To Be, Or Not To Be?
By Grace Ancillar
“Don’t be surprised if I show up on your door with a baby in one hand and a suitcase in another,” I told my mother one windy August morning, because I was that modern African woman. Her jaw hit the floor. I watched her swallow her saliva and avoid eye contact with me as though she might catch my apparent craziness if she did.
How does one explain to her mother that marriage might not be for her? Or How does that modern African woman raised in the traditional sense divert from the norm – that people first get a man and a ring and then have a child? Did I need exorcism or was this what being an outspoken millennial feminist meant? I didn’t know (still don’t), but after 56 dates and 12 very ‘eligible’ men, I was determined to take matters into my own hands and become a mom. Being a mom was/is my calling and man or no man, I knew that this is what I wanted.
I had said what I said. Five seconds had felt like nine long months of pregnancy and cravings, the silence was as loud as my drunken neighbor’s vocals on a Friday night. My mother stood up, picked up her Bible from the table and walked out of the room, leaving me clutching my non-existent pregnant belly.
Was she that disappointed?