HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
January 22, 2007, Herald Journal

Just another statistic

By KRISTEN MILLER

Well, it’s official. I am a statistic. I am one of the 51 percent of women living without spouses. I am truly honored to be a part of this statistic . . . NOT.

At 26-and-a-half, I am still single and living all by myself. On occasion, this can be a good thing. I have freedom to do as I choose. No one to answer to, do laundry for, or cook dinner for every night.

This 51 percent is up from 49 percent in 2000 and 39 percent in 1950, according to a New York Times analysis of census results.

Couples have become the minority. Granted, this might have something to do with the divorce rate, but people (like me) are getting married at an older age.

For example, I was having a conversation with my mother about my love life. And what does she say, “I don’t know what to tell you, I was married with children at your age.” Oh, thanks Mom, rub it in that I’m on my way to being an old maid. I feel like Bridget Jones without the 20-pound weight gain.

My mother was married with children when she was 21. This shows times are definitely changing. I can’t imagine having been married at 21, but at 26, it would be nice to see it in my distant future. If I had been married at 21, I, no doubt, would’ve missed out on a lot of things, including lots of fun with my other single friends. Heck, I didn’t even graduate college until I was 24! (I went on the five-year plan).

At my age, and with my group of girlfriends, I am becoming the minority among several “married with childrens.” The average age for marriage in that group, I would say, would be from 24 to 26. Well, I am nowhere near marriage so that average will soon pass me by.

But, I am not bitter (OK, maybe a little bitter). I’m just being choosy I guess – wouldn’t want to rush into anything.

There is a bad side to being single, though. Aside from the sometimes lonely, living single is expensive.

I need some sharing of these responsibilities. I think there should be a tax break for single women over 24. It’s hard paying bills and rent on one income. Forget the “women are equal” jargon. I make less than my male counterpart and I should be compensated for that. I shouldn’t be punished financially for not having a husband.

So, if more women are living alone longer, that just means that we have longer to be poor and the more likely we will end up old maids.

I’m not sure I’m liking this trend.

There is one good thing about being single at 26 . . . that’s less time I’ll have to be married!