For the 32nd time today, no I don’t have a boyfriend. It seems everyday I have a conversation with someone about my boyfriend. Or more accurately the lack thereof. I remember the days when I dreaded the conversation about what I wanted to be when I grew up and what my plans for college were. I had always planned on going to college because my mother had expected nothing less than that. Now I seem to dread the topic of relationships because most people expect me to have a boyfriend that I spend all my time with discussing the number of children we want to have. This is the norm I suppose. Almost every girl in the almost all female restaurant I work in has a boyfriend, fiancee, or his already married. Here recently it seems that all of my female coworkers have been having relationship problems which have caused issues for them at work. Instead of having a relationship to take up my time, I spend my time at work or focusing on school. When people ask me why I don’t have a boyfriend, I tell them I don’t have time, because in my opinion I don’t. How could I possibly balance a relationship, work, and school. Sometimes I put on t

he wrong pair of shoes, but I’m expected to try and maintain a relationship and make good grades all while working 25-30 hours a week. My manager is a 30 year old female who’s been in a relationship for seven, married for two, and has two children. If she can do it, why can’t I right? But I guess we make time for the things we really want.

Some women dream of being a great wife and mother, although that is a perfectly legitimate desire, that’s not for me. As a woman who prides herself on her work ethic and academic success, it’s confusing and often insulting when people find it more prevalent to ask me about my reproductive plans rather than my goals and dreams for my future. Is it because, even in 2017 when society tries to tell women that the progress that has been made in gender inequality, a large majority still only imagines a woman domesticated with children by age 25? At age 25, I want to be graduating from law school and in the process of making my first million dollars. Marriage isn’t even penciled into my plans till almost 29. Going against the grain in a small town isn’t hard, especially when you were 1 of 6 black seniors that graduated from the local high school. I’ve always been a black sheep grazing among the rest of the extremely white flock. 

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