Valentine’s Day – a reason to celebrate being single

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While tradition honors coupledom on this made-up American holiday, there’s plenty of room to be creative about making it a day to celebrate your singleness.  One simple way is just to smile and ignore the day! Another is to choose a friend or relative or two you really like and send them a Valentine’s wish.

One SWWAN member has another idea. Ever the hopeful romantic, Jacquee Thomas, who writes a delightful website called A Romantic’s Perspective, suggests some neat ideas for throwing a singles-only party. Themes and all that. And here’s her idea of making a singles-only party one big date.

But if you aren’t into pursuing dates or romance or relationships, that’s perfectly okay. You have tons of company. If you know or can find any little kids, buy some of those cute-saying sugary heart candies and give them some with a little card. The kids love it, and they’re not worried about romance at all. And you’ll have fun watching their expressions.

Or if you’re like me, you may stay home, pour yourself a glass of something delicious–champagne, cognac, perhaps a La Pinta Royale cocktail, or whatever makes you feel special—and sit back and enjoy the evening. Listen to music, watch a good movie (do you know how fabulous Netflix instant view is on your computer?), read an engrossing book, or just light a candle and appreciate the night.

Happy Valentine’s day to you all.

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Saudi businesswomen stop fighting the system and create a women-only city

Saudi Arabia is a society totally controlled by males.

Map of the territory and area covered by prese...

Map of the territory and area covered by present-day Saudi Arabia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Many Saudi women wear the burka and, despite their earning 60% of the country’s college degrees, including PhDs, females constitute only 15% of the workforce. They can’t marry, divorce or travel without permission from a man. Segregating the sexes in workplaces is a long-honored tradition in Saudi Arabia, according to an article in Autostraddle.

Now a group of businesswomen have decided to create their own, all-female Saudi city. Hofuf is the first of five planned cities where women will be able to pursue careers, living, working and socializing in a more open environment.

It’s a good article—objectively covers a lot of pros and cons about this revolutionary concept. I have to say that, coming from a family where males were automatically considered superior, my experience attending an all-girls high school was my first opportunity to test my skills and talents without the gender imbalance working against me. I gained a great deal from being able to do that at an important stage of my life.

I can’t imagine living with the restrictions Saudi women are up against. But I also can’t think there’s anything negative about creating their own forum for exercising their brains, skills and talents. As for the faulty idea of separate but equal that didn’t work so well for race, I think it doesn’t apply here. As one commenter said, the only thing these women might have to worry about is backlash from some Saudi men who will be threatened if the women succeed “too well.”

And even though it doesn’t say so, I’m going to bet that a big portion of the energy for this idea and its execution comes from college-degreed single working women—who might have to stand up to only their resistant fathers and brothers rather than to both them and husbands!

Congratulations, ladies. Looking forward to hearing about many good things ahead.

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TV station celebrates Single Working Women’s Week!

Congratulations to Kansas City’s Channel 4 television

English: Picture taken from the Liberty Memori...
English: Picture taken from the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO. High Resolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

station’s Morning Show for celebrating Single Working Women’s Week. It may be only an article about fashion, but they’ve got the right idea. Fabulous!

And I hope you are finding something nice to do for yourself and your single working women friends this week. We all deserve it and this is our own special holiday!

P.S. This year we have a Single Working Women’s Day – August 4. Yahoo!

 

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Single moms: How to protect your kids’ future

Universal Life Insurance Company

Universal Life Insurance Company (Photo credit: Thomas Hawk)

If you’re a single mom, whether divorced or never married, you’re likely always thinking about how to ensure the health and welfare of your child(ren) no matter what happens to you. The task of picking someone to become guardian is the first and most daunting one. What if you don’t have a friend or relative who’d want to do it—or who’d have the required patience and energy? Here are 7 big questions you need to consider when it comes to appointing a guardian for your kids.

Then there’s money. If you aren’t around anymore or become disabled and can’t earn an income, who’s going to finance the rearing of your kid(s)? Recent stats put the minimum amount to raise a child at $286,000, according to a CBS report on figures from the Department of Agriculture (huh? the DoA?). And the more money you make, the more you spend on rearing your child(ren) so if you’ve got money, that number could be substantially higher.

