you can’t do that on television.

or anywhere else for that matter! remember the corny jokes and the lockers and the green goo?

well, there wasn’t a bucket of slime handy the other afternoon… but an imaginary bucket was surely dumped on one unsuspecting sister x.* she and her husband were delivering a graduation present for my little sister. they were surprised when i answered the door and quickly asked how “married life” was. normal, i said. apparently this was the wrong answer. concern rapidly spread across sister x’s face. i could see her thinking of an entirely different definition of normal. a definition where disaster and therapy and unhappiness loomed. so she gushed, “well are you still on the honeymoon??” not feeling in the mood to play this little game i told her i wasn’t really sure what that even meant. (besides, the people who frequently use that phrase aren’t necessarily my contemporaries.)

obviously my two responses rendered her into a state of shock. she charged, spouting advice as she went. “keep the romance alive” “go on dates” “don’t forget the intimacy” “serve each other” why she thought that all of the above wasn’t happening is beyond me. she persisted. then she asked how old i was. i feel like i am eternally etched in everyone’s mind as a 16 year old or a freshman in college.

i am 29. “well don’t wait to have children.”

children!? i just barely got a husband five months ago, quit my job, moved across the country, experienced un-employment and now i’m the “provider” while my househusband studies for a three day exam at the end of july with no job lined up just yet… at times it feels like treading water. excuse me if i strain to keep my head above water and breathe a little before i decide to create a tiny, dependent.

don’t wait, don’t wait, don’t wait.

“we’ll see” i said dryly. this, she took as an invitation to explain how hard pregnancy and childbirth are in your 30s. i stood my ground. we’ll see. besides, since when is that someone else’s business other than your spouse? my parents have never pressured me regarding children. they never pressured me regarding marriage.

if anyone put the pressure on it was my little sisters… but then little sisters can get away with those kinds of comments… without the green goo consequences.

*when addressing other members of the lds church we commonly use the title of brother or sister respectively, along with the individual’s last name. even though i am technically an adult, i still can’t bring myself to call other adults (especially ones i knew growing up) by their first names!


19 thoughts on “you can’t do that on television.

  1. >Robin!You have the best stories! This one made me laugh out loud. What is wrong w/people? I see absolutely nothing wrong or weird or troublesome in any of your responses or reasonings. But then again, maybe that’s why we’re friends!

  2. >Well played. Do you just want to shock people to silence sometimes? “No, we’re not planning to have kids EVER. Look what it’s done to YOUR hips!” or…”Well, maybe if I had a uterus I could have them.” At least you don’t LOOK pregnant. 🙂

  3. >Wow. People never cease to amaze. Unfortunately some version of this story will happen for the rest of your life. Wait until you actually ARE pregnant, then it get’s worse. [or maybe it doesn’t…I realized that sentence could sound like one of THOSE PEOPLE too].

  4. >People have suggested that now that my mother has passed away, she is scouring the planet for my eternal companion. So I tell them that I told her to focus on George Clooney. It usually shuts them up long enough for me to escape.

  5. >nice! i am going to shoot for the absurd at other questions in the future… what i hate is when couples announce “they’re trying to have a baby” because basically that just means they’re telling anyone who’ll listen they are having unprotected sex. maybe when the time comes i’ll say something like, “we try EVERY day to have a baby.” or “just this morning we tried to have a baby” too bad i can’t think of good comebacks on this side of the situation!!!

  6. >Hey Bi – being 29 and now pregnant for the first time (and married for 6 years) we have definitely experienced that in our lives as well! It’s just time for you to come up with a few good come-backs to use the next time it happens (and it will continue to happen, sorry!). Ben used, “Well, Amanda is on medication that prevents her from getting pregnant…it’s called birth control!” I really like your idea of just saying, “Well, we tried just this morning so keep your fingers crossed!”

  7. >One of my biggest pet peeves. Now that I’ve graduated everyone is wondering why I don’t have a job, and assuming that a baby should be right on it’s way. (I like to remind them I’m young, it’s my husband that’s old!)A good friend and I were talking about how disturbing the term “trying” is, especially when coming from your YW leader all the time. Ewww! My friend actually suggested telling people, “We tried SEVEN times last night.” If that doesn’t shock people, I don’t know what will!

  8. >I’ve found that another great way to shut people up is to just ask “Why?” to whatever stupid, inappropriate question someone asks. If they have to explain, they might just be embarrassed by what they are asking.

  9. >I don’t know when it became polite conversation for people to ask about such a personal thing! Unfortunately, it gets even worse when you have had children because then they start asking how many children you are going to have and when the next one is coming. I have literally had family members (not my side!!!) ask me in the hospital as I hold a brand new baby when we are going to have our next child. COME ON!!!! At that point you are wondering if you should have even had the one you are holding!!! Perfect strangers in Walmart also feel the need to ask how big our family will be. Paul and I have found the perfect solution- although it is not for the faint of heart. After 5 kids, people are beginning to ask us if we will please stop having children;-)

  10. >Boy, did someone push a button?!Sorry, Becky, but you live in Utah. Here in Phoenix when people found out I was expecting #3 they were very vocal about expressing their concerns for the environment and my obvious intentions for contaminating it. By the time I was expecting #5, they were speechless for a minute before interrogating me about my sanity – not to mention my lack of consideration for the other children who will have to share with one more. I smiled & told them in my culture, 5 was just a “starter” family. That’s when they got the hint that I was either Catholic or Mormon.

  11. >Everyone is so different. One piece of advice doesn’t fit every person. I love the slime comment! Sometimes I think I’m crazy because no one else seems to remember that crazy show! Gotta love those Canadians.

  12. >Robin, pretty much you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. You marry too old or too young, you waited too long to have kids, or not long enough. You are having too many kids, or not enough, they are spaced too close or too far apart. I just wish everyone stayed out of other people’s business. “Well-meaning advice” is usually the absolute worst!” 🙂

  13. >You don’t know me. I’m a friend of a friend of a friend who just happened to find your blog. Anyway, people ask my husband and I questions like that all the time. We’ve found the best response when they ask if you’re trying to have kids or when you’re having kids (if you have nerve enough to say it): “We’re just practicing for right now.”And I definitely agree about the “trying.” Yuck!

  14. >Yes, I have other comments, but my initial reaction was…do you remember Double Dare too? I always wanted to dive in the goop and find the flags…I was sure I would have won every single time! PS In case you haven’t heard it often enough, having a baby changes EVERYTHING so think twice of 15 times before taking the plunge. Totally worth it, but never the same again. Kisses from Peru…oh, and if he still doesn’t have a job after the Bar come visit us, we’d love it!

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