Thursday, July 4, 2013

That Awkward Moment When...

I love connecting/spending time with other Africans. There's just this automatic bound and shared experience that I enjoy exploring. But with older Africans--teens or older--there's always that awkward moment when the subject of marriage comes up.

The African: Are you married?
Me: No.
The African: Eh?! Why now? Are you at least dating someone?
Me: No.
The African: You mean you're telling me you don't have interest in anyone?!?!
Me: No. (although, if I'm honest, this is a semi-lie)

And with that response, I can feel their absolute disappointment in me. Or if they are the creepy old African men we all avoid, I can feel their hope that they've met a desperate girl who will fall for their cheap lines because she doesn't want to be an old maid.

've learned to take this reactions with grace and generally not get irked by them. They are just more awkward than anything else.

I had this same conversation with one of the volunteers with the program we were here with in Ghana. At first he thought I was 21, so after the first two questions, he was slightly pardoning. But somewhere between question 2 and 3 my age came out. And being unmarried and unattached at 27 is apparently not acceptable at all. I thought I had braced myself for the awkwardness to follow, but then the guy made sure to get my local number and told me, "Well, I will get married when I'm done with school. I'm 27, too."

The way he said it, and the way he looked at me as he said it, made me pause. Did I just get an awkward dating proposal? Or what? :-/

I thought I was being paranoid, but then kept calling me that night trying to reach me. And so now I'm kind of worried. I (luckily?) won't be interacting with him again (unless he continues to call/text) since he's had to return to his actual town. But yeah...

It was awkward.

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