By KIMBERLEY GURR
Whenever I run into old friends, family members or associates I haven’t seen in a certain amount of time, we both obviously have a keen interest to know what the other has been up to.
My queries are of a general nature; I like to give them the opportunity to choose what details to divulge. “What have you been doing?” “Anything new in your life?”
So why don’t people extend the same courtesy to me? Forget questions about how I am coming along in my Italian language lessons. Don’t bother asking how my recent trip around Europe turned out. I recently graduated with a Master’s degree but apparently that is not that interesting. No, no, no, instead they jump right into that one personal and considered ‘meaningful question’: Have you got a boyfriend yet?
Why is this the first question on everyone’s lips? Why is it that when I reply “No”, I get the head tilt, the pitied eyes and the sad smile. “Don’t worry, you’ll find someone”. Um, did I say I was worried? Do I look worried? Does it seem to you that I am so despondent by not having a boyfriend that I cannot function?
My single status is a choice, not a mutant string of leprosy. Aside from the obvious annoyance at being pitied for something that is my choice, I am often left wondering why, in a post-feminist world, my personal and academic achievements are constantly being overlooked for something as trivial as whether or not I have someone to share the cooking, the laundry and the household bills with.
Is the only time we single ladies can be celebrated aloud when Beyonce sings about us? Stand in the middle of a crowded dance-floor when that song plays and we all proudly ‘put our hands up’. But as soon as the lights come back on, all of the attached women lower their arms from a triumphant fist pump into a mocking point.
So why the focus on partnership? People argue that it is an inherent part of humanity. Plato wrote that according to Greek Mythology, humans were initially created with four arms, four legs and a head with two faces and, fearing their power, the god Zeus split them in two, condemning them to spend their lives searching for their other half.