Sin­gle­ton down­played in fam­ily cel­e­bra­tions

Orlando Sentinel (Sunday) - - HOBBIES - Ask Amy Amy Dick­in­son You can con­tact Amy Dick­in­son via email: [email protected]­dick­in­ Read­ers may send postal mail to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068.

Dear Amy: I’m a woman in my 30s, and hap­pily sin­gle. I live in my own apart­ment with my dog. I have a great ca­reer, a great fam­ily and won­der­ful friends. I’m on the younger side in my fam­ily, so by the time my mile­stones hit (turn­ing 21 and 30, col­lege grad­u­a­tions, etc.) they were not big “new” events.

I find my­self con­stantly cel­e­brat­ing mem­bers of my fam­ily and spend­ing money on wed­dings and chil­dren’s birthday gifts, but when it is some­thing that is im­por­tant to me, it gets over­looked or down­played. I’m start­ing to be­come re­sent­ful.

I have in­vited mem­bers of my fam­ily well in ad­vance to per­sonal events im­por­tant to me (get­ting re­bap­tized, for in­stance) and they all said they’d at­tend, but as it got closer they backed out for things like brunch with the grand­kids — or they just don’t show up. It’s like they don’t take things hav­ing to do with me se­ri­ously.

When do sin­gles get cel­e­brated and sup­ported for life choices out­side of wed­dings and pro­cre­at­ing?

If I spend time, en­ergy and money on their (and their kids’) life events, when will they re­cip­ro­cate? If I never get mar­ried or have chil­dren, am I just out of luck? Don’t these life cel­e­bra­tions just seem like they’re stacked against sin­gle, child­less peo­ple? Dear Here: I com­pletely agree with you that more “tra­di­tional” life-cel­e­bra­tions such as show­ers, wed­dings and birth cel­e­bra­tions leave out sin­gle­tons. That does not ex­plain your own fam­ily’s lack of at­ten­tion to­ward your grad­u­a­tion and bap­tism, how­ever. I won­der if you have a fam­ily mem­ber (a par­ent, per­haps), who could ad­vo­cate for you, in or­der for you to re­ceive the at­ten­tion you de­serve. If your own par­ents are the root of this prob­lem, then you should deal with them and as­sertively make your ex­pec­ta­tions clear — and ex­press your dis­ap­point­ment with clar­ity when they let you down.

I like the idea of sin­gle­tons find­ing big and cel­e­bra­tory ways to mark im­por­tant life events — such as land­mark birthdays, start­ing a new job or mov­ing to a new home. Per­haps you have a group of friends who can sup­port you in throw­ing a “sin­gle­ton shower,” where you send out “save the date” cards and come to­gether in a spirit of cel­e­bra­tion to play games, trade sto­ries and in gen­eral cel­e­brate your own lives and life choices.

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