Thursday, November 09, 2006

Don't ask.

Gather around, children, and get a life lesson over here. I'm about to impart a little bit of wisdom that you (or someone else on the receiving end) will be thankful for, for the rest of your life.

There are times in life where you, well meaning and slightly curious, will want to know something about someone else's life. I used to ask these questions myself until I learned better. I'm here to tell you some questions that you do not ever ask:

When are you getting married? (Or, the variation, When are you two finally getting married already?) There is a strong possibility that one person in the relationship wants to, and the other likes things fine the way they are, and it's rather painful to talk about. Or maybe they have been talking about it, and they really don't feel the need to share it with you. Or maybe he's going to propose next week and would really like you to shut up about it already. Bottom line, this is none of your business. You will know when they're getting married when they tell you about it. I think a good answer for this would be, "Tuesday." and then when the questioner is struggling to answer, you either walk away or say "We'll let you know," and end it there.

When are you having a baby? See above. Couple this with the fact that the people in question may be trying desperately to have a baby, and don't need you pointing out the fact to them. They know already. Your telling a woman that she should really have a child before she's 35 does absolutely nothing to help the situation. As if the couple is going to turn to each other and say, "Yes! You're absolutely right! We DO need to have a baby - let's start one right now! Thank you! Thank you!" The Tuesday answer above would be appropriate in this situation.

The flip side to this is the couple who does not plan on having children, which is also perfectly fine, and should not have to be defended.

Are you going to have any more kids? I have been asked all of the above questions, but this is the one everyone asks me now. You would not believe how many people, well-meaning, ask me this. People I meet on the street, even. And a few who actually ask if I'm using birth control.

I would like to report that I've said, "Tuesday" defiantly to the people who have asked. But this is the hard part - the people who ask me are usually good friends; people who know how hard it's been to have so many so close together. They mean well. And, "Well, it really isn't any of your business," as much as I'd like to say it, just will not come out of my mouth. So I usually say, "Let's see what God sends us." which is sort of vague enough to not really be an answer without saying, "I'm not telling you, or anyone for that matter."

So... have you been asked these questions, and what have you said in return? What do you wish you said?

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