Friday, December 21, 2012

Why I hate small talk

At lunch out with the office today, my coworker (in her fifties, divorced, with a college aged daughter) turned to me and asked what I was doing for Christmas. I told her I would be spending it with my family at my aunt and uncle's house. "Are you married?" she asked. I have worked in the office for six months now, and there are only nine of us there, but I suppose some things can get overlooked. 

"Nope!" I replied cheerfully.

"No kids?" she persisted.

"Nope!" I replied pleasantly.

A small cloud passed. A brief knitting together of eyebrows. "How old...?" she said, and then stopped herself. "No, that's alright," she murmured.

"Excuse me?"

"That's alright," she said. I nodded. We both reached for our ice water and turned away to join other conversations.

It's December, but it never feels like Christmas, anymore.  


  1. Wow how rude!
    I totally know what you mean, you'd think the fact that there is no sign of a ring on our finger would give it away!
    These questions should be banned from small talk along with "How far along are you?" ... and it's not really about the questions but the fact that you can see the confusion and judgement all over their faces when they don't get the answers they expected.
    What a jerk.

  2. Yeah. I fucking hate being 30 and single and like suddenly I'm this really easy target for judgement. Trust me, my lack of following on the same path as everyone else isn't that interesting. Drink your water, lady.
    And you're right. It never feels like Christmas anymore.

  3. Don't take this old biddy's worldview as reality. I know tons of people in their 30s and some even in their 40s (including me, ahem) who aren't married and don't have kids. It's not unusual at all. What is unusual is expecting everyone to follow the same old path.

  4. I constantly get the "Wow, you'd better start trying soon..." when people find out I don't have kids. Um, thanks. They don't know my situation. I could be infertile. I could have cancer. I could just not want kids. I could just look really fucking old for my age, thanks for noticing. It's as bad as "So what do you do?" was when I was unemployed. Blehhhh.

  5. I find comments like that beyond rude. I feel like I married whoa early (at 23), but only did it because he had been my best friend for years so I knew it was the right answer for me. Previously I had been expecting to be married sometime in my 30's.

    For what it's worth, we constantly got asked when we were having kids (we're from the midwest where most seemed shocked you made it to marriage without a baby), and were very nosy about why we hadn't (um, because we haven't). Now, with Nora having turned 1 the questions have rolled in again. My go to answer, "I like my life and we don't feel like anything is missing, thanks." Even if we have another sooner rather than later, it will be our decision, not from pressure.

    So, after that long rant my point is: fuck em. I mean, really, it's none of their damn business. Live your life. I always say that the best revenge is a well lived life. It makes others jealous that they're ties that bind are constricting and shuts them up.

  6. In my 50's, not married, no children, all by choice. Those of you in your 30's and 40's, you'll be relieved when you finally discover your angst is optional.


    1. I'm unmarried and childless by choice, but also not by choice. I'm not angsty about it, but I'm not not angsty about it. I reserve the right to change my mind.