Single Ladies (and men), I salute you. Image sourced through CC Search
As if it isn't hard enough being a lone ranger in the strange world, single people are getting fucked left right and centre - and not in the fun way. Society is structured for those who cohabit. These beings can blissfully skip through the grey landscape looking down their raised noses at those who walk alone. Like the token awkward third wheel to society, the singleton is shamed, shunned, and at a significant disadvantage when it comes to most things.
So let's look at all the ways singles get screwed:
1) Train Fares
Groups get discount, families get discount, kids get discount, and you've guessed it: COUPLES get discount. Those cloying, annoying, couples that travel everywhere together too. As a single, you must pay full whack. Your central purpose in case you weren't aware, is to go through your single life paying top dollar to subsidise the lives of those who are living in the way society deems 'ideal'.
2) Supermarket Offers
What good are all those family sized microwave meal discounts, supersize bags of spinach that wilt and die, and yes the dreaded 2-4-1 offer (we will get to that later), to little old you? The 'dine in for 2' offers are the ones I find particularly irksome. For starters, there is no way enough food for two there, but secondly; you are made to feel bad if you indulge in one just for yourself what with the romanticised advertising they are laden with, and the scorning look of the checkout person.
House share anyone? I don't think any full grown adult would CHOOSE to live in a house share. But if you are single, and earning an average wage or less, this is your only choice. Unless that is, you are lucky enough to have parents that - A. you can stand to be around, B. are crazy enough to still want you around, and C. have a bedroom to spare - the house share is the only way to go. As a student, this is almost bearable, but as an adult who works for a living, and as a single one who may want to have the occasional (ehem) 'guest', it is less than pleasant. The market has priced the singleton out, and generation rent, only rents rooms - not full properties which allow you to strut your naked stuff around to Chaka Khan with wine in hand.
4) Party invites
Plus one? Better get on Tinder. There was once a time where if you asked to bring a plus one you were looked upon with shame - I mean you only invite the people you want to go to your party right? Thus negating the need for the plus one. The tables have turned, and now you are treated as a bit of a mangy stray if you fail to fulfil this requirement. As if social situations as a singleton aren't awkward enough without all this added pressure. Message to all party organisers - IF YOUR GUESTS WANT A PLUS ONE THEY WILL TELL YOU.
Friends having them, and you wanting or not wanting them, not being able to have a nice day out anywhere without them being everywhere. Urgh, kids. As a single you feel your time is almost up, even if you are only 18. You are constantly asked why you haven't got them, why you don't plan to have them, when you are going to 'settle down'. Surely most people would rather settle down with a gin and get stuck into the latest Netflix series (although missing the chill).
6) 2-4-1 anything
Multi-bag crisps, cinema tickets, cocktails, whatever it is, a single person does not need two of them. Well, maybe the cocktails. 2-4-1s are likely to lead to waste for the singleton, wasted food, a wasted seat at the cinema (unless you are lucky enough to have a single friend), and well - just getting wasted. There should be a universal rule, that instead of 2-4-1 offers, things are just half price! That way the savings are the same for people of every relationship status - it's not that complicated.
Kind of a continuation of the previous point. The Tastecard is a great invention, but most places only offer 2-4-1 as opposed to 50% off the bill. The latter is actually useful to those who like to dine alone. Eating alone, and the phenomenon of 'MasterDating' (not to be confused with 'bating' but not all that dissimilar), is an empowering and enlightening experience. It would be nice if there were ways to make it a little cheaper when you haven't got a date to foot the bill.
Single supplements for holidays are an absolute joke. Travelling alone is character building, and can be a great source of comfort for those who are looking to find themselves. Travel companies and hotels often hike up the price if you are sleeping alone. You can often find better flight prices but that's where it ends. Insurance can be more expensive too. With things like Airbnb, there are now more ways around this utter con, but still, it would be great if travel companies sorted this out and stopped discriminating against the independent explorer.
Although it is now more socially acceptable to be single, something which conjures images of empowerment, donned with its own subculture - the singleton still suffers on multiple levels. This is because although society has moved on from the days of 2.4 children, corporations, advertisers, and institutions haven't really. The fight must go on, and single or not, you are not entering this battle alone!