The cost of life insurance is not included in that hefty figure. Now I’ve not had any life insurance since the days I was married, so I’m not an expert on this topic. But I do know I wished many times that I could have afforded some. And I know that many sources I’ve checked over the years advised that term life insurance was the best type to invest in. That said, here’s an article that talks about the potential benefits of life insurance, either term or whole life, for single parents. It makes some good points. But consult other resources that aren’t affiliated with the insurance industry before you make a decision.

For myself it was a huge relief when my kids grew up and became independent. My daughters did have to put up with a lot because there was a divorce, but we are lucky. They’re both wonderful adults I’m proud to call my family. Be strong. Be creative. You can do it, single moms!

And don’t forget to congratulate yourself and all your single friends this July 29 through August 4—it’s Single Working Women’s Week again. Celebrate your courage and creativity. It’s a special time to be good to yourself and to all your single women friends.

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HuffPost author tells single women: “don’t be so picky”

Yesterday I followed a Google News alert link to an article telling single working women how to increase their chances of getting a partner. I definitely wanted to express an opinion about the article, but when I tried to write this as a comment on the column itself, after multiple frustrating tries, it simply didn’t allow me to post my comment. So I’m writing here on SWWAN.

Holly Sidell, author of the Huff Post Women section, does tend to write about dating, so you might expect this sort of thing. But still I was surprised to find her suggesting that some impliedly-significant percentage of women are “still” single because they’re too picky. She writes about how she decided to negotiate her “deal breakers” (I can’t be with anyone who…) with her latest flame and how she has now found love. She then suggests that perhaps if other women would do the same with their deal breakers, they, too, might find the perfect mate. My thoughts:

A) Seems wrong to write as if being paired up is the state to which all women aspire. Not every woman feels that way.

B) Regardless of  what boundaries a woman creates, it seems just as reasonable to assume that deal-breakers become negotiable not when you randomly decide to negotiate them, but when the circumstances fit and the feelings between the two people are strong enough to allow, or even compel, them to work such things out.

That’s one thing I don’t enjoy: lectures about ways to get un-single.

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Why is it so hot? How to cool yourself down

Heat, smog, sweat

Heat, smog, sweat

How’s the weather by you? We are having record-breaking heat for March in Chicago and over most of the Central and Midwest U.S. When it’s 73 degrees at 9:30 at night, you’re talking the middle of summer. Uh, excuse me, we just celebrated St. Patrick‘s Day.

Something is seriously wrong here.

A few folks have some stats and ideas as to why it’s happening. The American Thinker says high-temperature records are being set all over the country—66 degrees at midnight in International Falls, MN, known as the country’s Icebox. That’s 6 degrees higher than the city’s previous record. Read more about this incredible 2012 winter heat wave.

I live in a wonderful seniors building, but sadly they have an HVAC system that can only be one thing or the other—heat or air conditioning. And a city ordinance says they must provide heat until May 15—no matter how hot it gets. And because of how my apartment is situated, I get zero breeze when the windows are open. So I can tell you it’s stifling in here.

Found a really thorough article on WikiHow that describes a bunch of ideas for how to cool yourself down without air conditioning. I like that a lot of these ideas involve creative uses of tap water.

And here’s another one. If you have a significant other, avoid the body heat and sleep in separate beds. That’s one we singles usually don’t have to worry about!

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British stars surprise on Intl Women’s Day

Български: Джуди Денч на церемонията по връчва...

Image via Wikipedia

It’s a strange video. British film star Daniel Craig, better known as the latest James Bond hero, walks solemnly up to the camera while Dame Judi Dench, known as M in those Bond films, describes the ways in which women are not yet remotely “equal.”

Then she asks if you don’t believe it, “What if you were a woman?” and slowly a blonde-bewigged Bond girl walks up to the camera. As Dench continues speaking, the blonde slowly removes the wig and reveals her/himself as Craig in drag. Dramatic way to point out the significance of the 100th annual International Women’s Day.

For those of you too young to remember, I was reminded  of the good-natured 1974 commercial when New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath sported a pair of pantyhose. While it was encouraging women to wear that brand—and Namath was demonstrating his own considerable sense of humor—this celebrity spot certainly wasn’t making any political statements.

Turn up the volume and listen to the Craig-and-Dench reminder that we women still have a long way to go. Good for you, Daniel and Judi. Just like SWWAN, you’re out to raise awareness.

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Singles: Loving life–but paying more!

Robie House (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), ...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright‘s work. He designed some of the world’s most unique architectural designs back in the early 20th century—a time when thinking out of the box was still unusual—and his work has survived the test of time. He lived in Chicago for a while, and there’s an active preservation society here. My sister and I visited his studio out in Oak Park a few weeks ago and enjoyed it immensely.

