I recently found myself at a family party where I was asked by a-family-member-of-a-family-member if I had a boyfriend yet.
To be honest, I was a bit taken back by the question. My family members, for the most part, have stopped asking me this question. I’d like to think it’s because they respect my privacy. And not because they know I’m a complete and total lost cause in the dating department. (Umm, who are we fooling? It’s totally because of that last one.)
Since, I hadn’t heard that question in a while, I didn’t really know what to say. I just mumbled out something lame about not having much time and then I shoved tortilla chips in my face.
But since then I’ve had some time to think about some totally unlame things that I could have said. And here they are:
1. Well, I’d like a new boyfriend, but first I’d have to dump my old boyfriend.
And by “dump” I mean, “Do you know any good places to bury a body?”
2. I’m saving myself for the next season of The Bachelor.
I’ve even been brainstorming some dubious job titles to show under my name like all the best Bachelor contestants. Maybe: “Expert Movie Binger.” Or possibly: “Professional Pajama Pant Enthusiast.” Or simply: “Crazy Cat Lady In Training.”
3. I was thinking about trying that Internet dating thing, but the last time I tried to date technology, things got messy.
4. My religion doesn’t believe in dating before marriage.
That and Triscuits. My religion is really anti-Triscuits. But can you blame them? I mean, have you eaten a Triscuit lately? It’s like a scouring pad for your tongue!
5. I hear you’re supposed to wear real pants when you go on a date.
I’m not so into wearing real pants unless I’m at work and I’m expressly getting paid to do so.
6. I wouldn’t want to make Netflix jealous. We’re kind of in an exclusive relationship.
7. Do I have a boyfriend?
Let me just answer that question with a question: DO YOU WANT TO SEE FIVE BILLION PICTURES OF MY CAT???
8. Now, by “boyfriend” do you mean an actual person I’m dating in real life or can it be someone I’ve only dated in my head? Because all of my most successful relationships have existed solely in my head.
9. I don’t like to use the word “boyfriend.” It just sounds so juvenile, you know?
I prefer the term, “lover,” but pronounced “LOOOOOOUUVVAAAAAHHHH.”
Now, doesn’t that just feel so much more mature?
10. No, I don’t have a boyfriend, and I’m not even trying to have a boyfriend.
But I have a job, where I teach people important things like how to deal with living in a foreign country and how to pronounce words like “spectacular” and how to use the present perfect tense correctly. I have a cat, who is horrible and wonderful and I love her. I have a blog, where I write about nothing but my cat and my hatred of pants, but people still leave ridiculously kind comments and send me emails that make me cry. I have a family who loves me even though they know I’m a total dating lost cause. And I have friends all over the world, which means I could pick up at any moment and go visit a random country and I’d probably know someone there whose couch I could sleep on.
I know my life choice is different from yours. And I know your life choice has made you happy. And I respect that and I can understand why you would want me to make a similar life choice so that I can also be happy.
But, let me assure you, my life choice — the one without the boyfriend but with the job and the cat and the blog and the family and friends — has also made me happy. Really, REALLY happy.
And maybe having a boyfriend would make me happier. Or maybe it would just make me miserable and cranky because I’d have to wear pants more and watch Netflix less.
But, for now, I’m fine with being really, REALLY happy.
(Cue shoving tortilla chips into my mouth.)
How do you respond when people ask you personal questions you don’t know how to respond to?