I don’t like this expression ‘First World problems.’ It is false and it is condescending. Yes, Nigerians struggle with floods or infant mortality. But these same Nigerians also deal with mundane and seemingly luxurious hassles. Connectivity issues on your BlackBerry, cost of car repair, how to sync your iPad, what brand of noodles to buy: Third World problems. All the silly stuff of life doesn’t disappear just because you’re black and live in a poorer country. People in the richer nations need a more robust sense of the lives being lived in the darker nations. Here’s a First World problem: the inability to see that others are as fully complex and as keen on technology and pleasure as you are.
All well and good, right? Women should feel free not to have babies, or not to get married, as they see fit. That’s the mark of a progressive society! Except, if that’s the case, why do we have to keep talking, talking, talking about it? And why do these kinds of articles pop up again and again for women, who need (someone has decided) to remind themselves repeatedly of why their decision is OK, even good. Really, really, it is! We promise! Thus, on a platter for your unmarried, child-free self are another set of reasons why; print them out, stick them to your sad-sack single-lady fridge, keep them handy for when that neighbor across the Thanksgiving table asks your mom what’s wrong with you that you’re not married and having kids already. Because it would be too much to say, simply, that’s not what I’m doing. Or to refuse to acknowledge the question.