Today I received the below inviting me to attend a 4-day tour of Wright’s works on the North Shore. And I was sad to see—as Bella DePaulo has often pointed out—that singles pay more for the privilege of participating in this tour. Since the price for the tour is all-inclusive, how would the tour operators make more money from people doubling up in rooms? Is it because the hotel might not have enough rooms if too many demanded single rooms?

In any case, the “single room supplement” (see the last line below) equals an increase of more than 13% in the price. Hmmm. Anyone out there get paid 13% extra for your work because you’re single?

Ultimate Plus℠ Package

Extend the magic of Wright Plus to a unique long-weekend experience, including accommodations. Immerse yourself in six spectacular events in four unforgettable days.

Featuring:

  • Invitation-only Chairman’s Reception in the spectacular lobby of Chicago’s Rookery Building, and Private Tour of the Burnham Library.
  • Private Passage to Wright’s North Shore, a delightful all-day excursion with a tour of privately owned Wright-designed homes located in Chicago’s exclusive North Shore neighborhood. Ultimate Plus Exclusive.
  • The celebrated Wright Plus Housewalk. You will enjoy a Housewalk Fast Pass – allows immediate access to all Housewalk homes. No waiting in lines.
  • A private lunch and lecture exclusively for Ultimate Plus guests on the day of the housewalk.
  • Exclusively Wright Dinners, private dining at an exquisite Wright-designed home.
  • A gourmet breakfast at the hotel and a private tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Frederick C. Robie House.
  • Three nights’ accommodation in a deluxe room (double occupancy) at the historic Carleton of Oak Park, Official Hotel of Wright Plus 2012. Includes welcome basket.
  • Transportation to and from all events as well as a Sunday drop-off at Chicago’s O’Hare airport (directly from Frederick C. Robie House Tour).

Ultimate Plus Weekend Package: Purchase Tickets Now

$2350 FLWPT member; $2600 non-member
Single room supplement: $325

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Singles: loving, fearless and free

Saw a great quote today in my HeartMath daily dose:

“The more you are motivated by love, the more fearless and free your action will be.” ~ Dalai Lama

Gendun Drup, 1st Dalai Lama

Image via Wikipedia

A beautiful thought, indeed. When you listen closely to someone else’s problems, when you respond thoughtfully, when you express understanding without judging or telling them what to do, that’s love at work.

When you respond to a political situation by getting all the facts and looking at both sides before you react, making sure your sources are as unbiased as possible, that’s love at work.

Too many people assume that if a single woman lives alone, she doesn’t love. How wrong that is! There is ample documentation that shows the exact opposite. Singlism expert, Bella DePaulo, says “research shows single people are more connected to friends, siblings, parents, neighbors” than marrieds. Which only makes sense. Human beings are social creatures. When you don’t have just a single person with whom you live and share your life, you’re more likely to reach out to others.

Women in particular tend to create communities of friends, relatives, coworkers, and others to whom they can turn to relax, go adventuring, describe frustrations and joys, discuss ideas and just generally share their lives.

Single men, thanks to powerful strains of homophobia in our society, are a little less likely to develop a strong community of fellow males. But some men have no fear of that kind of judgment and simply go forth, sharing time with male friends, attending men’s groups, and so on.

The point: as love grows, so do our hearts. And as we single women continually reach out with love to others, we also tend to feel more fearless and free—and often look that way to others. I like that idea. ” )

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Help for Chicago singles caring for aging relatives

Nursing Home

Nursing Home (Photo credit: LOLren)

How many single women (or men) are eventually entrusted with caring for aging parents? Nobody’s got hard statistics, but I’ve read of many cases where the single relative is simply expected to do so, since it would be “too much trouble” for the married couple to have that interference in their lives. The single person is assumed to have no life because she or he is not sharing a home with another person.

Well, we all know how untrue that is. See previous post about the joy and activity in most single lives. But anyway, if you are the one who has to look for a long-term care facility for an aging relative, at least in the Chicago area you’ve got a trustworthy way to tell if a facility is high-quality or not. It’s an online service called Gunther’s Grades where you can find reviews of facilities by real people just like you. You can also write your own reviews to help others understand better how their loved one will be treated in a particular place.

Read more about Gunther’s Grades on my Chicago Lady Boomer Examiner column.

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