"The old maid myth is garbage." -Diane Keaton
In the 1970s and 80s, I played Old Maid with my siblings. Whenever I had that dreadful card in my hand, my heart raced. I needed to get rid of her as fast as possible. It was better to couple with a fat butcher or lazy farmer or anyone, anyone at all. Cursed was the player stuck with the Old Maid card at the end.
How far have we come since then? Clearly, singledom retains a tenacious stigma. Yet we’re hard-pressed to find sound arguments against being single. Rather, messages are ill-informed and baseless. While more and more people are choosing, or find themselves, single, the media continues to perpetuate singledom as shameful.
On Valentine’s Day, Huffington Post reporter Leigh Blickley showcased celebrities who “always seem to be single”. She points to 20 stars, including Betty White. At 91, White hasn’t appeared to be in a romantic relationship since she lost her husband to stomach cancer in 1981. Thus, Blickley shuns her as one of 20 famous people who will “most likely to be dateless on Valentine’s Day.” Sandra Bullock, Courtney Cox, Demi Lovato and Jake Gyllenhaal also made the list. Sheryl Crow, who broke off her engagement to Lance Armstrong in 2006, is raising two adopted children. Yet Crow was, presumably, dateless and lonely on Valentine’s Day.
What can we glean from this baseless article? First, Huff Po doesn’t always seem to know the definition of “single” and “always”. Second, it seems it takes a far-reaching, moronic effort to further the stigma of singledom in modern times.
Diane Keaton, who, at 67, has never been married, says it best: “I remember when I was young I honestly believed in some ridiculous way that you would find someone who would be a person you lived with until you died. I don’t think that because I’m not married it’s made my life any less. The old maid myth is garbage.”