Friday, September 30, 2011

No Land For Single People

Genre and all I have stopped mentioning now.

The world is unfair to single guys, well to be technically correct, a guy who lives alone, as I have realized two months into my experiment of living alone. No, this is not going to be a sentimental rant about loneliness, so if you have moved your cursor towards the Back or Close button on your browser, stop, and continue reading. 

The discrimination against guys living alone transcends across continents and has percolated across myriad sectors. Let's look at travelling here in the United States- on highways in cities, they reserve lanes where single folks are not allowed to drive. Very nicely they call it 'High Occupancy Lanes' and only allow cars with two or more people in it to use these traffic-free lanes. In which universe is two considered a high number? Encouraging car-pooling and all is just excuse, I tell you, they just want the single guys to suffer in traffic and watch couples happily breeze past them in High Occupancy Lanes. It's just rubbing salt in their wounds, a way of saying, "Dude, live with a girlfriend (ok ok, boyfriend is also now legal) and then you can zoom ahead of the traffic". Unfair only it is. 

Think of moving away from this by leaving the car home and take the train to travel and they will again bombard you with the same unfair treatment. You can book one seat on Amtrak trains, but if you want to book a sleeper berth, you have to book two only. Even if you are travelling alone, they will ask you to pay for two people and book a roomette if you want a sleeper berth. If not injustice, what is this? Yes, we know it is nice to travel as couples and have a private roomette to yourself to indulge in various activities but why do you need to rub it in to single guys? Back in India it is better because they let you book one sleeper berth if you are travelling alone, but the injustice against single guys does not stop. It comes back to haunt you in other ways. First of all, Indian Railways has this sadistic pleasure module in their reservation system that will never ever give a single guy a nice window seat or a lower berth, and if by some stroke of luck it assigns one, at the time of travel someone will invariably come and ask you to move from your originally chosen berth to some random upper berth because they have an old uncle or fat aunty who cannot climb to their assigned berths.  

Driving is unfair, trains are unfair, so you decide to fly and the ghost of unfair treatment comes back to haunt you. Every damn airline will operate their domestic flights with a 3-3 seat configuration and long international flights with a 3-3-3 configuration, so if you are a single guy, you have to endure torture of a chatty couple or annoying uncle-aunty or some similar combination of two people next to you. They could have thought of keeping 2-4 seating so that single guys stand some chance of landing up with a pretty fellow single co-passenger but no, that they won't do. They just don't want single guys to be excited and look forward to travelling. 

About restaurants and bars and night clubs being unfair to single guys, the lesser said about it, better. They will let couples in free but if you are a single guy, ask you to pay up. They don't realise they are doing it wrong. It is the single guys who need to visit the bars and clubs so they can socialize and find someone interesting and so they are the ones who should be allowed in free. The couples are supposed to be happy with each other's company. If they need to head to a bar or club for fun, it means their love life is probably rather boring, and the bar should charge them for helping them get over their boredom. The restaurants are not so unfair, but are not completely welcoming either. They will never have tables for one person, minimum will be two, and if you show up alone, the staff will stare at you left and right, and behind, to see if you are hiding a midget partner somewhere or are really alone. (But, I love Denny's. They are impartial. They serve their cheap unhealthy food with equal enthusiasm to single guys and large groups.) 

By the way, all this applies only to single guys. If you are a single girl, well, that's a completely different story for some other day.  
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My World...My Views by The Blue Indian is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.