Over the last few weeks, I’ve been having some conversations with friends about where we fit into culture. We’ve started to call ourselves Unicorns, because we are beautiful, powerful and very rare 😉
We are single, employed, in our 30s/40s/50s and beyond, independent, well-traveled, intelligent, and, to the consternation of many, quite happy.
You see, this is the first time in history we have existed. We don’t need to get married for economic security or social standing. This isn’t to say we’re opposed to marriage at all. Rather, we think of it as something that would be great with the right person, but we’re not desperate to find that person. And God forbid we say we don’t want children. I recently read an article about a woman who had decided not to have children and it took 6 years to find a doctor to perform a sterilization operation because they were all sure she’d change her mind. No one ever says that to someone who wants children. We’re SUPPOSED to want to have children and if we don’t now, we will eventually. At this point, I’m too old and even if I weren’t it would require some significant medical gymnastics that I’m not interested in pursuing. I’m not opposed to parenting, but I have no interest in having children and pretty much no one believes me when I say that.
Our culture doesn’t quite know what to with us. Right now, our culture is content to make us pay more for our taxes, travel and dry cleaning. And please don’t get me started on paying for other people’s life events. We pay significant amounts of money for other peoples engagements/weddings/showers/babies, and we don’t get jack. Birthdays don’t count because everyone has a birthday. I swear the next time I get a promotion I’m throwing myself a shower and you people are buying me some damned gifts, because my life choices haven’t cost you a dime. My other thought is to start a kickstarter campaign to pay for my vacations. I would only do it if I could see the look on the faces of the people who get the invitation. That would be awesome.
Our churches DEFINITELY don’t know what to do with us. Churches like to put people in boxes so they can tailor their programs. There’s Singles, but really they mean pre-married or divorced. There’s children, youth, married adults, senior adults. That’s pretty much it. Except for doing age-appropriate things with children, I’m opposed to this kind of segmenting of our communities, anyway. People are people. My brother’s church is doing a whole sermon series on parenting. There’s nothing wrong with that, and I’m sure there’s some applicable things to most people, but that’s not appealing to someone who isn’t and may never be a parent.
We are a trail-blazing minority. And trail-blazing is a lonely business. We don’t have a built in social system of the other moms at school, wives of our other couple friends. Our closest friends are friends from long ago, and making new friends is not as easy as it once was.
I’m not asking for a whole revamping of how we do things, but I am asking for sensitivity and inclusion. When I’ve spoken to married friends about this they’re shocked at some of my struggles. None of my friends are mean or heartless, just a bit clueless because they live in a different reality. Pay attention to the unicorns in your life. We are rare and beautiful, but don’t forget powerful…