For all the overworked who didn't get to skip - don't hate the lazy. In my (extremely weak) defense, I ought to mention that apparently something's bitten my eye and it's been sore all day. It hasn't swollen up, which is a mixed blessing - on the one hand, it's a legitimate reason for skipping work; on the other hand, I have nothing to show the next day to justify the skip - but blinking is uncomfortable, and I have trouble concentrating on anything.
Aside from my intermittent eye problems, there are other things to worry about, like longstanding family issues - namely, my lack of a boyfriend. Other families, I'm sure, have issues that circulate around the younger generation's choice of college majors, the older generation's employment situation, curfew hours, choice of friends. My family's issues with me, strangely enough, circulate around the fact that I am too busy to date regularly. This would be normal enough if it were a recent occurrence; it is normal in the Asian social setting for a family to be concerned if a wayward daughter, who is in her fertile twenties, seems to insist on being more focused on trivial pursuits such as a career and financial stability when she can settle down, get married to a nice man and dedicate her life to having his babies instead*. However, when it is a long-running issue that started when said daughter was ten years old, it becomes weird enough to be worthy of my family.
In fairness to my family, I suppose there were early indications that I might have a little more difficulty in this area than Freakchild might. In first grade, for example, I had exactly one admirer, who decided that the best way to express his affection for me was to steal my sweater and put it in the class trash can. Freakchild, on the other hand, had approximately ten little admirers, all of whom followed her around eagerly like puppies - to the amusement of all and sundry.
There were other indications, of course. In sixth grade, a misguided swain gave me an anonymous bunch of roses with a note attached to it that bore nothing but a single letter 'A', written in red ink and encircled. I found out later that he had meant to impress me with the fact that he had noticed I was reading Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter. Do you know what the letter 'A' stands for in that book? I asked him after he revealed himself, to which he confessed that he had not had the patience to go through the book - because to be fair to the poor boy, he was only twelve then. The letter 'A', I explained, stands for "adulteress".
We didn't speak much after that.
I'd thought this was a moot issue, however, since lately my family has had much weightier issues on its plate. Imagine my surprise, then, when I received an e-mail from my mother yesterday. Now - my mother is two oceans and three continents away, harried about processing her papers for possible employment, harassed by my grandparents' medical dramas. You would not think that she could possibly have the time and inclination right now to worry about my lovelife - and yet, beyond the boundaries of human belief and imagination, she still has. We've been e-mailing regularly to keep ourselves updated on what everybody's doing, and apparently she has been troubled by the fact that my updates have all been related to work: I'm sorry I haven't e-mailed because I'm busy, been running errands and sitting in on meetings with Father, I've been preparing for the next DFA exam, there's another event coming up and I won't be able to e-mail, et cetera.
Her e-mail contained the following, quoted verbatim:
THINK REALLY HARD IN CHOOSING A FUTURE HUSBAND ... OKAY, START LOOKING FOR ONE NOW!!! I WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT I'M GOING TO HAVE GRANDCHILDREN THAT I CAN SPOIL.
In capslock, no less. Hence I am faced now with a troubling maternal mandate to go forth and multiply, as it were, at a time when I am perfectly happy being a harassed single person. Well, no matter. If the pressure becomes too strong then I shall resort to desperate measures, namely inventing someone who will always be conveniently busy when my mother wants to meet him. In any case, she is two oceans and three continents away, so it is not as if she can stalk me to find out whether my man is fictional or flesh-and-blood. (Although I am looking, Mother, I swear I am.)
Aside from the logistical difficulties of finding a significant other - I really should refine my vocabulary, because I sound like I am conducting a SWOT analysis - there are the logistical difficulties of conducting the relationship itself.
Okay, I definitely have to improve my vocabulary. More on this later.
* I have no problem with this choice per se, as I told Glendalyn earlier. What's important is that, as always, it's a choice, and not just a choice - an informed choice. It's not always one-or-another, either; those are two extremes. Nowadays there are plenty of women who chose both and are doing very well indeed - like Nikki, for example. It all depends on what you want for yourself - and as long as you know what your choices are, you should be free to decide.