Etiquette School is in session! > "So kind of you to take an interest."

"Oh, must have slipped my mind."

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Tell me if this is too snarky:

My DH and I dated for 4 years and have been married for 5.  We love children and have always volunteered with them and are very happy to borrow (some of) them.  So obviously people can't help but interjecting their observations that we are childless (Gee?  Really?  I thought it was kind of quiet.)  The comments I hate the most are the ones that imply that we simply forgot to have children.

It's hit the point where I can't say, "We're planning them later, but not now." or "We haven't decided." Without hearing lectures about biological clocks.

I can't say, "We decided not to have them." Without people asking about the decision since all of our actions until about three years ago indicated that we just couldn't wait.

I can't say, "We're trying." because everyone knows some dumb thing that we should try (and probably have) and don't believe me when I say it won't work for our particular problems. 

I can't even say, "We can't have them." People want to know what we are trying to do to remedy the situation.  I can't explain our current therapy without going into a 30 minute discourse about the latest research in gamete production.  I don't want to talk about our steps towards adoption because that sets them off on a rant based on personal experience and political agendas.

So lately, when people point out that we don't have children I look surprised, I look at my watch, and say "Thanks for reminding me.  I'll see about that."  It confuses them enough that they don't ask nosy questions.

Is that just too snarky and rude?  I know it's rude of them to ask, but two rudes don't make a polite.

  Actually, I think that's a great response.  I think as long as you say it with a good attitude, it's not snarky at all.  I kind of picture you saying it with a bit of a grin and shrugging it off.  I know when most people make comments, they don't mean to be nosy or nasty, they think they're being helpful, so a creative reply not said in a mean way is the perfect response.

Mr. Fed:
This is actually one of the line items in my rant about rude questions.

--- Quote ---3.  Unless you are offering to allow your listener to lay his/her xeno eggs in your chest cavity and let the spwanlings feed on your bloated, hollowed-out corpse, (Oo, I just used a rude phrase that the moderators won't be happy about. ) about whether they ought to start having children.
--- End quote ---

It's possible that response may raise some etiquette issues.

I think it's a perfectly fine answer. You are acknowledging what they said (even if they don't deserve it), and you are not being rude.

I'm so sorry that you are getting the third degree.  DH and I had trouble conceiving for a couple of years, but thankfully no one questioned us for most of it (and we never made public our efforts.)  I did have one uncle (notorious for talking first, then thinking) who slapped me on the back at a family reunion and said, "When are you gonna have kids?"  I gave him a blank, shocked look, saying nothing.  He then immediately replies, "Forget I said that, that wasn't nice, sorry."  Me-thinks he has gotten into trouble before with that question and temporarily forgot!!

Sometimes just a silent response of shock might work.  :)

~ Cristen


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