I know I’m not the only woman who has shed tears thinking, wondering and worrying when I would meet a man I could see myself seriously dating or marrying…so I could have children.
And you know what they say in the church, “You have not because you ask not.” And that’s what this woman, Ayana Evans, did…in a very innovative way.
I was scrolling through Instagram from the comfort of my own couch last weekend when I stumbled upon an outdoor party hosted by Adidas. And in addition to the colorfully dressed and smiley-faced Black folks, there was Ayana. I couldn’t see her face and didn’t even know her name at the time, but the sign on her back caught my attention. It read:
“I Just Came Here to Find a Husband”
Clearly, Ms. Evans is a bold one.
Demetria Lucas D’Oyley, in a piece for The Root, reached out to Evans, a performance artist, to find out why she wears the sign.
“As an artist, when I have a block and I can’t think of anything to make art about, it usually means I’m not being honest about something. There have been a lot of points where I have been desperate about finding a husband, feeling anxious, wondering, “When is it going to happen? Where am I going to meet him?” I’m not proud of that, but that’s definitely how I felt. I haven’t been in a relationship in six years. I realized worrying about getting married was something I edit out a lot in work. So I was like, “All right, let’s make a piece about how I feel.”
Then Lucas D’Oyley asked her if she’s wearing the sign for art or for male attention.
“It’s both. I go to a lot of places hoping to meet someone, but not with a lot of faith that it’s going to happen. This is me just putting it all out there about what I want, whereas before I would spend a lot of time and put a lot of effort into pretending like finding a life partner was not on my mind. I didn’t want anyone to see me as thirsty or desperate. Now I rather just deal with it head on and let it all hang out.
If someone comes up to me that I think is cute, is a great candidate, and I’m like, “Wow, you’re intelligent, you make me laugh,” am I going to go for it? Yes!”
And interestingly enough, Ayana says that the sign has actually opened some doors.
“I haven’t met any new guys I’m interested in yet. But there is a residual effect. You don’t meet anyone new, but maybe someone who likes you hadn’t said anything before, now he has a reason to call and be like, “So I saw a picture. … Maybe we should have lunch?”
Ok then, that’s a start!
Later, in the piece Evans made an interesting point that when she acknowledged her own desperation about finding a man, a husband specifically, the pressure was alleviated.
That, to me, was the take away message. Many of us know what it feels like to be anxious about our love lives. And instead of being honest about those feelings, we pretend we don’t have them or that they aren’t important, even going so far as to shame women who happen to tell their truth. And that’s counterproductive. The cliche saying, “The truth shall set you free,” is indeed fact.
Women are encouraged, particularly in our society, to date and marry and have children but we always have to go about reaching these milestones in a way that is deemed acceptable…you know, not thirsty. And it’s an exhausting juggle, pretending like you don’t want to live and experience a certain kind of life.
In all other areas of achievement, we’re told if we want something we have to put it into the universe, speak it and then finally, go out and get it. And this is what Ayana seems to be doing, exhibiting the type of honesty many of us will never share. Kudos to her.
I wonder, if we were all forced to wear signs representing our deepest fears and insecurities, what would they say?