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Single Ladies Stand Up

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“But they’re married,” the frantic voice on the phone screamed into my ear.

“So is half the population in America,” I said not knowing where this was going.

“Yeah, but I’m single,” she railed as if she wished someone had put a ring on her finger. “And married people think differently from single people so it’s not right that four of the seven candidates running for the board are married when I’m single, and I’m gonna say so.”

“You’re having your annual meeting?” I finally got it.

“Next week.”

Most buildings hold their yearly get together when the promise of spring is in the air, but a few, like the caller’s, wait till it’s as chilly outside as it is inside, which is not necessarily the best idea.

“I don’t think you have a leg to stand on,” I finally said. “It’s like saying only straight people, not gay people, can run for the board, and you wouldn’t say that, would you?
iStock_000001107934XSmall“No, but —

“But what?”

“Maybe you have a point,” I felt as if I’d brought her back from the brink — and back to the Twenty-First Century.

“Well, if I don’t say that then I’m gonna tell everyone that they have BIG APARTMENTS.”

“But having a big apartment isn’t any more illegal than being married,” I tried to make her understand.  Money is power in High Rise Society as in real life, I thought but didn’t say.  How do you think our Mayor and that Goldman Sachs Governor got elected? (Yes, I know he was just defeated, but that was after the financial crisis turned all investment bankers into enemies of the people.)

“But people with BIG APARTMENTS don’t have the same interests as people with small apartments, just like married people don’t have the same interests as single people, so it’s not fair that only the BIG SHOTS and not the little shots get on the board.”

“Then why don’t you run?” I asked. “Stand up for all us single ladies” — not that I’d ever categorized myself that way even though I’m unmarried.

 ”Me? I’m not gonna run unless they invite me.”

“O-k-a-a-y,” I said, wondering why they’d extend an invitation to someone who had just spent the last half hour taking them to task.  “Good luck,” I ventured, there being nothing else to say.

It’s OK to ask questions of those who would be chiefs.  More tribesmen should do so. But think before you talk because going after people for being married when you’re single or for having a bigger apartment than you do is sure to alienate half the building, which won’t do you any good should you ever decide to run.

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