They’ve been happily dating for a few years and the question keeps coming up: “When are you getting married?”
At first it was the usual friends and family. But now it’s everyone from co-workers and church ladies to random acquaintances. They don’t understand the weight of this invasive question. Basically, they are saying, “When is your man going to put a ring on it?” The constant prying is laced with judgment.
When you ask about marriage, you are asking about the inner workings of a bond between two people. Because they are happy and in love, you are expecting them to do more, to somehow make it more official in your eyes. But it is not about you or your timetable. Some people don’t want to get married. Others want to but haven’t reached that point yet. Either way, this question is impolite.
“Marriage is something that I want,” Diedra says. “But I just get annoyed when people ask me when I’m going to get married. If you don’t see a ring, why ask about it?”
Why? We are obsessed with other people’s business. I know sometimes these questions are asked out of love, but really, how much love do you have for a casual acquaintance? Or a superstar? I check my email and a fashion blog is in a full frenzy over model Chanel Iman’s alleged secret engagement to rapper A$AP Rocky. All over the blogosphere people are impatiently waiting for Thursday’s episode of “Two and a Half Men.” Mila Kunis is guest starring alongside her boyfriend/fiance Ashton Kutcher, and ever since she started wearing loosely fitting clothes, the rumor mill has been bustling with baby bump sightings.
In CBS’ teaser for the episode, Mila sits across from Ashton and says, “I don’t get this whole fascination with celebrities anyway. Who cares who’s dating whom or who’s engaged to whom or who has a sex tape that no one will ever, ever see ”
Here’s the thing: This celebrity fixation is leaking over to day-to-day living. Strangers feel entitled to know every little detail of someone’s life, famous or not. Especially when we’re talking about women and relationships. Somehow, our womanhood is wrongly validated by rings and rattles.
I told Diedra that even when she gets married, people will then become preoccupied with the possibilities of pregnancy. It’s a stifling feeling, to always have your relationship status in question. I should know. “When are you having kids,” is something I hear all the time. I have had random salespeople ask if I’m thinking about kids. Some have even gone as far to say, “Isn’t it about time you get started?”
Because, that’s appropriate. Right? Wrong. That’s like me asking someone for their credit score. To all of you out there who are exhausted by the rude questions, it’s time you make the inquiring minds feel as awkward as they make you feel. Try these potential answers to annoying questions:
Question: When are you getting married?
• Have I been happily dating too long according to your standards?
• Would you like to pay for my wedding and moving expenses?
• When my Facebook status changes, you’ll know.
Question: When are you having kids?
• You want to know how my ovaries are working?
• And how is your sex life going?
• Why? Does my age and lack of children make you uncomfortable?
Seriously, the next time you find yourself stalking a baby bump or hunting for a ring on someone’s finger, think before you speak. When it comes to life-changing details, don’t ask. We’ll tell you.