Today I had to do the thing that humiliates me the most. And unfortunately, it’s not the first time I’ve had to do it. I would even venture to say it’s something I’ve had to do more often simply because I’m single.
I had to ask my folks for money.
The cell phone bill is due in a couple of days, and I took a long, hard look at my checking account balance. Then I took a long, hard look around to see if there was anything I could pawn.
I’m not exaggerating. I’ve been unemployed and job-hunting since autumn of 2011, and I’ve exhausted my savings and state unemployment money. I’ve thought about going the plasma donation route, but since I’m not qualified to be a blood donor for health reasons, they probably wouldn’t want my plasma either.
This is one of the major difficulties with being single. There’s only one person to pay all the bills.
I know, you might suggest that I cancel the cell phone plan. But that’s not really an option, since I carry four family members on the plan. Two of them have already reimbursed me for the year, and the other two are my folks, so I don’t usually ask them to.
But this month I had no choice. I’ve got nothing left. So I asked my dad for the money. And my parents have had a bad year financially, with furnace problems and lawnmower problems to pay for, so it’s not like they have a lot to go around.
I know there are probably a lot of married people who have chosen to stay at home with the kids and are making it on one person’s income. But when it comes down to it, paying the bills is one of the downsides of being single. Sure, there’s only one car to maintain, but housing costs are the same whether you have one person in the house or six. Grocery bills are smaller for a single person, but utilities probably aren’t any cheaper.
This is one of the reasons I cringe when I hear politicians in places like Wisconsin saying that women don’t care about equal pay.
Actually, there are probably a lot of single women, especially single mothers, who care a lot about equal pay. Those single moms really need to be making more than a single man with no kids…and yet they’re probably making less.
I’ve been fortunate in my almost twenty years of employment history. I’ve never seen a pay difference between me and a guy doing the same job. But I believe it happens. It’s definitely a concern I have. And this concern is something that influences my politics. Thankfully, in my state, the issue hasn’t come up. (Yet?)
But for now, I’m less concerned about how I’m going to vote in November, and more concerned about how I’m going to pay my Discover bill in June.