This is short and nowhere near sweet.
Four hours after our wedding and during our reception, my husband tragically died. He was a fit and healthy 27 year old with no medical problems, he simply collapsed and that was it. The autopsy found nothing medically wrong with him and it was attributed to SADS [Sudden Adult Death Syndrome] also known as SUND [Sudden Unexplained Death].
This was incredibly hard as I’m sure you can imagine and eighteen months later I still wear my wedding ring and still consider myself married.
A new Co-Worker started at my place of work and after our Christmas Party she commented on how my husband wasn’t there. I explained what happened and the following is a verbatim exchange of what was said:
Co-Worker: “So you never consummated the marriage?”
Me: “…Well, clearly not.”
Co-Worker: “Well, it’s not like it was a real marriage then was it? You shouldn’t be wearing that ring.”
And this was said with the most dismissive tone you can imagine, as if I should have been fine about my husband dying because we hadn’t yet had sex as a married couple. I would like to say I took the moral high ground and responded with an Etiquette Hell worthy reply, but I did nothing of the kind.
I punched her in the face hard enough to bust her nose and told her that my marriage was as real as her now broken nose, then walked out.
I know violence is never acceptable and that I never should have sunk to such a level, but I like to think, if I ever felt the need to ask, that the Etiquette Gods would forgive me this once. 0817-12
For future reference, at the moment anyone asks the question regarding the consummation of the marriage, you should stare at her/him like she/he was an alien with five eyeballs and purple snot dripping from the nose, a perfect mixture of horror and disgust flitting across your face. I know we live in a very sexualized culture but darn it, no one needs to know the details of your sex life. If only we would start making the line in the sand that certainly gets crossed when there are comments and questions about happens when two lovers are buck naked. Thwarted at knowing the status of your sex life four hours after marriage, the co-worker would have never gotten to the nasty punch line. Saying nothing allows the busybody the luxury of imagining that hubby died suddenly after a steamy encounter in the limo going from the church to the reception hall.
And no, Ehell cannot officially condone violence in response to insensitive verbal blather that was meant to hurt. If every instance of verbal idiocy were met with an escalation into violence, this would become a very uncivil world to live in. Honestly, all you did was lower your level ways below co-worker’s and smacked a pig. As Horatio Hornblower said in a gun duel to his slimy, despicable, cheating opponent, “You’re not worth the powder,” meaning that this disgusting piece of subhumanity wasn’t worth the cost of the bullet and gun powder to shoot him. I am sure there will be plenty of commentators to this post who will revel in the action of busting the co-worker’s nose and cheer you on but they are wrong to encourage you to lower your dignity that way. It may have felt good for the moment but I am far more concerned for your long term good image of yourself.