Life's a bastard...but sometimes it lets up

The life and times of an ordinary Dublin girl. Follow her journey as she finds out working from home really ISN'T about watching Oprah all day and that perhaps men aren't really all bastards.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Simply single

SO Christmas 2005 is drawing to a close and yet again I find myself single for the New Year (not that I’m bitter or anything, no, not me).

Being single at this time of year is hard and it’s not made any easier by ‘well meaning’ relatives who insist on backing you into a corner and demanding to know the intimate details of your love life.

The urge to sing brightly “well at the moment I’m having indiscriminate sex with several married men and a donkey” overwhelms me sometimes, but so far I’ve restrained myself.

What’s worse than the constant questions about why you’re single, are the ‘tactful’ remarks when you mention in the first place that you don’t have a partner at the moment.

A colleague regaled us in the office before Christmas with the story about how he was invited to a party/family gathering over the festive season “with your partner” and when he said that actually he was single at the moment, there was a pause and the host said: “ah well…..I guess you’re welcome anyway”.


It seems you’re no-one unless you’re with someone and even then, the second you start going out with someone the whole world wants to know when you’re getting married.

In one of the Bridget Jones’s Diary books, Bridget has the idea for Tony Blair to introduce a code of practice or guidelines for single people, such as “smug marrieds shall not be allowed to ask singletons when they’re getting married”.

I think that’s a fantastic idea and the sooner something along those lines is introduced over here, the better.

In fact, I’d even go one further and suggest that the tax system be reformed to better benefit single people and give them something for their money.

Hear me out: at the moment in Ireland we operate a system whereby everyone (except bizarrely many millionaires) pays income tax and VAT and that money then goes to fund our social welfare system, schools, hospitals etc, which is fantastic.

However, the more I think about it the more I realise that some of my tax euros are going to fund others’ lifestyle choices, yet I’m getting very little back.

For example, people who choose to become parents receive child benefit from the State (albeit a paltry amount which should be tripled) yet people without children don’t receive free vodka and coke vouchers, or free 18-30 holidays to enable them to meet someone.

People who choose to get married are allowed to earn more before they are taxed at the higher rate of tax than a single person, yet the single person doesn’t get any extra tax relief for the purchase of revealing clothes that might help to attract a mate.

Do you see where I’m coming from?

Oh, though while I’m on the subject, I think single parents should be allowed to avail of both the State benefits (children’s allowance for example) AND my proposed Single People Who Need Nice Stuff benefits, because if anyone deserves a few free vodka and cokes, it’s them!

So basically I’m proposing a tit-for-tat system whereby every time there’s tax relief for married people, or mortgage benefits or whatever, that an equal amount is put into the Single People Who Need Nice Stuff fund which single people can draw from.

Who’s with me?!

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