Two days after the presidential election, singles will cast a vote of confidence for their own kind, at the first National Singles Conference Nov. 8-11 at the Sheraton Washington.
Sponsored by the nonprofit National Association of Single Persons, the conference aim is to "elevate the image of the singles life style," says NASP executive director Joan Hendrickson.
"Singles are not necessarily swingers or losers or lonely hearts -- they just happen not to be married."
The organizers anticipate an attendance of about 1,000 for the four-day conference. A sampling of the 60 wide-ranging workshops: "Law and the Single Person"; "Special Tax Considerations for the Divorced and Separated"; "Address Your Stress"; "Job Search and the Techniques of Interviewing"; "Fear of Intimacy"; "Hello -- Your Game or Mine?" ("negative and positive game patterns in relationships and their effect on romance and sex"); "Astrology and Motivation" (taught by "Carol Sinder, astrologer") and "Relationship Disease."
Session leaders are generally "local professionals with an interest in singles," says Hendrickson, 51, originator and owner of the Georgetown Connection, a video-introduction firm, believed to be the first of its kind in the country. In an effort to keep prices down, leaders are volunteering their time. Cost of the basic conference is $150 for the weekend and $90 for one day, with lower rates for NASP members and seniors.
Other events include a reception at the Kennedy Center, a movie at the AFI (a possibility is "The Gay Divorce'e"), a dance, a "fun run" and walk for charity.
"I've talked to literally thousands of single people," says Hendrickson, who is separated. "There's a lot of loneliness out there, and I think this conference can be a major beginning in reducing some of that."
No one would call a National Married Peoples' Conference. Why then one for singles?
"The 64 million single people in this country have long been ignored," proclaims Hendrickson. "This conference is the first step in getting us together, and giving us some strong social, political and economic clout."
She expects participants to be "professional people who are busy, attractive, interested. Some people will come to meet other people -- that's their hidden agenda -- but they're also coming to learn something.
"A lot of people are simply coming to connect with others. That's why I'd go."
For more information, call NASP: (202) 333-3192.