Author Topic: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??  (Read 6656 times)

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mimi-coyote

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You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« on: January 17, 2011, 02:11:42 AM »

 My first post! :)

   BG: My husband and I are both 22 and we got married in May of 2010. We come from a tight-knit religious group (the Christadelphians) and we have known each other since age 7. We started dating when we were 13 and 14 (unusual no matter who you are, I know) and dated for 8 years before getting married. We got married with a full blessing from both sides of the family and it was very normal and happy.

   About me: I have been 'blessed' with short stature and a baby face. When I don't wear makeup I look like a young teenager. My DH looks his age.

   Now, I don't flaunt my married status or anything, but it will come up sometimes in conversation with strangers ("My husband is looking for size 10 shoes," or whatever), and often the response will be, "You're married?! You look too young to be married!", said in a jovial tone.

   My response has always been either,
   *   "Well, I'm 22, and we dated 8 years before we got married," which is kind of a lot of info to give strangers and often leads to many more exclamations ("Wow, you were young to date!" etc),
   *    Or I will say "I am," in a joking way.

 But now I am getting a little annoyed. This happens often, and I am starting to feel like it's kind of a rude question for them to ask (though I don't think they mean it rudely.) Is there something else I can say that is polite but comes across with the idea that I don't necessarily appreciate their question? Is that rude in itself?

 Is this a situation for "What an interesting assumption?" I don't want to be cold, though.

  Or am I just being too sensitive? Anyone else gone through this kind of thing? I'm not mad, just... a bit annoyed.


Ms_Shell

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2011, 02:17:12 AM »
If you're in the mood for it, I'd probably say "Thanks for the compliment."  I know that once I hit 30, I was pathetically grateful for anyone saying I looked too young for *anything*  :)

It's probably annoying, but they probably just mean it as a general observation, not in a judgy way, if the tone is jovial.
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mimi-coyote

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2011, 02:20:07 AM »
Ooh, thanks! That's a great one. I want to be friendly, while not necessarily giving out my life's story (and my husband's and my story is a looong one, all told!) I'll try that one next time. :)

shhh its me

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2011, 02:27:18 AM »
  If someone says to me " I just got married" I assume  and think many other do ,they are at least 18.  I know that is not always true. I think " you look to young to be married" means you look younger then 18 ,which may be meant as a compliment , honset exclamation of suprise you look so much younger  or sly way to ask your age.

mimi-coyote

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2011, 03:12:56 AM »
 
   Sometimes I wonder if they're taking a bit of a subtle jab at me (you look young! = you are young! = too young to be married! = you must be one of those trashy teenage reality-show-type brides who married for all the wrong reasons and will soon be messily divorced!). In which case, I would be a bit mad, because although I am 'youngish' compared to the U.S. statistical age of marriage, I resent the idea that my age reflects negatively on my marriage and/or my choices for getting married. I don't think it's a great idea for teenagers to be getting married left and right, but I also know more than a handful of people who were married in their teens and have now been married happily for 20, 30 or 40 years. Of course, it depends on the person and their relationship, etc.
   
   So I try to turn the comment into a joke, because I don't think jumping down their throat will help my case at all. :) "I'M NOT AN IMPETUOUS CHILD HOW DARE YOU!!!!" is not the kind of comment you get from a mature adult.

    Then again, they could be complimenting me on my youthful appearance! No way to know! :)

Iris

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2011, 04:41:47 AM »
You say you are currently 22 and very few people would equate that with 'too young'. It's on the younger side of average, certainly, but it's not like you're 16. I really would take it simply as a compliment on your looks or an expression of surprise, as 99 times out of 100 that's all it will be.

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Nora

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2011, 04:43:24 AM »
We got married when I was 20, and he was 22. We did get a lot of snark about us probably being very religous/talked into it etc. All interesting assumptions as we're neither religous, nor able to be talked into quite such a big decision.  ::)

I'd go with "thanks for the compliment", and let it drop to the floor from there. It's none of their business either way.
Just because someone is offended that does not mean they are in the right.

Jan74

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2011, 07:15:44 AM »
I'd just say "Oh thanks" to a stranger, not giving them the info on how long I dated etc. That is none of their business, and giving them that info might be seen as an opening for more personal questions.

I feel your pain, I got married at 21 and looked younger too.

boxy

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2011, 10:12:13 AM »
If I had said it to you it would be either as a compliment or because I had a case of the nerves and just said the first thing that popped into my mind.  It wouldn't be as an insult though. 

As an aside, I'm guessing you don't drink but if you ever do find yourself in a bar be prepared to be carded repeatedly.

kckgirl

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2011, 11:24:44 AM »
   My response has always been either,
   *   "Well, I'm 22, and we dated 8 years before we got married," which is kind of a lot of info to give strangers and often leads to many more exclamations ("Wow, you were young to date!" etc),
   *    Or I will say "I am," in a joking way.

Don't explain anything. If they say you look too young to be married, just say you're not, or "thank you."
Maryland

Ponytail_Palm

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2011, 12:03:23 PM »
People always used to tell me "You look too young to work here!" After the 100th time or so I'd just flatly respond "I'm 21" or "I'm not, though" and leave it at that. "You look too young to ___" is a silly statement unless you see a toddler driving a car or something.

Ginya

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2011, 03:24:45 PM »
I feel your pain. I am 22 and my husband and I got married December 2009. I have been cursed with the "gift" of looking a minimum of 3-5 years younger than I am and it's been that way since I was a toddler. Even with makeup I still get people commenting with how young I look, I get a lot of people who say I look too young to be working and then when/if they see my ring they really get going.

Honestly "That's an interesting assumption" isn't a bad idea to try. I never thought of using it in that context, but I'll have to give it a go. It may make people realize how rude I find it. Most people don't understand, and I've been told I'm over sensitive, but I wouldn't dream of commenting on a strangers age. Whether they look really young or really old. Personally I think going up to someone and saying "wow, you're so young!" should be considered just as offensive as "wow, you look so old!" at least when you're talking to anyone under the age of 35.

As for being considered cold, at least personally I've found if I don't make myself clear on how rude I find it they won't stop. I know one day I might be happy to look so young but since I've had to deal with it for the last 22 years, I find it really annoying. Like a bad joke that everyone keeps telling you.  :-\

Brentwood

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2011, 03:31:36 PM »

   My response has always been either,
   *   "Well, I'm 22, and we dated 8 years before we got married," which is kind of a lot of info to give strangers and often leads to many more exclamations ("Wow, you were young to date!" etc),

It is a lot of information to give strangers, and I wouldn't. It's not their business, and you don't have to justify anything. Just shoot them a slightly puzzled look and repeat your question. "Can you direct me to the men's shoes?"

RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2011, 03:38:52 PM »
Since it sounds like they don't really mean anything by it, I would just give a friendly "Oh, I get that all the time.  Actually, I'm 22/in my 20s."  If you feel like inserting a bit of bean dip, you can add in "I'm told I'll really appreciate looking so much younger in 20 years," because it gets you past that "But 22 is still so young!" danger zone.  I wouldn't give all the explanation, because it's none of their business, and because it sounds like you're trying to justify your marriage, which you don't have to do.  Treat it like the main problem isn't that you are young, but that you look young, because that is the main problem.

Elpie

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Re: You look too young to be married! How should I respond??
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2011, 04:12:15 PM »
"Lucky me!", "Yay, me!", or "Yes, yes I do." can all be modified with tone for your chosen effect.  :)