The funny disease.

Friday, December 23, 2005

So, when are YOU gonna...

A repugnant question rears its ugly head to dating couples at family functions, it is posed at birthday celebrations, at your cousin’s wedding, and also appears amidst conversations with your uncle about machine tools. It is the dreaded: “So, when are YOU gonna get married?” Calling it a question is deceptive. It is an expectation. It is a command to jump off the bridge into the hypothermia-inducing waters of commitment just like all of your lemming cousins have done before you.

Foolishly, I thought that by getting married I would quell the incessant bothersome questioning. The old-maid ribbings, the reminders that I wasn’t getting any younger, would disappear like Grandma’s delectable angel food cake. It was this haranguing, of course, that was the sole reason I married Sweetface. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that he was a dear sweet man who loved me (and could make chocolate mousse cake). I did it to shut my big Sicilian family up. Only the questioning hasn’t stopped. It has only been warped into a more sinister form than propelling me into that insidious institution called marriage.

Now the question we get asked at Easter and on the Forth of July, and would be asked at Christmas, if we didn’t have the good sense to go on vacation at that time every year is, “So, when are YOU gonna have kids?” Now I feel pressured to throw my husband on the floor and force him to make a baby with me, right there on Grandma’s living room rug. Our attempts to deflect the question only make them more persistent. As if I’m able to *poof* have a baby, and then all will be right in my world. They believe that my husband and I are incomplete, unfulfilled, until we conform to their narrow definition of family.

Never mind that we may not want a baby; not that I dislike the prospect of feeding and bathing and clothing a poop-machine that occasionally projectile vomits. Never mind that what my family is asking might be insensitive. My family would probably even press on if I had the word “Infertile” tattooed on my forehead. If we do ever try for a child, and fail, their words would taunt me in the restless long black hours of the night. “It’s your turn to bring a drooling, snotty-nosed, germ transfer device into the world.” “You just don’t know how wonderful life can be until you are living in a perpetual sleep-deprived stupor.” “You are missing out on the joy of being responsible for baking 5 dozen cupcakes by tomorrow because Timmy forgot to mention that he signed you up for the charity bake sale.” “You know your mother is crazy for a grandchild.” It’s true that my mother and mother-in-law are crazy for grandchildren, though they have been so kind about it. They both have told me that they work with children all day, which is true, and that we shouldn’t worry about providing them grandchildren, which is about as true as “It wasn’t me, it was the dog.”

There are a few couples I know who have foregone the childbearing path, and instead have done the sensible thing and gotten a pet. Pets are nice because except for certain species of tropical birds, and huskies they don’t talk back to you. And except for fish, which don’t have ears, and huskies, they mostly listen to you. The most damning evidence that having children instead of adopting a furry bundle of joy is a sign of insanity; the average cost of obedience school: $60, the average cost of a four-year private college: $17,123. Both my father and father-in-law have the right idea, they have both asked, “So, when are YOU gonna get a dog?” which I didn’t mind at all, because my husband and I had both mentioned wanting a dog.

I am too jaded now to believe for minute that the questions will stop if we ever decide to procreate. Once the fruit of my looms has been spent, and my husband and I are firmly locked into the thankless work of raising children I know that the next question is coming. It will undoubtedly be, “So, when are YOU gonna die?”


Anonymous Assbadger said...

Don't have any on my account. Huskies work for me. Just tell everyone else if they put up a million right then and there for the kid to go to school, you'll have one. That'll shut 'em up.

12/23/2005 2:04 PM

Blogger KyuBall said...

Oh, don't kid yourself, having a child won't stop that question either. After that, it becomes: "So, when are you going to have ANOTHER?"

I'll have another when your wrinkled ass starts covering this Lexus payment that I'm shelling out in daycare costs.

And that's where your last question comes in: "So, when are you going to die so that I can begin spending the inheritance money?"

12/27/2005 8:33 PM

Blogger Xanadu said...

I agree with assbadger. A four legger is better...if they are naughty you can just put them in their crate! For a little expansion of the million for the kids schooling...the chore of bearing their grandchildren, nieces, nephews etc. ought to be worth something for you too!

12/29/2005 1:14 PM


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