by Lolo Sianipar
This is a subject that I’m proudly say quite expert in. C’mon give me a credit here, I mean after dealing with the same question over and over again for years, that also means almost – say – errr… 10…20… Yes! 50 thousands something times questions of “So, when you are going to get married Lo?” I’m in no doubt, had developed a spontaneous accurate counter for the particular question in any occasion. Yes, the occasion can be anywhere, that question is like a sneaky fixation that’ll abruptly emerge when you didn’t expect it and hit you right in the head. So we single, we need to be primed. Wedding party is the main occasion where this question can pop up more than 5 times (my record is 17 questions in one wedding – try to break that!), then family gathering come on second place (the audience similar with Wedding Party minus friends. Relatives, they are more than happy to repetitively asking the same question), office can be another place, but they eventually tired to ask you the same question, oh yeah, don’t forget, HOME, parents, never failed at least once a month or even a week, only God knows how they can put it effortlessly in almost any conversation. Another event is on gathering with friends who already married (plus have some kids), as well as accidentally meet some old friends in the mall, almost guaranteed the question must be come up as their first or second question.
I’m embracing my 30s next year. I’m single, but thank God, I have a steady boyfriend and marriage still in our subject to discuss. I never doubt my boyfriend’s genuine willingness and effort to make me happy, but as much as we need things to be settled between us first, we keep the marriage plan in an open discussion, that’s all. I’m quite satisfied with that for now. BUT, that’s not what people around us think whenever they see me or us together. They just can’t help it to ask about my/our status and when we’re going to hit the aisle. The form of the question can be many but the point is one. I am somehow amazed by their persistence in asking that question repeatedly, ignoring my previous answer. One of my aunts, I’m pretty sure already asked the same question for more than 10 times in the last 3 months, and bet she won’t give up until she see me walking around a party wearing a wedding gown. Another friend of mine already ask that 2 times in the past month, even this week some friends that I just met again after a long time absence, make it their first question. AND please need not to mention my parents. Hence, I’m so feed up yet so prepared.
“So why haven’t you set a date? “ (Silly!),
“What are you guys waiting for?” (Hmph!),
”Hurry up, you are not young anymore, think about how old you’ll be when you have kids later!” (Cliché!) ,
”There won’t be perfect timing, and you’ll never 100% sure, so just do it” (Classic!),
“Your parents are dying to have grand children, you know” (Lame!),
“Don’t be too picky! There’s no perfect guy out there!” (Gimme a break!),
“Women, they have this biological clock ticking, so decide!” (Yeiks!),
“Take us for example, it was hard at first but we’ve made it! You know you can do it too!” (R-rright!),
There are several things I do to responds the question, sometimes with help from my boyfriend. We’re such a good partner in maneuvering out from that subject, but when you’re talking with the elder people, it’s a bit tougher. After all the way you act in response basically related to who asked you the question and how many times they already ask it. Here’s the list on how to deal with it, trust me, these can comes in handy sometimes:
1. Smile of course, that’s first thing to do, sometimes it’s enough, you don’t need to say anything, that’ll add some mysteriousness in it, almost similar with saying “We know, we just want to keep it a secret and surprise you later”.
2. Laugh, if you feel like it, or if the people who ask you the question is “funny” in a way. Laugh is also a good bridging to swing conversation to another topic. Just don’t do it too much, you’ll look silly.
3. “Next year” can sometimes useful and give a sense of gratifying to the person who asking. But it can be back fired if the person pursue with further detail question like “What month next year?” Then I would reply hazily “errr… somewhere at midyear I guess. Do you see my Mom? Ah, I think I spot her!”
4. One of my favorite response is instantly pointing at my boyfriend (if he’s there) and say “O you could ask him!” then laugh, he usually reply by false laugh before give me that look! You know the O-you-so-gonna-get-it looks.
5. If I’m in “full of wisdom” mode, I would reply calmly with an explanation of how difficult to merge two souls with a different character and the long problematical process of taking a sole decision to be united in a holy matrimony. After along wise rationalization, they will forget the first question and nodding prudently to agree with my concerns, and start talking about relationship. This way is nice and shows some maturity in it, but it’s tiring. Gosh, imagine you have to talk a long nonsense in good manners to a person that you would love to say “none of your business”.
6. Or I can be tacky sometimes, I would reply “Yeah, we really want it, so we’re saving some money right now. Things are quite complicated yet expensive nowadays, somebody needs to pay for the venue and food, and you can’t feed your baby water and stone, can you?”
7. I wouldn’t strongly suggest this one, but pretending to faint can help somehow. Yeah, a bit dramatic, but whatever to avoid it.
8. Ask them back why they want to know. This is a bit rough, this can caused the person confuse and lost words, and most probably think that you feel offended, which you ARE, right?
That’s the list! I’m happy with it. I know, I know, some of you must have did it already, and please, feel free to add some more, cause I don’t think I’ll be free from such question from time to time in the future until the D-day. Darn! Hm , but if we really think about all those “social” question, it’ll never end as a matter in fact. People who just got married, other people will then ask them a never ending “When you’re going to have a kid”. Then couple with one kid, will got a never ending question of “When will you have the next kid and how many?”. People with children will get a continuous question about “What are the children’s future plans?”, and so forth and so forth until we die. Yes, we’ll always dealing with these never ending generic questions. Finally, all we can do is to take it as part of living and our social disposition.