Author Topic: What will she ask next?  (Read 13526 times)

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valkyre

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Re: What will she ask next?
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2009, 03:09:40 PM »
Last November I threw a birthday party for my boyfriend. We've been together on and off for 8 years. We are both in our very late 30's. We had the party at the home of some very dear friends of ours, and the guest list was fairly fluid. No one was invited that my BF didn't like, of course, but the upstairs neighbors are sort-of friends so they showed up.

During the party, I was talking with a small group that included both my BF and the female half of the couple (I'll call her Bernadette), as well as a few other people. Completely unrelated to anything being discussed anywhere in the room, Bernadette looked at me and asked "So, when are you two going to have children?" This is something that NO ONE has ever asked me before. I know, I've been lucky. But I was completely blindsided. I think I gaped at her for a few moments, then I turned and walked out of the room. I just couldn't think of anything at all to say or do. I avoided her for the rest of the party and no one else brought it up. Later, I asked someone about it and they said "Well, Bernadette can be like that. Just ignore it." I've been to gatherings that included her since and she's always behaved herself so I thought she'd gotten the message. Until last night.

Another get together. The group of us were sitting in the backyard grouped around two tables. The way the tables were set up, I would have my back to one table or the other. After eating, I turned my chair a bit so that I could talk with the group at the other table, where Bernadette was sitting. As soon as I did she asked "When are you two getting married?"

My BF and I are not engaged. We have not even discussed marriage except in the broadest terms, and we certainly have not discussed it with other people. Once again, I turned my back to her and re-engaged in the discussion with the other table.

What I did was probably rude, but when she does this I really do not know what to say. I know all of the classic phrases, but they fly right out of my head in the heat of the moment and I am completely empty headed. And while if I'd known she was like this at the beginning I might have anticipated the children question (as she has a child and is very pro-children), the marriage question took me by surprise because she lives with the father of her child but is not married herself, apparently by her own choice. So it's not her own world view she's encouraging.

I'm sure something like this will happen again, but I can't imagine what else there is to ask.

I guess what I'm asking is if you could help me think of things she might ask next. Perhaps if I treat it like a play I can be prepared so that when I hear my cue I can deliver my memorized lines.

Your answer should be:

Good gracious! I have no idea when we're going to get married.  Why don't you ask him? (the boyfriend).

Nuala

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Re: What will she ask next?
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2009, 11:47:53 AM »
Your answer should be:

Good gracious! I have no idea when we're going to get married.  Why don't you ask him? (the boyfriend).

The problem with that is it implies that she wants to be married and is just waiting for the boyfriend to ask. 

mharbourgirl

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Re: What will she ask next?
« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2009, 06:47:56 AM »
This thread is actually a relief.  I get these two questions ALL...THE...TIME and I was starting to reach the point where I was ready to throw things at people and their prying and assumptions. 

It's the whole 'when' thing that really bothers me.  You're assuming that I'm going to reproduce and/or have an expensive costume party (aka wedding), it's just a matter of time.  Which is pretty much jumping to conclusions based on no evidence or knowledge of me whatsoever.  And it hasn't stopped even though I'm now 39.  I tried using that as a reason why I wasn't spawning, and I get all the 'well-meaning' advice about medical advances, fertility treatments, the whole nine yards.  I won't tell you what I said the other day but it was blunt, somewhat graphic, and upset someone because they kept going on and on about how much I'm missing out on and the suggestion that I was being selfish was also implicated in their rant.  I was just pushed far beyond my last nerve on the subject and kind of snapped.  :-[

I think I will start using the suggestions from this thread, because it's not going to stop and I'm so sick of it I'm ready to scream.  Why do people assume that my personal choices are any of their business? Especially in this particular area?

*stomps off muttering and trying not to pull her hair out*

gardengirl

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Re: What will she ask next?
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2009, 08:56:24 PM »
I'd rather answer a question about the state of my bowels than talk to strangers about my decision to marry or not.  Whether someone is going to be married or have kids is an intensely personal decision.  I always catch myself having this conversation:.

"Don't you want to get married?"  They ask.
"Eh, maybe, maybe not.  I have dishes already," I respond, trying to make this a light answer so they'll leave me alone.
"But marriage is about more than dishes" they say, as though I am stupid.
"Well, my parents' marriage was not so great.  So I'm not sure it's what I want."
"That's not all marriages...You know, some people are fighting for the right to be married!"
"Yes, I understand that." ad infinitum.

