG posts, and Facebook status quotes about how single women are lonely, bitter, and sad, that I see every week, so why did this make me want to punch her in the throat? I think what may have bothered me the most was the judgement she placed on my ability to take care of myself — by myself. My inner-self went from angry, to defensive, to questioning my choices!
Why is it that we sometimes allow someone else’s opinions of us to make us feel like everything we’re doing in our life is wrong? I actually felt that way for a few minutes because of her single-shaming. When in reality, her single-shaming me had absolutely nothing to do with me, and everything to do with her.
Think about that the next time someone tries to put you or your choices down in such a passive-aggressive way. That hurtful statement or opinion is a reflection of inner-turmoil, way more than it is actually being about you.
Being single is not a curse or a guarantee of happiness. In fact, there are times when it sucks (see: “5 times When Being Single Sucks“) and times when you’re thanking sweet baby Jesus you can sleep in the middle of the bed, wearing granny panties, and an old ratty T-shirt. I take pride in the fact that I am very independent, and yes, like to work. Having a husband, for me, will of course be about more than just added income, as I’m sure it is for my co-worker, but he will be a bonus in my already dope-ass life. Is my life perfect? Nope. Am I exactly where I want to be? Nah. Do I work at my job to pay my bills and for healthcare? Yes. I am thankful for my jobs, and the insane work ethic instilled in me by my mom, who by the way until her passing, was married to my dad for over 40 years, and controlled all of their finances. Boom.
Cassia “Jonesie” Jones is a writer/actor from Los Angeles. Her blog, To Live & Date in LA, chronicles the life and adventures of a single woman in her thirties, navigating her way through the Los Angeles dating scene.
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