‘Times’ Advice Guru Answers Your Social Q’s : NPR
This interview, which I happened to catch on the radio on my way home from work, really struck a chord. People can offend so easily without necessarily realizing what they are doing. They may mean well, but that doesn’t make it OK. For example, many people ask a couple who have dated for years when they plan to marry. Worse yet, almost as soon as a wedding is over, well-meaning relatives, usually female, ask when the happy couple plans to have children. I have all too much experience with these prying personal questions.
Here’s the thing: You have no idea what someone else is going through. For example, in the case of the above questions, I’d love more than anything to be starting a family right now. I do want to get married and want to have children more than anything. Unfortunately, I have Turner Syndrome and that isn’t likely to happen. It kills me to watch my childhood friends, my cousins, and my little sister become mothers knowing that I don’t get to join the club, at least not yet. In fact, there is a very real reason why I don’t want to get married at this point. I don’t wanted to be asked continuously why I’m not pregnant yet, especially considering most women my age are starting to hear the tick of the biological clock.
Do I eventually want to get married? Of course! I just want to be in a position to start the adoption process at the same time. I want to be able to have an answer to those inevitable questions. I want to be able to say that we’ve started the adoption process. Maybe then the person asking the prying questions will realize that marriage and parenthood doesn’t necessarily come easily for everyone.
When I first heard the interview and the suggestion of coming back with “Why do you ask?,” I couldn’t help think about a certain scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary in which Bridget suffers through a dinner party composed of smug marrieds, Bridget being the odd woman out. In my opinion, “Why do you ask?” is the perfect response for such situations. I just wish that people didn’t feel the need to ask such personal questions. If I have wonderful news such as I am getting married or I am pregnant, I will share. I promise. Until then, please just keep your thoughts to yourself. It is my life to live and no one else’s. Period.