Life isn't easy for single people. It's not just that cooking for one is hard or that ready meals
are mostly built for two, but the whole fabric of society seems to be against single people.
Single flats tend to be tiny, badly built and with very little 'imaginative' use of space for
storage, rooms, or appliances.
In 'Sex and the City', Carrie describes a cold war between couples and singles. There's
that 'poor you' look they give you, as if couples are the natural order of things, and you are
somehow missing out, but does it go further than that. Is society geared for couples?
Leaving IKEA one day, I happened across a sign. What you are supposed to do, for those who
haven't experienced it yet, is load your car at the loading area, a separate part of the car park,
but you can't park there.
The sign said:
'Please leave your purchases here and retrieve your vehicle.
Load your vehicle in this area only.
Do not leave your purchases unattended.'
Now I had a problem. The sign says I can't do anything. It also mentioned that there were
storage lockers available, and to ask a member of staff. I looked for the lockers but couldn't find
any. I couldn't see a member of staff, I couldn't go looking for one without leaving my shopping
(It was a bookcase and was 12 feet long, very hard to manoeuvre). The sign really said 'Don't
shop at IKEA if you are single.'
DIY itself is not a sport for single participation. There's always a part that needs two pairs of
hands to assemble, something that needs holding while you screw it into place or something so heavy
it needs two people to lift or manoeuvre.
Shopping itself is very hard for single people, particularly in the city, where having a car may
not be possible or practical. Carrying all those bags back through streets, on busses and trains and
up stairs is hard work, physically exhausting. I generally have to have a sit down for five minutes
before unpacking the bags (This is why I switched to Internet shopping).
It's not easy being single. There's no-one around the house to remind you about things, like
watering the plants or checking the answer phone. There's no-one there to catch you when you
But being single does have its advantages you know. On a busy street, I can nip in and out of
human traffic, without having to worry about anyone not being able to keep up with me.
But the main problem with being single is that there's no-one to sit in the back row of the cinema
22.04.04 Front Page
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