Standing solo on Singles Day, where one is such a lonely number

09:33, November 11, 2010      

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Today is Singles Day in China and at first glace it sounds like a lot of fun - singles enjoying other singles' company, everyone having dinner together and paying for their own meal and perhaps purchasing a little gift of empowerment and self-satisfaction. In reality, it has turned into a day of pity, emptiness and a search for romance.

Known in Chinese as Guang Gun Jie, or Bare Branch Day, the immediate association of loneliness is apparent. The symbolism the date, four lonely 1's, 11/11, speaks for itself.

On this day, millions of poor bare branches are forced to receive Singles Day cards from their married or paired-up friends, attend Singles Day dances with hundreds of desperate love-seekers or listen to their parents, for the umpteenth time, tell them that they really should find a partner.

So, this day for singles, basically, sucks.

Trolling the Internet in search of something positive that surely must be associated with a day intended to celebrate singledom, almost every click on 11/11 takes you to a dating site, where thousands of smiling faces have been uploaded in the hope of being single no longer.

I did manage to find a few sales promotions for singles. On offer were: a thermos with what looks like an attached USB stick, a fluffy arrow toy with "love is" written on it, a purple whale pendant and a soothing eye mask.

Scrolling down the site I found that for single women, a host of items were on sale in the hope of helping find "Mr Right:" makeup, clothes, hair accessories, cosmetics and wrinkle cream.

For the men, it was a little different - on sale were take-home packages of beer with nuts, dried beef cubes, chips and apricots. To be fair, there was a small section encouraging the single male to purchase bouquets of flowers, a small diamond ring and a doll's house, which, when thinking about it, all seemed a bit weird, seeing they were supposed to be single in the first place.

The most excellent addition to this year's Singles Day and one that has been widely reported in the international media, is Beijing's love supermarket.

For as little as $15, profiles can be added and all of the information, such as income, age, occupation and hometown, must be verified, guaranteeing potential shoppers that the goods they take home are exactly as described on the label.

Another turn up this year is the reported growing phenomenon of married people who miss their single life.

A recent survey by found that 57.6 percent of 3,000 married professionals missed being single. A whole bunch of them are expected to take off their wedding bands for the evening tonight and hit the singles party in search, I guess, for momentary freedom, although they will strangely be doing so in a sea of society-driven love-seekers.

In modern times, it seems that no matter your status, happiness always lies on the other side.

By Jennifer Eden Source: Global Times


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