Letter: Narrow-minded, morally censorious depiction of single life

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The Independent Online
From Ms Emma Bagnall

Sir: Being 30, professional and single I was fascinated to read Angela Lambert's views on my generation (Section Two; "Will you be lonesome tonight?", 19 October). You see, dysfunctional as I am and completely unable to forge any kind of relationship with my fellow human beings (ah! cats are so useful! especially on those long, lonely winter evenings when the telephone never rings), I find that newspapers are often my only link with the outside world - that glowing, nuclear family-filled utopia that exists, so frustratingly, just out of my reach. So I fell upon Ms Lambert's searing insights with interest and not a little fear. What if I am alone? What if everyone is paired off and having more fun than I am? What if I've missed the boat? What if I am "spiritually lost and dislocated"?

Well, if going to the gym, spending money on myself and having the odd frozen supper qualifies me for that description then you've got me bang to rights, Ms Lambert. No, I haven't been fortunate enough to meet someone with whom I would willingly commit the rest of my life, or even have children with, but this does not mean that I or my "sad single" friends are incapable of "emotional commitment" or "spiritually at sea". We go out, we do things, we holiday together, we fall in love, and out of it again. We have lives, in other words. And just because they happen to be different from Angela Lambert's life, and don't conform to a Sixties or Seventies norm, it doesn't mean to say that they are in any way sad or dysfunctional. To suggest they are is insulting to your readers.

I live in hope, Ms Lambert. I live in hope that one day I can cross that Rubicon, cease to be the spectre at the feast, and get married, have 2.3 children, a Volvo and - joy of joys - arguments in Sainsbury's instead of last-minute comfort-food shopping. Maybe then I, too, will have the cheek to write ill-researched newspaper articles on subjects of which I know nothing.

Yours etc,

Emma Bagnall

London, N17

19 October