You’re 20 and single?

I woke up in the morning in no mood to do anything serious after my first serious week of learning at the workplace. It being a Saturday, I simply lazed around the house, enjoying my weekend.

I’m surprised when I check my messages on the phone to see a text from an old school friend. I’d lost touch with her when I moved from the city and although we had each other’s number we didn’t really text except on birthdays and festivals, wishing each other well. So when I saw her message I was caught in a mix of excitement and nervous anticipation.

After the initial pleasantries were exchanged, she texts saying,

 “Now to the important question… Boyfriend?”

For the convenience of the reader and to curb my annoyance I shall refrain from using the horrible SMS lingo she used during our entire conversation.

An old friend who remembers me only on festivals and birthdays, or if she needs some advice, drops me a message out of the blue, on a lazy Saturday morning and asks me if I have a boyfriend!

 Vexed at her prying into my privacy but trying to be nice, I replied,

 “Who?”

 She went on to explain and ask whether I have a boyfriend. When I replied in the negative, she says, “Why?”

Annoyed, I reply, “Is there a rule that says that I should have one?”

She replies in the negative and says that she’s disappointed in me.

Already at the end of my tether by now, not only because she was prying but also because of her horrible spellings, and still dumbfounded at the whole situation, I reply,

“Me not having a boyfriend disappoints you how?”

“Expectations you see,” she says, “Usually everyone has one by now and you’re the same age as them so you should have one, experience you see.”

You know that moment when you’re just so taken aback by the situation that you simply don’t know what to say, I just take deep breaths and go find myself a distraction. I know it’s rude to not reply but then its rude to pry into someone’s privacy too! She kept pinging me and I just had to come up with something to say. I was trying not to be mean so I replied saying,

“I’m not everyone so I don’t need to follow what everyone does. Life has a lot to offer and there’s a lot to experience as well. Just being in a relationship because everyone else is, is being stupid and pointless. It is not a crime to be single at this age and I don’t need a boyfriend to experience youth.”

“But, I’m asking for your reason for not having one…” was a reply. For a second, I thought I typed my reply in either French or Spanish but after confirming that I did not, I just couldn’t be nice any longer.

My reply, “Because cats are my passion and not boys.”

From the moment that I typed it, I knew that she wouldn’t understand. I also knew that I’d be expected to explain. But I had no better way to express myself. She did absolutely nothing to pique my expectation. However, I was over my annoyance and beyond myself in laughter.

Is it really necessary to be in a relationship because everybody else is? Is college and youth all about boyfriends? Is that what ‘experiencing youth’ means?

I think not.

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