When you’ve passed 30 and have been dating the same guy for over three years, it’s inevitable.
You know. The question. The same one, over and over, in different iterations:
“So, when are you two getting married?”
“Will there be wedding bells soon?”
“Give me a reason to come to Australia and I’ll be there.”
Okay, that last one might not be for everyone, but you know what I mean. The annoying, pushy, and intrusive question that all long-term couples have to deal with. One of my friends actually keeps a spreadsheet with her boyfriend, recording who keeps nagging them about “making things official.” (I’ll hazard those people won’t be receiving any ‘we’re engaged!’ notifications…)
Image via Flickr Creative Commons
For all those of you who are in the same spot, I present to you some surefire tactics to make the question go away:
Turn the Tables
This is the simplest tactic. “When are YOU getting married?” is a time-honored retort. But because the people who ask this tend to be married themselves, I’ve found the best response is: “When will we be hearing the pitter-patter of tiny feet?” or “When are you popping out a baby?” The more offensively it can be worded, the better: “Isn’t it past time to breed?”
This puts them on the back foot. They have just been asked a question equally as annoying in its nosiness as it is in its repetitiveness. Since young married couples are asked this constantly, this should shut ‘em up.
If someone in the conversation happens to be pregnant, this won’t work. So you can just tell them about the brand-new American tradition of a “push present.” (That’s when the pregnant woman gets a huge ring for pushing the baby out, of course.)
I’ve found is one people enjoy. Start talking up all of the stupid traditions surrounding becoming engaged. (This works particularly great if you’re American.)
“Well, you know how the engagement ring is supposed to cost three months’ salary…” Bat your lashes at your significant other.
Or try: “Rings are supposed to be three months’ salary, but I’m shooting for six. No, twelve.”
“22 carat gold? If it’s not 100 carats, he obviously doesn’t love me enough!” (Let’s not let exaggeration get in the way of the truth.)
If you’re dating someone from a country or religion where wedding rings are worn on the right hand: “Well, because my country wears wedding rings on the left hand, and his on the right, I’m just going to have to get TWO rings!”
Act Like A Princess
Say something like, “Well, I’ve always dreamed of being proposed to in a castle. That’s where my good friend got engaged. It’s even better if he owns the castle.”
Or how about: “You know how some people’s skin turns green with base metals? It also turns white gold yellow. So I guess my two rings [see above] are both going to have to be solid platinum. Start saving, honey.”
Try: “Where’s my PRE-engagement ring, huh? Huh?”
Up the ante with: “I want one ring for every single month we’ve been dating.”
This one’s good, too: “See how long my fingers are? I’m going to need a huuuuuuuge rock. I want something so heavy that it’s hard to hold my hand up. You know, the kind of ring that won’t let you wear gloves. The sort that scratches people.” Mime backhanding your boyfriend with your imaginary diamond. “Take THAT for not proposing sooner.”
The more out-of-control and over-the-top you are, the better people like it. Go on wild tangents. Distract them with minutiae. Start talking about how you can’t WAIT to get proposed to, because you’re sooooo looking forward to picking out colors for your wedding. And after all, your bridesmaids will need to be alerted that they’re going to have to lose massive amounts of weight. You need to line up a personal trainer at least one whole year before the Big Day.
See what I mean?
By doing this, you’re showing people how stupid and silly this sort of question is — as if a relationship isn’t valid because someone doesn’t hold with the completely fabricated tradition of putting a bit of pressed carbon on the finger of just the female’s hand. (How come men aren’t publicly marked when they get engaged, hmmm?)
That said, I’m guilty of asking this dumb question myself every now and then:
Me, last month, to friend dating the same guy for several years: When’s your wedding going to be?
Friend: After yours.