The Absurd and Amazing Adventures of Cafe Girl: Single In A Foreign Land

December 18, 2006

Single In A Foreign Land

The seven-year-old nephew wants to know why I'm not married.

"Good question," I reply, "Let's all ask God together, shall we?"

He's ever the subtle, tactful boy, so he adds, "How old are you, Yeye (means Auntie) Janice?"

"I'm seven years younger than your mommy," I tell him, "So if your mommy is thirty-six, then..."

He tries to do the math, but then gives up. Counting backwards is kinda tough when you're only seven.

"You should get married soon," he declares, "Otherwise you will be as old as mommy, and then you will be all alone."

"That's why," I say, because I'm the cool aunt from America, "The next time you meet a nice young man, you should say, Are you single? Because my Yeye Janice is single."

He thinks for a moment, then points to his father, who's holding the 2-month old, "A nice young man!"


"But your daddy is already married," I remind him. To which my sister adds, "Yes, to mommy."

The Seven-year-old ponders, "A nice young man, not married, and not carrying a baby."

What can I say? The kid is a fast learner.

"What if he is already married?" he asks.

I like that. Thinking ahead.

"Well, then you say, 'Thank you very much. Next please!"

He nods. He likes that idea.

Yeah, I know. I'm using a seven-year-old to pimp for me. Go straight to hell, do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

On the other hand, I am teaching him invaluable life skills, such as: how to be part of the solution, how to ask intelligent questions to get the information you need, and how to say no.

Besides, us single people have to battle the awkward question everywhere we go. Grandparents (ours and those of others) ask it, parents ask it, aunts and uncles ask it, little children off the street ask it, "Why are you not married?"

And so, instead of cowering in fear each time the question gets asked, or deflecting, or feeling wave of shame and inadequacy, let's give some of the responsibility back to the one who asked the question.

Because if you are going to raise the question, you should be prepared to be part of the answer.

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