Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Grandma Drops the F-Bomb

You heard me.

I'm just sitting quietly, except for that awful industrial farting noise I make when I fidget on the plastic slip-covers, minding my own business, refusing offers of coffee, cognac, cheese, and strudel (in that order), when Grandma comes out with the f-word.

"When are you two starting a FAMILY?"

Oh, sure, make it sound all innocent, like it's not the most loaded question known to humankind. Good one, Grandma.

Family is a pain in the ass. Really. When you're single, every visit with the extended family is an opportunity for vaguely pickle-smelling old women to pry into your personal affairs.

Q: When are you going to bring a boy around for us to meet?
A: The truth is, I have never hated anyone enough to subject them to your nonsense. This one time, I thought Robbie gave me syph and I almost brought him to uncle Ted's toe-picking Tuesdays, but then it turned out to be nothing, so I just stole his AC/DC t-shirt and stopped returning his phone calls instead.

Q: When are you going to settle down?
A: Probably around the same time you realize that your comb-over resembles road kill.

Of course, you don't say these things. You smile uncomfortably, maybe force a chuckle, and then go lock yourself in the bathroom for 20 minutes while you try to talk yourself out of throwing some lit matches in the waste basket and jumping out the window.

But the single people have it easy. It's when you get engaged that they really eat you alive. And they drag your poor fiance into it too.

Q: So, Jamie's fiance...
A: His name is Jason, aunt Liz.
Q: Right, right. So, Jamie's fiance, how much money do you make, how much have you got saved up, how much is that ring worth, what are your long-term plans, and you do realize that you'll be obligated to spend every national&religious&bank holiday with us, right?
A: Uh...well...uh...

Q: Have you seen Jamie's baby pictures yet? There's some of her in the bath, and of when she was 9 and got that know, we thought she was going to turn out to be one of those lesbians that you hear about on the news.
A: Uh...well...uh...

Q: Do you have room for just 4 more on the guest list? Because I was over at Gertrude's for tea, and she was telling me that her great-niece will be visiting from Sweden, and I thought it would be nice if you could invite them. Don't you remember her? Don't you remember her? She was good friends with your great-aunt May. Oh that's right, she passed on from the emphysema before you were born. So is there room on the guest list, dear?
A: Uh...well...uh...

It's good fun. And if by some miracle the person you were engaged to survives this induction into the family and becomes the person you are now married to, then you're in store for much, much more fun. Such as when Grandma drops the f-bomb. Because she will, you know. And sooner than you'd think. You'll still be tan from your honeymoon when the questions begin.

Q: So...?
A: What?
Q: Is there something that you two want to tell us?
A: Um, no I don't think so Grandma.
Q: What, you're not pregnant yet?

And the questions are repeated so often that you get creeped out about how much the family is keeping track of your sex life.

Q: When are you two going to get a bun in that oven?
Q: When are you going to make me a grandma?
Q: Don't you realize we need more babies around the house?
Q: Will I see my great-grandchildren before I die?
Q: How come you aren't pregnant yet?
Q: But you're trying, right?
Q: What do you mean, no?
Q: Why do you hate me?

And you can't escape them. No matter how you answer, they will hound you until they die. Or until you get wise and start going to Jamaica for the holidays.


Jay said...

You always hope that one day that the family will realize your wishes not to have children but Jamie and I know it won't happen. They whole-heartedly believe that we'll change our minds, but we won't. Not only because this is a big decision we made long ago, but mostly because we're stubborn. Well Jamie is stubborn, I just back her up. We started AND ended our family the day we got married, so Granms will just have to deal, and all the praying in the world won't help her out.

And Jamie, what's the deal with that lesbian haircut comment?


Brandie said...

I see where you're coming from, but I still think single people have it worse. Because when you're single, they know there's no chance of a "family" being started any time soon, so that's when they get desperate and start throwing the Parade of Losers at you.

Did you ever have to deal with the Parade of Losers? Your family doesn't believe you when you say, "I'm not looking for someone right now, I WANNA BE ALONE!" So they start parading all their friends' sons in front of you. The ones who still live with their parents. In the basement. Reading comic books all day. At the age of 35.

But I do feel for you, Jay. Honestly, I do. And reading this just cements my decision to stay single for as long as I can.

