National Single Awareness Day Comes but Once a Year
A hugely appealing source of profit long overdue.
Posted Feb 14, 2017
As I mentioned at the end of my “International Love Yourself Day,” Valentine’s Day is followed by National Singles Awareness Day. I’ve been musing on that ever since.
I like to parse the language we use to adumbrate bigger things, my favorite being losing weight (“Honey, have you seen my weight? I left it by the door 15 minutes ago and now I can’t find it!”). In the case of National Singles Awareness Day, I have couple of inferences to point out.
National days, I know from my 25 years of living in a neighborhood that overlooks Manhattan, the Empire State Building is lit in colors commemorating the occasion. Tonight it will be all red. On St. Patrick’s Day it will be all green. At the end of the month, it will be green and blue for National Eating Disorders Week.
Given that Singles Awareness Day is a nationally recognized…thing (?)…what color would the Empire State Building be bathed in to…honor (?)…one-half of the population? Beige, maybe? (Are we a group that favors neutral-colors until we hook up with someone who has strong ideas on decorating?) Red and black plaid? (Are we a group of hermits in the woods?) White? (Isn’t our unmarried state waiting for the walk down the aisle?)
And this word, “awareness”! It’s usually associated with a problem – breast cancer or blind people (there’s a whole month for the blind, October). Is being single a problem? “Awareness” often goes with donating to a cause, but I don’t know what the cause is. Getting us partnered up? Making us feel less alone? Where there’s a cause there’s usually a foundation. Perhaps a National Single People Foundation could collect pennies at grocery store check-outs to deliver chicken soup and Robitussun when we’re down with a bad cold, or to get us to the doctor us in our lonely decrepitude. A March phone marathon to singletons, reminding us not to give up hope and jump out a window would be useful.
Or are partnered people expected simply to cast a thought our way on February 15th, shake their heads in just short of pity?
In the bigger picture, this is a national occasion, folks! We singles are the go-to babysitters, confidents of nieces and nephews, care-givers of choice for aging parents (actually, I didn’t do that one, to my regret and some shame: Thanks, Jim!). We are here for you when you need a buddy because your S.I. isn’t interested or available. At the very least, our not-yet-founded foundation should be passing out beige ribbons, or crinkled paper untethered balloon lapel decorations like the poppies on Veterans’ Day. (Wikipedia defines remembrance ribbons as “symbols meant to show support or raise consciousness for a cause", furthering my argument with rhetoric above.) Our foundation could haunt bank ATMs, where we deposit our paychecks that won’t be shared with college savings or paying for braces. Salad bars, the cereal aisle in grocery stores and department stores selling clown figurines are also places to find proud single people and the civilians who sympathize with us.
But why stop there? Why doesn’t National Singles Awareness Day have some oomph behind it? Why aren’t Hallmark, FTD, and Godiva making a bunch of money out of us? Perhaps such companies don’t understand what would appropriate for National Singles Awareness Day. Here are some ideas:
Think cards bearing images of said-balloons or ribbons, empty Chinese take-out cartons with the chopsticks still in them, unmade beds with one side in perfect order, a refrigerator stocked with carrot sticks, hummus and 12 bottles of white wine.
Here are some verses:
For my single friend:
Remember: Jesus was single.
You’re in holy company.
Sending you prayers on this special day.
Here’s to be being single –
I want to give you a jingle.
If you’d pick up the phone,
I would have to pay for a card.
Congratulations on 20 years of being alone!
Can you help with my daughter’s college loan?
We singles love chocolate as much as anyone else. Nestlé, take note: boxes could be based on Rubik’s cubes or feature Bridget Jones, the Gilmore Girls or Warren Beatty. Make the chocolate sockets inside any shape you like, but be sure to put the square candy in the round holes, etc.
FTD: stock up on black roses, and get familiar with the language of flowers. Given that this is the 21st century, we won’t consider flowers that represent chastity or innocence, but that still leaves some lovely bouquets for single people. Myrtle flowers and yellow carnations proclaim "no!" to love.
Red roses and white heather wishes good luck in love, and globe amaranth, which look like large clover flowers, with live oak leaves is a sign of respect for the single who is devoted to lifelong liberty.
For the do-it-yourself awarenesser, consider the gender of your foster singleton. If you have a bachelor in your life, consider buying him bright dishes, cleaning his freezer or planting flowers (see ibid.) These are things men might not get around to. For the lovable, madcap Mary Richards, assembling furniture, hanging pictures, fixing leaky faucets and a big package of Oreos will always be appreciated.
Here are some other gift ideas:
An assortment of frozen dinners or flavored instant oatmeals
Goldfish, with bowl and food
A Netflix or Hulu subscription
Adult coloring books and pencils; origami kit; jigsaw puzzle
A grow garden with seeds (see ibid.)
A Hummel figurine or Lionel train accessory
A dog bed or cat scratching post (hint!)
New sweat pants + a bottle of stain remover
Soap-on-a-rope or bath salts
The point is, we want stuff! It is time to move forward in acknowledging our singles. The day’s name should be changed to National Singles Appreciation Day. We are not a problem or a cause. We’re paying for your kids’ public education, shouldering a heftier tax burden, paying into social security we probably won't live long enough to piss off Marco Rubio, and keeping Tindr, Matchdotcom and Zoosk in the business of making Facebook profitable.
Given all that, maybe it should be called National Single Undying-Gratitude Day.