Though it’s a pleasing even number, turning twenty this year has forced me to evaluate the milestones I’ve had and not had in my life. First kiss (check), holding hands (check), asked to a dance (check), going on a date (check), having a boyfriend (nope).
Having never been asked to be someone’s girlfriend after twenty years of viable life, though a shame in societal terms, really doesn’t shock me. I sleep well at night, maintain a normal self esteem for a young woman of my standing and continue to follow the @mancandy account on Twitter.
In 9th grade I rounded the steep steep hill of my awkward phase (that lasted 8-10 years) just as high school begun. No longer did baby fat or phat (if we are being fabulous) riddle my prepubescent frame, my tug-of-war with braces came to a predictable end and contacts were added to my morning routine. Reminiscing in a extraordinary way, I like to think as though I was that awkward girl in the movies who lets her hair down and takes off her glasses just as the star quarterback passes her in the hall and does a double take. But in reality I just looked less like a middle schooler which can be considered a hollywood triumph in many situations.
Things seemed to be looking up. My confidence grew as I saw myself as beautiful and boys started to notice me. I had a boy come over to watch a movie for the first time, went on my first date and went to all the dances that year–but still no boyfriends.
This continued on for the rest of my high school career–dulling in my upperclassmen years as it does for many girls due to the arrival of sparkly new underclassmen. Around the time of my senior prom, I realized starkly that a lot of my peers were in serious relationships and this became even more evident in college.
Many females swoon at the idea of “high school sweethearts” or in my now current position the “Miami Merger,” but those kind of love stories don’t attract me for some reason.
Take for example one unfortunate encounter I had last fall. After class about six of us decided to grab lunch together–huddling up in that awkward pack mentality most freshmen exercise. We were talking about the series finale of HIMYM and I divulged myself entirely in the situation. Plot lines, characters, the yellow umbrella all had me talking and unaware as to what was to come.
As I got up to throw away my trash and head to my next class one of the guys from the table came with me. Smiling and still talking about the show, we proceeded away from the herd into open territory. Just as casually as I talked about Ted and Robin’s relationship, he asked me if I was free Friday night for a date.
It felt like I had swallowed a coal sized lump of pop rocks as I tried to digest the situation. I panicked and told him my sister was coming to visit (which was 100% true) and said I’d see him later.
*Face palm* “Expletive, expletive, expletive.”
I scurried to the nearest bathroom, took off my backpack and began to pace. I had been oblivious to his feelings toward me up until that moment and felt terrible. The air vents pushed cool air that stuck to my neck and back where I had sweat due to sheer terror.
I later had confirmation from mutual friends that he had liked me and I just felt queasy about the whole situation. I avoided being last out of class or first in and I wanted to borrow Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak every Monday and Wednesday at 10:20.
Therefore as I reach my twentieth year of life, the notion that I’ve never had a boyfriend really doesn’t bother me or surprise me.
I am mature enough to ride the megabus alone, go to the world’s most impoverished country, walk into police departments and ask for records, interview strangers and even deal with hallmates passed out in their own puke at 3 am, but my maturity has yet to conquer the male species.
Being 20 in many ways makes me feel old, but in even more ways it’s just the beginning. I am more than okay with the idea that I will not marry a “highschool sweetheart” or even be a “miami merger.” Taking on the responsibility of another’s emotions is a perceivably more daunting task for me than it is for others and I don’t see that as a bad thing.
So here I am, single since birth and perfectly happy. Blame it on boys, society’s standards of love or even my own hesitations–either way I am at peace with the events that have and have not transpired in my life.
But as a courtesy, I’d ask that in ten years if I still am perpetually single someone please set me up…