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Worker's revenge? Marriage and kids

OPINION

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July 16, 2012|By Jen Kim, For RedEye

Being single sucks. I know I'm not supposed to say that aloud, especially as an independent woman who considers herself pretty self-sustaining. Sure, being alone can be liberating and healthy for short periods of time, but sometimes, you just want to feel connected and so close to someone that you know you could fart in front of them.

Not that you would, but you could.

Other than lacking a partner to share full disclosure of bodily functions with, single folks also suffer in other areas of life, particularly at the workplace.

Simply put: We work all the time. We work when no one else is working, when we shouldn't be working, and when we don't want to be working.

And why do we do it? Because it's expected of us and we have no other excuse. There's no baby at home waiting for us to feed it or some important family function to attend.

Our bosses are convinced the only duties single people have are to catch happy hour or watch reruns of "Desperate Housewives." Which is exactly the reason they expect us to come in early, stay late, and work (happily) over weekends. In their brain, we have no other responsibilities or pressing commitments. Our waking hours (and even some of our unconscious ones) should be devoted only to work. In other words, there is a stigma to being single: It means that you are often the single person in the office at all.

So how do we quit this coerced addiction to our jobs? The best answer is this: Get married. Have kids. Maybe lots of them. The more responsibilities that pile up in your personal life, the less you'll be expected to sacrifice them. Working on a holiday? Never. Through a weekend? Not a chance. After 5:30 p.m.? Sorry, I've got really important plans.

But there is a conundrum: How do we meet someone, fall in love and get married—when the only social life we have and the only people we are in contact with are our already married or not-so-attractive officemates?

Jen Kim is a RedEye special contributor.

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