The worst part is when they drag my SO into the conversation.  Because CLEARLY if we are not married, it is my responsibility, because I am the woman, and all women want to be married.  And if I say I'm not sure, I SECRETLY long to be married.  They give him advice about this.  ARRRGGGGHHHH!

I'm not sure I buy that people are just trying to make conversation.  Or rather, they may be, but someone needs to get across to them that this is not an appropriate question.  The only time I managed this was at my SO's grandfather's wake, where a friend of my SO's mother asked it.  I was so shocked I actually just looked at her and raised my eyebrows and blinked.  She apologized immediately, whereupon (oh, the shame!) I said I was sorry and it was okay, and explained my reasons (the same ones that never work in the previous conversation...)  At least that time I didn't walk off feeling stupid about not being married, and contemplating how life seems so much easier for other people who have no problem sticking to societal expectations.

I can't wait for the conversations that will ensue if I ever get married and don't change my name.

bigfun

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Re: What will she ask next?
« Reply #19 on: April 28, 2009, 02:11:00 PM »
Oh, how I love this thread.  When my sister got married, her FMIL asked her during the rehearsal dinner if she was changing her name.  She said, "well, your son wasn't interested in changing his, so figured we'd just keep our names."  I understand having to clarify a last name because you're updating your address book, but if it's asked out of idle curiosity, and especially by a family member, that just seems loaded.  Or it'd be better asked in private and not at the dinner table.

I wish I had heard of that "I will forgive you..." line when I was asked the kid question.  We were admiring our new nephew, and my SIL's MIL said to me "now doesn't that just make you WANT ONE?"  I was dumbfounded.  I just said no.  She replied "you will when you get older".  I said, "I'm old enough to know".  Not very tactful on my part, but it got the point across.  Have you ever noticed that nobody asks of someone with kids, "so, why did you decide to have kids, anyway?"

hobish

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Re: What will she ask next?
« Reply #20 on: April 28, 2009, 02:22:03 PM »
>snip<
The worst part is when they drag my SO into the conversation.  Because CLEARLY if we are not married, it is my responsibility, because I am the woman, and all women want to be married.  And if I say I'm not sure, I SECRETLY long to be married.  They give him advice about this.  ARRRGGGGHHHH!
>snip<


THAT is the attitude that makes me want to pull my hair out. Gish (the BF) and i have been together for several (8? 9?) years now and i am really sick of the pitying looks from people who assume i am just wilting away waiting for him to ask the question that he is never going to ask because i was naive enough to live with him first  ::) Bleh. Truthfully, neither one of us really cares; but of course as the female i must just be pining for a ring. Even worse is the main person who has been espousing this is a (former?) friend of mine who was just married less than a year ago. She now only talks to other married couples and feels bad for Gish and me because we are not married, even though we have had a solid relationship for longer then she has even known her husband ... who she sort of met through Gish.  ::)

Le sigh.

What to do about it, i have no idea. Lately i have just been letting it fester & frustrate me.

It's alright, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can.
~Gaslight Anthem

pootbear

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Re: What will she ask next?
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2009, 03:58:06 PM »
She will either ask another inappropriate question or as another member suggested, she'll ask you why you keep turning your back on her.

Is she asks another inappropriate question, I think your back turning is quite appropriate if you're at a loss for words.  I also think when someone raised you with the notion that 'every question deserves and answer' they didn't mean rude people who are asking inappropriate questions.

If you get tongue tied that's OK just keep turning your back and save yourself for the day she DOES ask "Why do you keep turning your back on me?"

Practice before a mirror now for that day so you can answer her question with this one:

    " Well......how do YOU handle inappropriate questions?"

Then watch her splutter and be ready with one of e-hell's standards or your very own back turning which IMHO is dead silence with a nice flair. 

PB

sourgirl27

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Re: What will she ask next?
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2009, 02:44:11 PM »
i get caught off guard like that a lot, too. i think walking away from her without saying a word is awesome, even if you are doing it for not knowing what else to do. i would certainly get the hint if someone did that to me. i usually end up either saying nothing, or saying something that doesn't let the person know the true depth of my irritation or anger, and i kick myself for it later. i think you should just keep walking away.