Can you pick me up on your way to Jamaica? :)

Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Oh, You tell it so well!!!! Uh, "they *never* "get wise." They may become silent, but they're still looking straight on at your tummy or stealing glances when they THINK you aren't looking...and they still ask, or wink about your sex life as if it's the national news. The comments, like "let's leave early so they can be ALONE, multiply faster than rabbits." I do give my grandpa credit. When I spoke to him privately and explained WHY we'd have kids when WE were ready, he respected that (unlike many other relatives or friends) and he stopped asking, but didn't stop hoping...

Woody said...

I had an aunt that used to cover her furniture with that horrible clear plastic. I'd forgotten that until you mentioned it. Best of luck in dealing with meddling realtives.

JeN said...

Well, you could have always told Gandma that of course you and Jason were going to try for a family. In fact, you were thinking of trying right after teatime in Granny's bathroom! heh heh

BeckyBumbleFuck said...

Yeah, the key is to somehow manipulate the situation into something that's useful for you. For example, my grandmother would persistantly hound my clever cousin H about getting a haircut. H managed to get a twenty dollar bill out of this senile lady quite regularly. There's gotta be a way to make a profit out of this, too (while of course claiming that medicine and science "done you wrong" and left you childless...)

Vics said...

LMAO - my mum started on stef LITERALLY within 5 minutes of being introduced, I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me - she knew we'd only just decided we were actually IN a realationship after dancing around the thought for a couple of months... Cow.

Kelly said...

jay you and i are the same age: twenty-three. this is an okay age to be married, and to be single.

this past summer, while i was twenty-two, my cousin asked me if i was seeing anyone. i said, no, not seriously. she looked at me, tilted her head and said "that's okay, you still have seven years."


if only the situation were reversable and i could ask prying questions to my elders. "so, have the hot flashes started?" oh, well, you'll get them soon. then you'll be really old.

how's that for pressure? be old. ha to that! ha!

f-words, w-words, and b-words are on my perma-hate list.


Robin Monroe said...

In my meddling family, it was the other way around...

MOM: "Well, don't you think after giving her two illegitimate children you ought to at least marry my daughter?"
HIM: "But why buy the cow???"
ME: "Moo, honey, Moo! Need any milk?? And gee, mom, thanks for reminding us! We'd forgotten that our precious little boys are actually little bastards."

Mom's worries were all for naught, though: he did marry me (actually, I married HIM) when my health insurance ran out and I needed to re-up. And now we're a big "normal" family who just has to deal with the "tick-ticking" of people's mental calculators when they ask how long we've been married immediately follwed by "And HOW old are your kids??"

To hell with convention, I say!!

Charone said...

Argh . . . family!!!!!!!!!

Jay said...

Becky, that's a great job if you can get it, and if I can figure out a way to scam the grandparents, you bet I'll be on board.

Kelly, 23 may be an okay age to be married at, but let's not forget that I've been this way since I was 20...which around here, prompts the "Oh, shot-gun wedding?" type questions left and right.

pinkme said...

Oh, the joy of family. I actually got married because I was pregnant, not recommended!
My sister on the other hand has been married for 5 years and the family won't leave her alone. She finally made up some story about being on drugs that would cause birth defects, and told them if they didn't want a three headed grandchild they better back off.

retarius said...

other than the fact that i am laghing my ass off, let me say this...

that is why they say "friends are god's way of making up for family."

genetic mishap said...

oh gosh... thank goodness I live too far away from my family to really get a lot of nagging about this. I get a little every visit home, though. Just a little, thankfully. Sounds beyond annoying.

Jay said...

Oh, annoying, why yes it is. Especially when they insist that "You're still young, you'll change your mind."

Oh yeah? Well believe me, if we "change our mind", I'll be in a heap of trouble, because there's no outgrowing Jason's infertility, and so if there's a baby on the way, there's a big problem on our hands.

Kelsey said...

lol!!!! hilarious!! still laughing! ^-^

Chick said...

I totally's all so creepy. To ask such a very personal question like that...rude beyond words.

Matching them with an equally rude question seems like the way to go to me too.

amy said...

I guess T and I are lucky. Neither of our parents are ready for us to have kids. Though, at our wedding reception I was standing next to T's mom and one of his relatives asked when we were starting a family and she chimed in with "Not any time soon I hope, I'm much too young to be a grandmother."

My parents already have 3 grandkids (most of whom are teenagers). I think they just know I've got other items on my agenda besides popping out some babies.

I'm sorry Jay. I know you'll stick to your guns though. And you're right, it's not like you can outGROW infertility!

