Boys Boys Boys

December 7, 2009 § 4 Comments


“You’re already a junior in college,” mother said during dinner. “It’s time for you to start thinking about finding a boyfriend.”

Incredulity stifled my first instinct, which was to laugh. After years of rebelling against mother’s decree that I don’t date until college and then her ridiculous rules and curfews when I was in college and was seeing someone, I never expected to hear those words from her mouth. The mother of my best friend has been urging her to find a boyfriend for ages, and we always laughed about the disparity between their goals.
I also wanted to laugh because at this point in my life, I’d actually prefer being single than being in a relationship, yet now mother encourages me to get back on the market.

Despite my resentment toward mother, I appreciated the underlying message that I inferred: Do well in school now so that you can get a good job and won’t have to depend on a man for support. Seems reasonable enough, though sometimes I feel like the message is more: Be successful so that you can snare a successful man who will be able to support you financially.

In actuality, I believe mother wants something in the middle. I do want to date/marry an intelligent man with a good job. As a journalist, I won’t be expecting to be making tons of money, and occasionally I’m relieved that society doesn’t put the pressure on me to find an occupation that will fund an entire family. On the other hand, it’s sad that neither of my parents believe that I’ll even make enough money to support myself and have both tried to persuade me to change my major on multiple occasions.

“What about that guy you spent so much time with over the summer?” mother inquired.
“I don’t talk to him anymore,” I replied, chuckling.
“Oh? Why not?”
I glanced at Larry while trying to think of a response. “I’ll tell you later. He’s…a bad person.”
“Has he found a job yet?”
“Hah, no.”

I was surprised that she brought him up during such a conversation. Was she actually condoning that potential relationship?? Mother didn’t leave me much time to think about it as she dove into a mini-lecture on finding the right man.

“Looks should be your last priority,” she began.
I’ve already failed — looks are my FIRST priority. Well, EC put it better: Looks are like the bar that a guy has to jump over to get into the room, which has a tunnel that leads to another room. I will not date or marry an unattractive man, much less sacrifice my body to make babies with him [if you can’t sympathize, don’t bother commenting on that].

“You need to find somebody smart. In this economy, only 40% of college students find jobs after graduation,” she continued. “Of those hired, 90% are from Ivy Leagues are hired, which only leaves 10% for other universities.” Sounds dire.

“Well, there definitely isn’t anybody for me at MY school, so I won’t have to worry about this until later.” I’ve said this many times to many different people because it’s basically true.

“How about the boys at church?” she pressed. I rolled my eyes as she named her two favorites — both are successful, smart, upright, from good families, not bad-looking, and most importantly, single.
“Mooooooom,” I moaned. “I’ve never had any kind of connection with the first one, and the second one practically dated my best friend! I can’t cross that kind of boundary!”
“Well they never actually dated, did they? It’s totally fine.”

Oh my goodness. What degree of shamelessness is this? I’m going to pretend she was joking about that last one. Father named a family friend [his favorite], which incited more eyeball-rolling. I understand that these are fine specimens, but I’ve known them forever! If there was any sort of connection with any of those people, I would’ve jumped on it. But I cannot force those kinds of things.

On the bright side, now I feel free — pressured, even — to spend time with guys [as long as they’re somewhat acceptable to her] when I’m at home. Huray?


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