Good Sunday morning to you. It’s off to The Mill for breakfast this morning.
Sunday begins “Unmarried and Single Americans Week,” which was launched in the 1980s and now has such a following that the U.S. Census Bureau puts out a news release citing facts and figures about single folks to mark the event.
When the observance began, it was known as “National Singles Week.” But that has changed over the years, the bureau reports, because of the many unmarried Americans who don’t identify with the word “single” because they are parents, have partners, are widowed or have multiple personalities.
OK, I added that last part.
So what does any of this have to do with Southwest County, the “married with children” mecca of Western civilization?
We’ll get to that. First, some numbers.
There are 102 million unmarried people in the U.S. 18 and older. Of those, 53 percent are women, and 47 percent are men.
Of those singles, 62 percent have never been married, 24 percent are divorced, and 14 percent are widowed.
About two-thirds of adults in Southwest County are married, higher than the state (52 percent) and national (54 percent) averages.
Still, that leaves thousands of unmarried and single locals who, unlike the not-so-thrilling days of yesteryear, now have plenty of places here to celebrate this week.
Kim Baily knows about the single life in Temecula even though she and her husband, Chris, will celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary this week.
Both grew up in the area and remember when options for singles were far fewer.
“We went to Shakespeare’s (a nightclub at Murrieta Hot Springs) and then to Denny’s,” she said.
That was pretty much it for the local singles scene in the 1980s and early 1990s, Kim recalled.
“Young people today come up to me and say there’s nothing to do in Temecula,” Kim said. “‘You have no idea,’ I tell them. We had no freeway, no mall.”
Chris and Kim have owned Baily’s Old Town Temecula for more than a decade. The combination casual and fine dining establishment is credited by many for spurring a renaissance that has turned the once-sleepy historic district into a vibrant nightlife destination.
On Friday and Saturday nights, their business morphs into Eleven After Dark, an after-hours dance club that attracts singles of all ages.
An older crowd usually stops by right after work, Kim said.
“Then about 10:30 they leave and the younger people come out,” she said. “We have between 600 and 800 people each night.”
Baily’s is one of several options in Old Town for late-night entertainment, after all of us old married folks have toddled off to bed.
Mix that with the bars and restaurants around The Promenade mall and clubs such as Silk at the Pechanga Resort Casino, and there’s no reason to leave Southwest County to celebrate being single and, oh yes, unmarried.