Text: Monde Mabaso
Photograph: Supplied

“I am single”.

It always seems shocking when you tell people that you’re single. It’s like you’ve just announced that you have a chronic disease. There’s always sadness and a look of pity that you get upon announcing that there is no man in your life. And the next question that will come is: “But why? You’re not ugly. You’re smart. You have a great sense of humour. I think any man would be lucky to have you in their life.”

I really don’t mind these questions because I can answer them with ease (what my cousin calls rude and annoying).

So why am I single?

  1. Relationships are hard work and exhausting, and I really don’t like hard work.
  2. Relationships require having to call or text your “bae” every now and then to ask if they’ve eaten (like the person isn’t old enough to know when they’re hungry) and you also have to say “I love you” all the time, like the one time I told you was not enough.
  3. You have to pretend to like his friends so you don’t hurt his feelings.
  4. Kissing is disgusting.

The “why are you single, don’t you get bored, don’t you want someone to share your life with,” type of questions, I can handle. It’s the, “SO WHAT DO YOU DO FOR SEX?” that just rubs me off the wrong way. Of all the things you could worry about bafwethu, we choose to be worried about who I’m sleeping with and if I’m not sleeping with anyone, what do I do? No one worries about my social life, if I’m lonely (apparently I’m too gangster to be lonely) or if I’m not depressed. No. Sex is of national importance. This is not only invasive but also disrespectful. No matter how long we’ve known each other or how many weddings we’ve attended together, there seriously is a line that should never be crossed and questions that really should not be asked. I mean, you don’t ever find me asking you about the number of men you’ve slept with, what types of positions you and your partner(s) do in bed and how many times you have sex? I understand that it is none of my business. So why am I not afforded the same courtesy?

Even the old people are low-key worried about my sex life. On my visit to my grandmother’s house during the anniversary of Jesus’s death she asked me when I was having children; uph’ umkhwenyane, why ungenaye, kanti kwenakalani ngawe? Imihlola yami.

Unless I wasn’t invited at the changing of the “Relationship Memo” but do relationships now start and end with sex? What about companionship and all the other fuzzy stuff. So no one is concerned about me getting someone to share my craziness with. We’re all here for the sex?

There’s nothing more awkward than people asking about your sex life. And yes, I know everyone does it but why the Spanish inquisition about it. People are never subtle about the way they ask the question. They just throw the question at you and you have to quickly come up with an answer that satisfies them because “NOTHING,” is not a proper answer. It makes you sound like you have some kind of disease or PHALLOPHOBIA (fear of a penis, at least that’s what I got on Google). If you say “when I’m single, I sleep with anything that moves and has a penis”, the same people will draw their own conclusions and start calling you names. So no answer is ever good enough.

Asking that question is as bad as asking a woman that can’t have children when they plan to have children. It’s invasive because it really has nothing to do with you. It’s annoying and it means uthanda izindaba zabantu. And what if I’m sleeping with your husband?