Darlene said...

Ahhh, your Grandma sounds sweet! When my niece got engaged, she went to my parents (her grandparents) to show them the ring and spill the beans. My father looks at the ring, then looks up at her fiance and says, "Well, that's pretty nice if that's all you can afford!" Ahhh my sweet old Dad!

Sloop said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sloop said...

Kids are for the: a) rich, b) vain, c) careless, or d) all of the above.

transience said...

ah, witty, witty, witty. but then family can just leave you tongue-tied. my grandmother always does this to me. i mean, ask the "M" question. and she always forgets the name of my boyfriend. she says, "...that guy with the chinky eyes..."

megingras said...

I'm laughing so hard that I hope I don't wet myself.
Try working at a senior center and having NON family members ask you that on a weekly basis...
hang in have the first step down: You're married to the wonderful Jason. I'm thirty something and I got my aunt inviting me to dinner to meet some nice "co-workers" she has. or.."why don't you bring that new fella you're seeing.", he's in a foreign country.
It could be worse! Really.

Cal the Wonderdog said...

In Frostbite Falls, people just say "Well, you know . . ." to any question they don't want to answer. It works best with a slight angling of the head.

They just keep using it and using it and using it until the questioning person stops.

So, you may ask me, "Cal, would that really work with my Grandma?" And I'll say, "Well, you know . . . then angle my head slightly.

colleen said...

all ofthese reasons are why we ran away to vegas to get married and didn't tell the family, and why we're making Cuba an annual tradition. fukit.

Elisa said...

Ah yes, I remember those comments from when I was married.

Now I get "Aren't you worried that you'll run out of time to have kids?"

My response is always some variation of, "No, but you should feel free to have some if you like them so much".

Fidget said...

Jay, incase you ever totally lose your marbles i will tell you this.. there is always a new prying question.. after the first kid they wanted to know when we'd have another.. now we have 2 girls they want to know when we'll try for a son.. ARGHHHHHH Sure we like kids but do i need to fill up the back yard hoping to "get it right?" I think i need a few years apart before even thinking about more... i'm not one of those 4 kids under 4 kind of gals...You'd find me in the nut house... Next time they ask say "I know it's hard since your uterous shriveled up but adoption is always an option for you"

Rimmy said...

Heh. We're doing it backwards.

She's eighteen weeks pregnant now, and my family doesn't even know yet.

They also don't know we plan to get married within the year. We're all about the impending runt and subsequent wedding being for us first, everybody else second. Pretty selfish, eh? ;)

Which will come as a shock to my family at least, since they've actually long since given up asking when I'm getting married, and when I'm going to have kids. Ah well, got to keep them on their toes...

Brendon Donnelly said...

you sly boots you. youre very clever with the headlines lately, such a little tease. probably not the first time you’ve ever been called that.

I assume someone already kinda said that same thing - about the headlines, I mean - but I’m not on nearly enough Stratera to read 28 other posts. your fukkin comment section is longer than my blog. Probably cause you’re an entertaining writer and I just like to say ’fukk’ a lot. Which is probably why BeckyBumbleFuck thinks I’m “obnoxious”. Not that she’s wrong, mind you, I’m just sayin…

Brendon Donnelly said...

Next time, before I post a comment, I’m gonna make sure I actually have something to say. My bad.

Jay said...

Rimmy, I think that's just as it should be. Marriage and children (and the option not to do either) is a personal choice, and at the end of the day, it's not really anyone else's business. Congratulations.

Corona Red said...

Jay - Boy do I feel your pain.

I'm single and 30. About 6 years ago, we're driving down the road and she starts in. I pull the car over to the side of the road and laid down the law -- if she and my sisters (both younger, both married, and both with kids) didn't back off that I was going to quit coming home.

So, my mother has moved on from the simple "seeing anyone?" question straight to "when are you going to have a baby." And my response is usually something like wouldn't it be nice to be married first.

Now, I've told her I'm making no baby decisions until I'm 35. Then, I'll start to panic. Until then, not discussing it and not hearing it.

When Mama (my dad's mom) asks, I always respond "well, when are you getting married again?" That makes her giggle like a schoool girl and we move on with our conversation.

You just need to find that good smart ass answer and keep using it.

And the thing that bothers me most -- It is none of their damn business.

Jay said...

Dear Jason: why are you more concerned with the lesbian haircut that with the syphillis?