The Unanswerable Question – Powerful Woman Monologue #10
About the Author: Lorraine is a 25 year old south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is her life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. Her main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything she attempts seriously well. She spends her free time eating chocolate, hanging out with the smartest person she knows (her 3 year old niece), volunteering with a local youth outreach program and collecting bottles of nail polish. She tweets at @LateLorraine. She blogs at The Late Party Girls. She reads at Childhood Trauma.
Last April, I traveled to Tampa, Florida with my family for my cousin’s wedding. We arrived at my aunt’s house the night before the ceremony, and it was chaos. I sat in a corner with my older sister, hyper-aware of all the people surrounding me.
“Who’s that?” I asked her at one point, gesturing towards a tall brunette I’d never seen before.
“That’s the bride,” she said through clenched teeth.
“Oh. Whoops. And who’s that?” I asked again, pointing at a different girl who appeared to be about my age.
“That’s your cousin.”
On and on it went. My family is just that big. Whenever we are gathered en masse that way, all making rounds, kissing and hugging and talking over each other, I can guarantee you, that this will happen to me:
“Ay, Lorena, when are you going to get married?”
It doesn’t matter how healthy I look. It doesn’t matter what I am wearing or what I’ve said. It doesn’t matter what job I’ve landed or how I did in school that semester. All anyone in my family ever wants to know about me is, of course, a thing I have no way of knowing. Not right now, at least.
I am a voracious reader. I’ll just openly admit that about half of all the books I read can be classified as YA. I am in no way ashamed of this, though I can imagine some of you groaning at me. What can I say? Sometimes you just need a little simple entertainment.
I have a bone to pick with the way females are portrayed in so many of these young adult books. It seems the current trend is to create a girl, throw her into the most impossible situations (basically, her family should be in danger, the government should be after her, she should be breaking laws or challenging norms and her world should be quite literally ending) and then ask this important question: which boy will end up with?!
Seriously? Why can’t YA girls be action heroes, without also having to choose between Incredibly Handsome Boy A and Incredibly Handsome Boy B?
Why is the message being sent to young women everywhere, “no matter how many things are happening in your world, what’s really important is whether or not you pick the right boy.”
Yes, I do want to get married and have children. I just don’t understand why “when are you getting married,” is an acceptable question to ask, especially of a single woman, like myself. I wouldn’t ask someone, “hey when do you plan on dying,” or “hey looking to get fired from you job any time soon?” because ultimately, these are unanswerable questions.
My life will not start after I say, “I do.” I lead a life right now. Ask me about it.
There are some of you reading this who don’t ever want to be married. There are some of you who are married. There are some of you, like me, who have to field questions about the future, and are still getting up for bouquet tosses, which are getting more and more sparsely populated.
We don’t all look the same or dress the same or speak the same. I don’t understand why we keep allowing people to push on to us this same expectation: marriage. babies. Talk to me when you get there or about when you plan on getting there.
Dear Family (yes all million of you) and Young Adult Authors,
I’m not really sure which boy I’m gonna pick right now, but the good news is, that I have a life beyond my relationship status! “Wife” is only one of the roles I will in my life play. What makes women amazing is that we play so many roles, and we have the power within us to play them all incredibly well.
What makes the media (and sometimes even our own families) so infuriating is that they often forget this.
I hope that one day, we can break the stigma of being single past a certain age, because no, I don’t own any cats and yes, I do have normal social skills.
I don’t NEED a boy, you know. I can be a heroine without one.
About the series: Powerful Woman Monologues are compiled in response to the media’s representation of women as inspired by the film Miss Representation. If you would like to participate, email me. Any kind of creative contribution is welcome from anyone.
Special thanks to Ashley of Little Leaf Photography & Design for graciously creating the badge for our series!