Approximately 90% of our phone conversations will contain a variation of this dialogue:
"You don't have anyone, right? You're not seeing anyone? No BMMW (black, Mexican, Muslim, white)?"
I don't even have to think about it anymore. I just tell her what she wants to hear. Luckily for both of us, I suppose, it's always been the truth. I've never dated anyone. If I did, that instinctive, standard, automatic "No" would become a lie.
I expect it; I wait for it; I'm ready for it. I give her the "No," and she's relieved once again. Today, she said it was like a hundred thousand pounds of weight had been lifted from her chest (one of our relatives just eloped with a white girl and got married in Vegas).
But, while irritating, it's not a big problem because there's clearly no chance of my actually having to turn my "No" into a lie because I am socially incompetent and neurotically guilt-ridden anyway. It's a ritual at this point.
The problem is that I've encountered a new ritual, and it's ten thousand times more irritating.
Approximately 99% of the times I see or talk to my uncle, he will ask me if I've looked into buying a house yet.
This has been going on for many months now. Since I have a job and I plan to stay in the Bay Area for the next few years, I should buy a house or condo for $400,000 instead of throwing my money away on rent. In five years, the value of my property will have gone up, and I will have basically been staying there for free if I want to sell. This is all completely true and incontrovertible despite the fact that everything I'm reading says this is actually a horrible time to buy.
It's worse with my uncle because with my mom, I only get a question. With him, I get an entire lecture. And it's the same fucking one, every time. As if I hadn't already heard it a dozen times before. As if the reason I haven't started actively looking is because I didn't hear what he was saying, not because I am perfectly content with my living situation and don't feel financially prepared to deal with a mortgage.
What's completely maddening is he knows I'm not really into the idea and that it pisses me the fuck off to keep hearing about it. He has often recognized that I just want him to shut up, and he does. Once, he actually promised not to bring up the topic again. He would only discuss it if I came to him and asked for advice.
LIES. FUCKING LIES.
I am twenty-six years old. I am trying to become an adult. I think I've generally got a handle on things. I have a place to live and a job to pay for it. I pay my bills on time. I have no debt, and I save way too much and spend way too little. I don't understand why this isn't good enough. For now, at least.
I was thinking recently that even though I may not look it or feel it all the time, I am probably the happiest (obversely: least sad) I have ever been, living in the Bay Area. And I'm not sure that matters to my family at all.