Black, Female And Single

12/12/2011 01:02 pm ET

Few things in life are more irritating than the unsolicited comments I get that black women, like me, are unlikely to marry. Family members ask, "Are you ever going to get married?" as if I am remaining single purposely to keep them from attending my wedding. Well-meaning married friends try to sell me on the idea that being single is liberating. And then there is my octogenarian aunt whom I love, but who also manages to unintentionally sucker punch me whenever I visit with the comment, "Maybe if you'd just straighten your hair you'd be able to find a man."

I'm almost positive the people in my life don't mean to add to the anxiety I already feel about being single in my 30s without children. Implicit in some of their comments is the idea that my failure to marry is beyond my control, a function of being born black and female.

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