I’m too young for this to be happening.

by Alice

“Your diaper was the first one I ever changed!” Denise marveled at how far I had come since then and she launched into a story about how she and Kurt had argued over who had to change me and how it should be done. (A charming lunch conversation, I assure you).

But as my parents’ old friends asked questions, the details about my lovely bohemian life began to surface. Well actually, I live across the river in New Jersey…yes, I have two roommates even with the cheaper rent over there…Laundry? I walk a block and a half. And the kicker: I come home to a futon every night — alone.

“Yeah, living the life,” Denise reflected. “…if only you had a man to share it with,” she smiled sweetly.

“He could raise your standard of living a notch,” Kurt chimed in. “Upper East Side, Upper West Side!”

“Not that you should live with him before you’re married,” Denise quickly interjected.

Suddenly I wanted to go back to the diaper-day chat. I laughed, shook my head softly and changed the subject.

But, REALLY?! How does this offend me? Let me count the ways.

1. I’m 22. Who is husband hunting at 22?

2. Raise my standard of living? Pray tell, should I take up gold digging, or go for men 10 years older than me? Just because my first job is not making me big bucks does NOT mean that I need a man to be financially successful.

3. Ummm…weren’t we just talking about my dirty diaper? How did that transition happen? Also, it’s been 5 years since I’ve seen these people.

4. I got a job within two months of graduating. I moved to New York City from Kentucky. I lived in a hostel with nothing but a suitcase. I have made my parents proud. Can we just enjoy my success without wishing a man was attached to it?

5. No woman should be harassed about marriage, especially not without any invitation to do so. If this continues, I’ll be driven by mere parental-peer pressure to view singlehood as a burden rather than a choice.

Notice anything else? Please add it.