Here is the essay I'm submitting to Beth Knobbe. She's looking for essays on the single life.
It’s funny when people assume that singles live selfish, indulgent, Epicurean lives. We blow money on luxuries like lavish vacations, spa treatments, fancy cars, expensive drinks, memberships at yuppie gyms and condo lofts. We also don’t give to charity and date tons of people.
Yes, my life is just fraught with material luxuries. Now that I am middle income, I do take vacations. When I get to my destination, I stay in hostels, but they’re just four stars away from those fancy five star hotels. I get a massage twice per year, if I have a discount coupon. I get a pedicure at the nail shop in Chinatown once a year. I do have a car now. It’s a used, four door coupe, but still. Sometimes I go out to eat with friends, and I buy one entire drink (maybe) as well as blow $10 on my meal. I do work out at home with my two exercise DVD’s sometimes. I have my own place too. It’s in an un-hip part of town surrounded by factories, but, hey, no roommates! That’s glamorous, right? I guess I am a bit of a Scrooge as I’ve only donated money to lupus research, animal shelters, Vincentian priests and nuns as well as natural disaster relief. Before the group folded, I also volunteered once a month with a group all over my city, but I should have found somewhere else to volunteer once that group ended! Selfish me! Oh, I give to church too, but you’re supposed to do that. In terms of dating, I have dated four guys total. I didn’t go beyond date two with any of them and have never been in a relationship, but four sure is promiscuous!
I live this “extravagant” life without the $3000+ tax return parents receive, by the way.
If single people are selfish and indulgent, I must be an outlier. I guess I live more extravagantly than a homeless person, but I listen to Gandhi’s quote: “Live simply so that others may simply live.” My Catholic upbringing ingrained in me the idea of living simply and giving your extra to the poor. In fact, in Luke 21:1-4, Jesus praises the widow who gave all she had to the collection plate rather than ones who gave out of their surplus.
I was taught (and believe) that all the money and material possessions of the world mean nothing if you don’t have the love of God. We are supposed to store up treasures in Heaven, not on Earth. True joy and fulfillment comes from living the life God called you to live. Perhaps that life for me is perpetual singlehood, but that’s okay. If that’s the life God has for me, I have faith that it’ll be perfect for me, even if it’s lacking in some material comforts.
I do want to move away from these factories, however.