Thursday, October 11, 2012

How to answer the annoying question

At each wedding I went to this summer (6 in total, although we were invited to over a dozen*), I was asked at least once the age-old boring question, "So when are you getting married/engaged?"  Or some similar version of this inquiry.

Attention those who ask this: This is the most annoying question ever!  

If you've been with your partner for any length of time, people seemed compelled to ask you this.  I know from personal experience and because I've seen it happen to other people.  Other friends that are or have been in long-term relationships also griped about this question. - Congratulations on sleeping with the same person for the rest of eternity

In full disclosure, I must admit that I, too, have asked this question.  I'd like to think that I've only ask this question in situations where we were speaking candidly about relationships, but that's unlikely.

I often wonder what people really expect me to say when they ask this question.  Oh, in six months.  And do people really plan that out in advance? Like, We will be getting engaged in September of 2012.  Really?!  When someone wants the real answer to the question, I am usually willing to talk about the difficulties of being in a long-term relationship with no plans to stop (heck, I wrote a whole post on it and could write more), but I don't have a short answer. - I'd love to attend your wedding if it wasn't going to put overwhelming pressure on me to have my own.

So if this situation applies for you and you're running out of answers to these questions, I have a solution for you.  I've come up with this super awesome list of responses.  I wish I could say I've exercised each one of these responses, but most I've just said in my own mind.

So get your full snark on and prepare to blow people away with your smarta** remarks.
  1. Never. *laugh hysterically* Or don't laugh at all, an equally good answer.
  2. Oh, didn't you know? I'm already married.  We eloped in Vegas 6 months ago.  Best to have a big ole' fake rock on your hand to say this one.
  3. Why buy the cow, when you get the milk for free! I realize this makes much more sense for a male to say, but it is still funny.
  4. When we have kids.  The Farmer's personal favorite.  To which I respond, And that's not happening.
  5. When are you getting engaged?  Works very well with the male folk and they usually just respond Good point.  
  6. Why ruin a good thing? Would recommend this one on somebody who is recently married.
  7. Actually we broke up.  So I guess it won't be anytime soon.  Great for weddings you are attending without your partner.
  8. When getting married isn't a fad anymore. This is a typical Alyssa non-conformist answer.
  9. When you stop asking me. 
  10. None of your damn business. - The secret to a successful marriage is to let other people do it.

Now these won't help you in every situation, but I think they will be a great start for you.  I will share a recent run-in of the Farmer's with you.

A month ago, we were attending a the wedding of the Farmer's fraternity brother.  Now, there are at least 3 men from his pledge class who are soon-to-be fathers and probably a half a dozen more who are newly married or engaged.  It's like they believe the first thing they must do out of college is get married.  I don't get it.  

The morning after the wedding, many of the wedding guests were enjoying breakfast at the hotel's buffet.  Some were more perky than others that morning (read: some were hungover).  The Farmer went over to chat with some friends that he hadn't had a chance to talk with the night before.  Of course, someone inevitably asked, "So when are you tying the knot?" I'm not quite sure what the Farmer responded, but I sure hope it was from the list above.  

Then this someone (we will call him Mark, for simplicity), shot back, "Well I can hear you every where you go?"

The Farmer, confused, quizzically responded, "Huh?"

Mark with much too much snark of his own, "Yeah, the sound of you dragging your feet." 

The Farmer was so stunned that he couldn't even think of a comeback.  It's probably a good thing that I wasn't with him at the time because I can think of a few good comebacks but they aren't very nice. Including, "Well not everyone needs to rush to get engaged after they've only been dating for a year." But that would not have gone over well and the Farmer would probably have been upset with me.  

The good point to this story is that I remembered a long time ago (like sophomore year of college), making a bet with Mark about who would get engaged first.  He, of course, said it would be me and I said it would be him.  Well guess who happens to be engaged.  Obviously, not me, so that leaves Mark.  I think we bet $20 on this. The next time I see him and he asks that annoying question, I'll just remind him that he owes me $20 and at least I will feel better. 

End anecdote.

If this post applies to you, first off, my sympathy.  Second, I have good news.  Your friends will eventually tire of asking you this question, especially if you respond with awesome sarcasm.  Of course, the questions will probably never end till you actually get engaged or married, but the volume will decrease.

And if you are one of those people that ask this rude, intrusive question, STOP!

*If this makes me a bad friend/person, so be it.  It was exhausting travelling almost every weekend for 3 months for races, weddings, and family events, not to mention expensive.  Especially exhausting, when I was training for my half Ironman for most of the time.  So if I skipped your wedding I'm sorry.  But most of the ones I skipped were friends of the Farmer's, so I don't feel too bad. 
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