Celebrating Family Day: What About Singles?

The singles approach to Family Day.

Singles Approach to Family Day | BCBusiness

When will we celebrate singles with a Dateless Loners Day?

Premier Clark has specified that the second Monday in February will now be a public holiday called Family Day. Happy Family Day, families!

To clarify: by saying “Happy Family Day” the premier does not mean to exclude single people. Singles, too, should feel happy. Or not – as they choose. “Family” is a broad term and not an exclusive reference to the kind of family units usually featured in ads for minivans and water parks. Everyone belongs to some sort of family. You probably have cousins you’ve never even met. No matter, they’re family and thus you are eligible to celebrate Family Day. Simply by being born you become a member of the family of man (a broad term which also includes women). Perhaps you are simply a fan of TV’s Modern Family. Hormel Foods produces many types of luncheon meat, all of them belonging to the Spam family of products. This holiday is for them as well.

At least that’s the way it ought to be. But as a singleton, I’m skeptical. When it came time to brand this new public holiday, was there any chance that we single people might get a little consideration? Maybe Singles’ Day, or perhaps Loner Gras? Not going to happen. Nobody panders to us.

Recall the recent U.S. presidential election. With all the talk about “middle-class families” you’d think President Obama’s plan for single Americans called for forced babysitting. No, politicians do not cater to single people. We are political orphans, like graffiti artists or crazed survivalists or B.C. Conservatives. The perception is that we’re having such a swell time anyway, we don’t deserve any additional perks. So instead of saluting our wise judgement, legislators pass out tax exemptions to our progenied neighbours and blatantly exclude us from holiday nomenclature. Enough, I say.

In order to get more political clout, singles will have to form a united front. Frankly, this could be difficult. If we were the sorts who got united, we wouldn’t be singles. We need to focus on our core issues instead of the latest Korean dance crazes or YouTube videos of cats falling off shelves. But singles are not much for pressure groups, unless you count online message boards about Game of Thrones or Girls.

And Premier Clark has been clever. By scheduling Family Day for mid-February – February 11 this year, to be exact – she has driven a wedge between different singles camps. The provincial holiday arrives only three days before Valentine’s Day, which many singles falsely believe is about them.

While posing as a day for impromptu declarations of love, Valentine’s Day is in fact a day that celebrates established couples, wed or otherwise. The true single – the dedicated, dateless loner – recognizes Valentine’s Day for what it is: another sop to the possibilities of procreation. Yet smug singles who have someone to buy chocolate for may feel that they, too, have been recognized on the calendar. Don’t settle for that, singles! The banks are still open, for God’s sake.

The retail community can play an important part in ensuring that singles are not neglected this month. As Family Day is still a new holiday, its traditions are yet unshaped. With the help of local businesses we can still make it a truly inclusive event. Remember to include singles in your Family Day marketing plans, like making your holiday signage noncommittal, featuring pictures of people who might be related (or not), or happen to be standing next to each other on the SkyTrain.

There are also helpful social models we can follow. Consider Real Housewives of Vancouver. The cast includes several women who are not wives at all (at least currently) and not entirely real. Yet they are still included. So must it be for singles on Family Day.

And in the end, singles, if you feel you must babysit on February 11, be sure to demand time and a half. It is a holiday, after all.