A question that's been coming up pretty regularly in this modern world in which fewer people are marrying, more people are getting divorces, and most who do marry are doing it later in life than ever before, is one of how should the world treat singles, this new near-majority. Eric Klinenberg, NYU sociologist and author of the book Going Solo, has gotten a lot of attention in the past few months for his book's discussion of single people living alone, and how this may no longer be a "phase." He makes the point that only 51 percent of American adults are married, and more than a quarter of all U.S. households consist of just one person—and not only that, they're pretty happy that way. Or at least, reasonably so, when they're not being weird.
But that doesn't mean that unmarried people don't face problems. In February, Maura Kelly asked in the Daily Beast: "Are Unmarried People Discriminated Against?" pointing out that the unmarrieds often have to pay more for health and car insurance, don't get the same tax breaks, and can have trouble buying homes and renting apartments. Add to that possible trouble: Bank accounts. In particular, those privacy questions you're supposed to answer in order to access your account, well, they can be kind of... judgmental.
Jeff Wilser, a 35-year-old relationship writer and founding editor of The Plunge, a website about engagements (who happens to be unmarried), was on his online Citibank account lately when he noticed something a bit odd: His privacy question options seemed distinctly marital-oriented. He went to his Facebook page to post his response:
Thanks, Citibank, for making us single people feel like failures in life. (First security question: "Where did you go on your honeymoon?" Second security question: "What is your spouse's nickname?" Third question: "In which city did you meet your spouse?") N/A, N/A, N/A. Pass me a bourbon.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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