December 29th, 2011

For the past few years, my has father voiced his concern that his only daughter is going to wind up a spinster (and when I reflect on it a bit more it’s come through in other ways my whole life, more or less; anyway, I digress.) A few days ago my father decided that it was time for his yearly “love life” 1Previously: Part I, Part II. talk with me.

It went a little something like:

“Daughter, if there are any boys interested in you, you should reciprocate! By the time you’re 30 all the good ones will be gone. Don’t trot out the fact that your own parents didn’t get married until their thirties, things are different for you.” 2Yeah, Dad, things are pretty different, all right.

My only response here was a lame kind of “I don’t have time for a boyfriend right now.”

There’s something in his reasoning here that’s kind of bothering me, but I can’t quite put my finger on it at the moment. It has to do with a) this idea of ‘take the first one who comes along’ (and implicitly: ‘because that’ll happen rarely enough that you really should cut your losses’) and b) the other idea that people (but men in particular) are only single because they’re not up to snuff.

Not really sure which one is more upsetting. Probably the former, since the second is much more easily rationalized away—how many times have you thought, “What do they see in that person?” But telling your own daughter (however subtly) that she just isn’t good enough… well…

1 Previously: Part I, Part II.
2 Yeah, Dad, things are pretty different, all right.

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