Mom : I want to ask you something.
Me : Uh-huh, what is it this time?
Mom : How come you still don’t have a girlfriend?
Me : Busy with work. There’s exam to take also.
Mom : Do you even like girls?
(That was out of the blue. I was trembling by now. I remember telling myself “Must think fast.”)
Me : Of course. But there’s no time. I just started working anyway. Concentrate on my career first.
Mom : When you were in uni, did you find any girl attractive? Someone you would like to date?
Me : There was one or two.
Mom : So what kind of girls do you like? Tall? Straight hair?
Me : Erm … straight hair. Gentle. And err … feminine.
Mom : Ok. Just make sure you are normal and don’t do those abnormal stuff. You know, those gay stuff. You are an adult already, you can think for yourself.
This happened last year. A similar conversation happened this year.
I was reminded of this when I read someone else's blog.
I think my mom knows. After all, she is my mom. She’s a woman and you know what they say about a woman’s intuition. At the very least, I think she suspects. And I admit I am not a good liar.
Furthermore, when I was dating earlier this year and my boyfriend J was in Penang, we spent a lot of time on the phone. It was not difficult to notice, as I was spending a lot more time than usual in my room.
That obviously fuelled her suspicion. When she asked who I spoke to for so long on the phone, I said it was my best friend Vincent. Yes, I could be really stupid at times.
The first thing she said was, “Guy and guy got so much to talk about? You two dating ar?”
Yup, I was definitely in hot soup.
I replied, “No, he just has something to tell me. Some relationship problem that he has.”
No doubt that excuse can only work once. After that, I have to be careful when talking on the phone with J. I had to keep it short.
Another friend suggested the excuse of me being high maintenance. I should say that I have difficulties even paying for my own expenses, thus I shouldn’t incur more expenses by dating. Of course, for the reason to hold any water, I have to be quite a spendthrift. Which is not often.
I think most of us will go through this at least once. The experience of being asked awkward questions about your current dating status or future plans regarding it. It is even worse when you are near 30. Parents and relatives will be speculating for reasons or worse, set you up with potential partners.
On the other hand, parents might already know the reason their child is still single and doesn’t seem interested in marriage. They just pretend they don’t know and it becomes an unspoken truth. By not saying it out loud, they hope that one day the problem will resolve itself. This, I feel, is a very common reaction of parents.
Surprisingly, my mom doesn’t ask often. She only asks when she notices suspicious behaviour from me.
Why do I say it is surprising? Coz I am 24 and I haven’t dated any girls before (at least to their knowledge). I would think that in other families, this would definitely ring alarm bells. Perhaps the bells are ringing, but my mom is not panicking yet.
For one thing, my parents have never encourage me to be date when I was younger. It could be due to their thinking of focusing on studies first, which is not unlike other parents. At the moment, I believe their thinking has changed a little. They did mention once that, as I have reached my twenties, and if I should find someone suitable, it is OK.
I know of someone whose parents encouraged him to date even when he was in lower secondary. They encouraged verbally and explicitly. As such, my friend R did as he was told, happily of course. He even brought the girl back home quite often. And it was not for sex, in case you are wondering. His parents were usually at home.
Sometimes I do wonder, would I have turn out straight if my parents did likewise? And my own answer would be: I seriously doubt so.