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?
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 haircut...you know, we thought she was going to turn out to be one of those lesbians that you hear about on the news.
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?
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: 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.