“Why don’t you have a boyfriend?”
It wasn’t really the question I expected to hear. I wanted to immediately retort, “How do you know I don’t have a boyfriend?” but instead, I kept my cool and asked, “Why don’t you have a girlfriend?”
He proceeded to tell me why he didn’t have a girlfriend, and the conversation veered in that general direction for the next few minutes. However, we never got back to his original question: why I don’t have a boyfriend.
That’s fine. I wouldn’t have known how to answer that anyways. I don’t think I would have given him the answer he wanted, namely, some sob story about an ex, or waiting for the right person, or blah blah blah. In all honesty: none of the above. The real answer is an amalgamation of a few things, namely my post-hook up culture lifestyle choices, a general disdain for titles and labels, “focusing on my career.”
Since this conversation was happening in a semi-professional setting, I couldn’t really tell if he had lobbed this question at me as a way to ask, “Are you fucking someone already?” Answer: yes. Aren’t we all fucking somebody? What he really wanted to know was: am I emotionally attached to someone I’m fucking? Answer: duh, have you read this blog at all? Although, the right question to ask should have been: are you too wrapped up in your other partners to take on new lovers at this time? Answer: I don’t fucking know, I haven’t thought about that because no one has been worth the effort of thinking about it.
But, that’s not what struck me about the conversation. What struck me about the conversation was: damn, I’ve done a really good job of separating my professional life and my personal life if you have to ask any of those questions in the first place. And by “personal life” I mean that this blog is still my dirty, little secret that neither hinders nor helps my professional life. Cool! I guess I’m proud of myself for that one, but also perplexed because it was only three years ago that I was in constant professional peril because of my after work sluttery. Is it that people forget that easily? Or they just don’t care? Sure, our attention spans are embarrassingly brief, so I’ve been allowed to slink out of one corner of perception and into another. It’s not like I’ve been actively hiding this blog, or the other one.
On the other hand, it struck me: would I know what to do with a boyfriend if I had one? The fact that he straight up asked me why I didn’t have a boyfriend as opposed to if I have a boyfriend made me wonder: does society expect me to announce it if I’m fucking someone? How did he know I didn’t have a boyfriend? Am I supposed to post this shit on social media? I post about the people I fuck on here all the time! Is there some crucial element of social etiquette that I’m missing here?
At the end of the day, I have to admit: I rode pretty hard for hook up culture back in the day, and I’m from the Bay Area, so maybe this is just a cultural difference laid bare. When I was younger, I always kept my boyfriends under wraps. I never posted pictures with any of my boyfriends on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or whatever. It’s not really my style – I think when I was younger, I got into the habit of being perma-single so I could sleep around guilt free, and having a boyfriend really fucks with that, and now that I’m older it seems incongruous to post a couple picture on the Internet. Or, actually, it’s more that I spent so much time investing into my image as a boyfriend stealer that I’m not going to fall into the same trap that I set for every other jilted woman in Oakland. If I have a boyfriend, then my boyfriend is my boyfriend, and that’s my business, and not yours. And if I don’t have a boyfriend, that is also my business, and also not your business. Maybe that will change some day, but today is not that day.
At the end of the day, if you don’t know my relationship status, it’s because we’re not friends, and I don’t want to share that information with you. Leave me alone.