Rebuilding Foundations

An exploration of international development work in Africa

Too Late

Apparently I’m already an old maid because I’m 24 and don’t have kids yet. Or a husband. Not even a prospective boyfriend. I think my coworkers feel sorry for me.

“But I have tons of time!” I tried to explain to the receptionist.

“It just gets harder as you get older,” she explained patiently. “In this country, girls have their kids while they’re young and living at home so their family can help them.”

“But doesn’t that make it difficult to finish high school?” I asked.

“You can defer your exams if you need to,” she answered. “Once you live with your husband and have a job, you don’t have time to stay home and look after your babies. If you wait until you’ve finished school, it’s too late to start a family.”

I missed that boat a long time ago.

One more reason I’m happy to have grown up in Canada and not South Africa – although the white people here don’t have the same attitude towards families as my colleagues.


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2 thoughts on “Too Late

  1. The more I’ve been away from Canada the more I’ve realized it myself: we grew up in a pretty rad-like wonder country where you really can do anything you want, and live anyway you please. 🙂

  2. I read your post this morning and then meandered over to the BBC where an article on society’s view of single people came up on the sidebar. There was one line that stuck out when the (unmarried male) author was speaking from his personal experience: “Carol Clewlow described me as a male spinster. I admit I was a little bothered until she added ‘like George Clooney’.” It’s all a matter of perspective.

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