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Declaration of the Rights of Singles
by Cerelia Athanasiou

Today, for the first time in my life, I have been acclaimed somewhat of a 'loser' because of my lacking of a boyfriend. Only expecting such things to happen in comedy series like 'Ally McBeal', I was greatly taken aback and didn't know what to think, when all my achievements such as knowing how to play two instruments and my quite sizeable knowledge of the English language, were brutally overshadowed by the fact that I have no boyfriend, and this from a class-mate!

Did I feel depressed? With all sincerity I have to say that yes, I was. After laughing the matter off as if it were a great joke, I started thinking about what this girl could have meant - was this really just a joke, or am I actually being patronized by girls, who are already in love? Are my achievements at school treated with light cynicism just because of the fact that I have no one to hold hands with in public? And finally, what exactly makes these 'taken' girls look upon me as if I were some kind of invalid?

I can't help comparing this situation to a known book and series 'Sex and the City'. It describes the life of four single 40-year-old women and their relationships. There the differences between single and married women are also shown (and they are quite similar to my situation now). Married women, though, are shown as the ones that need to push up their esteem, by making single women understand just how pathetic they are - while they are not!

I always thought single women of being more liberated and having a much bigger choice in life to do what they want. And this isn't a wrong picture of course, because they most definitely don't have any responsibilities towards husbands or families unlike married women. Yet, in my eyes, this does not make married women any kind of 'loser' - they just chose different things in life, or better yet, they definitely had more luck in life when it comes to finding The One. Even so, I also don't perceive the liberated single women as pathetic!

But what do I have to say of teenagers and the division between 'having a boyfriend' and 'single'? Is there a division, and if yes, does it make sense when you're just 17? To me, it doesn't, but it obviously means a great deal to my peers. What keeps coming to mind here is that this girl maybe also wanted to show that having a boyfriend is an achievement, which I haven't accomplished, therefore I must be quite abnormal.

I don't feel in any way lacking beauty or intellect just because I don't have or can't find a boyfriend. On the contrary, I like the fact that most things in my life are so self-centred right now. I like watching movies on TV with my brother rather than hanging on the phone with a guy and talking about who loves who most, I like going to the cinema with my friends, of which not all are single, and not having to have stupid discussions about this like 'I really love you, honey, but I have to go out with my friends sometimes alone' and finally I like the liberty of arranging my schedule the way I want and not having to take under consideration how many hours a week I can give up to meet with a guy and if I shouldn't maybe cancel my guitar lesson today because we're going through a bad period.

I don't understand how simulating a marriage at the age of 17 has gotten to be so trendy. The worst for me is that many people take this seriously and look upon me with pity whenever I say that I'm single. They also say that 'you have to be patient, and I'm sure you'll find as great a guy for yourself as my guy is for me' just because I dare to say that I'm not in love with anyone.

In conclusion, what should I do: finish this composition, do my homework and then call my best friend for this week's portion of gossip, or should I open up my address book, choose the ex-boyfriend I still like best, say how stupid I've been for dumping him and suggest we meet up sometime soon? Tough choice, yet I remain the 'loser' I was at the beginning of this story and I pick the first option. I go to a school where much is expected from me, in two years I plan to go to university in England and after that I will not settle for just any job on the market. I am targeting high, and that's where I plan to be; the top. Now, answer the question yourself: until I achieve this top (which doesn't necessarily mean great career and a lot of money) where do you see a faithful and loving male companion, who will understand my ambitions and work? Just as I thought: the answer is NOWHERE.


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