sparkly trees, presents, hot apple cider and interrogation

this post has been picked from the brains of my readers Jen, Matt and Mandie.  Jen and Matt asked the question, Matt and Mandie came up with some hysterical answers.  those answers will be front and center in this blog.  credit will be given where credit is due.  it is also a repost from 2 years ago, i’m guessing there are some new readers who might need it. here we go.

ahh the holidays…

so full of joy and yuletide wonder and water boarding.

families mean well.  really they do.  really.  but when you are suddenly stuffed into your aunt vi’s living room with 47 of your nearest and dearest, it can be torture.  not only do you have to smile and pretend you love the sweatshirt with puffins on it your grandma bought you*, you have to endure the endless questions about your love life or the date you have marked on the calendar to produce offspring.

just as you take a sip of cider…BOOM!…”so when are you going to propose?”  obviously this is asked right in front of your girlfriend by your uncle who always thinks he’s whispering.  but he’s not.


“when are you going to find someone and settle down?”  this one will be asked by approximately 82% of the people there, including your cousins who are not old enough to even know what that means, but everyone else is asking so….


“when are you going to have kids?”  those of you who are married know this question will start being asked at your wedding reception.

so how do you handle it?  there’s a couple of things you can do that apply to all 3 questions.

1.  start talking about your life plan. pull out an 8 page, single-spaced document and ask “how much time do you have because to answer that question properly will take a while.”  then inform them you have a copy for them if they’d like to follow along.  *to pull this off, you’ll have to work on your poker face.

2.  pull the awkward bait and switch. start with “why do you ask?”  then just stare at them and wait.  most people will fidget, mumble, then laugh insecurely.  they’ll approach you thinking they’ve got the upper hand, but oh no.  the longer you wait for them to answer, the more they’ll want to escape.

3.  pull the spiritualism card. “my psychic says it’s not time yet.”  shrug, then walk away.  this is especially effective with conservative christian families.  it immediately shifts their attention from your love life to the state of your salvation; which they will whisper about amongst themselves.

there are some things you can do that are specific to each question though…

“when are you going to find someone and settle down?”

  • Tell your relatives that you’re actually seeing multitudes of people but that you’re having difficulties narrowing it down to just one. Feel free to make up ridiculous stories about each of your suitors (“she’s a dancer downtown” “She’s got 6 children under the age of 4″). ~  Mandie
  • …tell them that she’s coming in from Russia any day now and that I really hope they poked enough holes in the box… ~ Matt

“when are you going to propose?”

  • “after her divorce is final.  i’d rather not talk about it.”
  • “her parents are still in a custody battle over her, so we have to wait.”
  • “hopefully before she gets pregnant.”

“when are you going to have kids?”

  • “actually i’m glad you asked.  i was going to talk to you about moving in with you so we can afford to have kids.  we’re thinking at least 6.”
  • “i’m sterile.”  stare and wait.  *see #2 above.
  • “can you tell us how babies are made?!?  we’ve been trying to figure it out!”  you’ll have to pull off the wide-eyed look of anticipation with this one.  so practice in the mirror.

*this totally happened to my friend.  he was 20.

your turn.  how do you handle awkward questions from the family during the holidays?  any questions that i missed?


10 comments on “sparkly trees, presents, hot apple cider and interrogation

  1. turnerbethany says:

    I especially love the kids answer! That is hilarious.

    I have no desire to produce any children of my own, and most of my family understands that. But it really frustrated me when my husband and I were engaged how many times we got asked about kids. Even if I did want them, my thought was always, “Can I at least have a few minutes of my husband to myself?”

  2. I’m the youngest of six, I’m single, and all five of my older siblings are married and have kids. This tends to prompt interest in, um, “solving” my relationship status. I’d use Matt’s answer about finding someone…except I’m worried they might think that’s a good idea…

  3. This part cracked me up, “‘when are you going to find someone and settle down?’ this one will be asked by approximately 82% of the people there, including your cousins who are not old enough to even know what that means, but everyone else is asking so….” because, while it wasn’t cousins, I was babysitting some 4-year-old twins the other night and they asked me, “How come you don’t have a husband?” and then, “When are you going to have kids?” I was slightly dumbfounded, wondering if they even really fully understood what having a husband was. ha!

    I shouldn’t worry about that too much because, later, the same twins convinced me to give them a snack before bed. I asked if mom let them have a snack before bed, as I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to get one or not. But, then, when it was time to tuck them in to bed, one of them says, “Mom lets us have a SECOND snack before bed.” Aw, kids. They’re entertaining. 🙂

  4. Soul Walker says:

    I answer questions honestly and openly. It freaks people out and usually shuts them up. Then, when they walk away I get to chuckle. Win win.

  5. Jess says:

    I definitely got the kids question at my wedding reception. Also on the phone when we first called family members to tell them we were engaged.

  6. I almost never get these sort of questions from relatives because all my relatives except the parents live too far away to ask them. 😉

  7. jonnybgood says:

    i get the girlfriend question and now im gonna give them the why do ask? question now lol thanks

  8. On the hand hand, I’m really excited to field test these answers. On the other, I’m afraid old aunt Edna will give me a four-hour lecture on her sex life with uncle Bob: ‘And then there’s this move. Stand behind me, and just grab… O come on, don’t overreact. Nobody is looking. If you’re being a prude like that, these tips will never work.’

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