I spoke yesterday about the ‘invisible’ influences and pressures for people to get into relationships, have kids… essentially grow up I thought more about the times for me where the messages haven’t been so invisible.
Recently: I was at a funeral a few months ago for someone who meant a lot to me. I accepted that by going to the service I’d have to see people whose company I don’t particularly enjoy. In the car park after it, while most of us were swamped with emotion, I was informed that now university is over, I need to find myself a nice husband. Shock doesn’t quite describe how I felt, but despite my protestations that this was not something I wanted, the person repeatedly insisted the same thing again and again.
Is that something that one puts on a to-do list?
Then the other questions appear, ‘Is she dating?’, ‘Does she have a boyfriend?’ ‘Is she um… y’know…?’, ‘Doesn’t she want children?’, ‘Don’t you want to fall in love?’
Ugh, spare me! Aside from the gooey-smoochy gag that I can’t deal with, you want to know the truth? I literally cannot afford any of these things, not right now and unless I hit a miraculous windfall in the next while, it won’t be anytime soon. And I’m not compromising to ‘settle’ for someone just so my bills will be halved and we’ll be financially stuck together. Nope, not fair on anyone.
We’re supposed to be living in a time of awareness that it’s not that people don’t fit the boxes but that the boxes aren’t meant to fit people in them! Strides are being made for marriage equality, gender equality, recognition of more than archaic traditionalist ideals… so why isn’t choosing to be unmarried and child-free? Why is it still seen as something a person can be coaxed into doing, reality and finances be damned?