I went home for my Oma’s 90th birthday party this past weekend. Everyone in my family was there. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone! There was my oma, 5 of her kids (rest in peace Uncle Lou), 18 of her grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren! This doesn’t include the 3 babies that are currently still in the womb, or the spouses/significant others. It was a party and a half. Family life is huge for us and being from the Midwest, it is a cultural necessity.
Here in lies the issue: all 3 of my sisters met their soulmates right around the age of 21. Most of my family is the same. So, being 28 and abundantly single raises a certain number of questions, especially in my immediate family. I have since been able to diffuse most of my family with growth and wanting to progress, but something happened that caught me off-guard.
After first arriving at my mother’s home for the long weekend, my sisters arrived shortly after with their children to hang out and catch up. I got to play with my nephews and drink beer with my sisters. It was lovely. After tuckering the kids out and helping them get ready for bed, I proceeded to converse with my siblings about life and what have you. Then, I got blind-sided. My 5 year old nephew got out of my mother’s bed, walked straight up to me, and asked “Uncle Cody, why aren’t you married yet?”
Without even thinking, I responded, “Because I’m smart.”
And that is when I felt it: my mother wrapped her arm around my throat and I was instantly in a headlock. For a 5’4″ lady who is 60+, she moves quickly and quietly. I was trapped. There is no where I could go and nothing I could do. I was at her mercy. So, I rethought my tactics.
Now obviously I was joking, but I do see her point. Little minds are easily morphed, so it is important to morph them correctly. So, after I tapped out (I literally needed to tap out), I told the truth.
“Uncle Cody is single for a simple reason: I haven’t found anyone that makes me happy yet. [My mother] did a very good job raising all your aunts and myself. She showed us that we need to find true love, and that the way you know it is true love is that person supports you through everything. They are your partner and inspire you to become better. You aunts have all found that with very amazing men, including your father. I haven’t yet, and that is ok, because one day I will. One day, I will find someone just like how one day you will find someone as well. It is important to wait because you want to be sure. When you marry someone it means forever you will have a partner and forever you will be someone’s partner. Does that make sense?”
My nephew nodded and looked to his mother. She smiled at him and asked if he had any questions. He said no, hugged me, and went off to bed. My mother gave me a loving tap on my shoulder, signaling she was proud of me.
Then, we kept drinking and acted like nothing happened. It seemed harmless enough, but it did seem a little suspect. There is one thing that stuck out though: No one the rest of the weekend asked me a single question about dating.