I’m Still Single Because I Don’t Want to Marry an Asshole
Ezinne Ukoha

Post famine Irish-American immigrants had one of the lowest birthrates in European history. It took a concerted Catholic propaganda campaign to turn that around and convince them to marry and make kids. In my family, I had two spinster great aunts and three bachelor uncles who all pooled their resources, lived in a house together, and made it into the middle class. They all died unmarried and childless.

As the keeper of much of their “stuff”, I have poured over their lives more than, perhaps, anyone. My aunts both were Boston Public School teachers. Both did 40+ years. They took trips together, lived in a really nice house, and enjoyed all that their communities had to offer. They were very important members of the larger family.

I say all this only because those that force “tradition” and the “norm” on others often don’t know the tradition and have chosen their own norm.

Two generations ago I had five people in my family who chose not to get married probably for economic reasons. It’s easy to ignore them because their stories have to be told by people like me, who are not direct descendants.