Last weekend I experienced one of the most deplorable aspects of humankind: discrimination.
Was it because I am vertically-challenged? Or was I judged to be an airhead because my hair reflects the miracle of peroxide? No and no.
The inequity I experienced was because I am single.
Discrimination against single people is a dark part of our society. But it never gets any media attention. There is no national organization fighting for singles rights. Yes, there are absolutely more important prejudices in our society (which are deplorable); but singles are people, too. And we deserve to be accepted.
So exactly how did I get this bee in my little bonnet? Well, I went to a charity event last weekend with some friends. The cost per ticket for tickets purchased in pairs (i.e., by couple) was less expensive than the single-ticket rate.
I attend a lot of charity events every year, and this couple-advantaged pricing is pretty standard. I usually just suck it up and pay the higher price, but this time, it really made me mad.
Plus, I was forced into an ethical dilemma: Do I just own up to my singleness and take the hit of the (unfair) higher ticket price? Or do I take the opportunity to pose as a faux couple with a friend to get the cut rate for couples?
Judge me if you will, but this time, I posed as my friend's "date." (Look I'm a single homeowner, and someone has to pay the mortgage. And $5 is $5. It's the principle of the thing.)
I know what you're saying: "Gina, it was five bucks. You're crazy and reading way too much into this."
Or am I? In an informal survey involving several of my solo friends of various age demographics, discrimination against single people was cited as an issue.
It goes beyond ticket prices at charity benefits. Singles pay more in car insurance premiums than married people. I guess the car insurance underwriters think despair over our single state make us more likely to drive into a tree.
What about those two-for meal deals so many restaurants are offering now? Or not being invited to "couples-only" events? Or having to a pay a "single supplement" or the double rate when you travel?
And who always gets asked by the boss to work overtime or the weekend or a holiday? The married person with kids? Um, no, it's the single person.
I'm not saying single people should have special status in our society. I just think we should not be singled out for weekend work shifts or have to pay more for anything just because we're flying solo. Being single is hard enough.
Gina Bever is a local public relations professional and woman-about-town. She's known for providing her friends -- male and female -- with thousands of hours of free therapy and (asked for) relationship advice.
ASK GINA: Send questions about relationships to Gina at firstname.lastname@example.org.