You know how when you are single everyone is always asking you, in Bridget Jones fashion, how your love life is? Have you met someone? Been on any dates lately? If you’re not dating someone, are you secretly gay (or straight, I suppose, in the spirit of equal opportunity!) and trying to hide it from your family?
Then once you meet someone and start to date, the air is suddenly full of more questions. Is it serious? Is he/she the one? And even fun personal questions like “so, how is the sex?”… Soon, your friends and family are starting to push. Have you talked about marriage yet? Do you think he’s getting ready to propose? My favorites were when people would tell me that he was never going to decide to commit, so I’d better just break up with him. Honestly, there were times I felt like they might just be right. But who’s to say what’s the best thing for me?
Then, the very second you get engaged, that very day before you can even really tell everyone the good news, the next set of questions begin. When’s the big day? Where are you going for your honeymoon? What’s your dress like? We literally were asked within one day of the question “being popped,” so to speak, whether we’d set a date. Like it’s simply unacceptable for anyone to enjoy where they’re at in life without scheming about the things to come.
Once we set the date, we started to get subtle pressure (mostly from my elderly female relatives, and I suppose with good reason) surrounding the whole question of when we were going to start a family. We weren’t even married yet and already there was fierce discussion as to whether my husband would be celebrating Father’s Day next year!!! (By the way, the answer is no – as much as I adore the grandmother figures in my life, I am not yet ready to produce and care for a great-grandchild).
Of course, since we’ve been married, the questions have good and truly started to fly. It’s as though I’ve morphed overnight from a woman – complete in myself, intelligent, and able – to a baby incubator, good for only one purpose. Oh, and a husband feeder – as though it’s my only other purpose in life to put some meat on those skinny bones (despite the fact that he eats a mountain more than I do on any given day and I’ve been cooking for him for years – but that’s another topic for another blog).
It started with the grandmother figures. Then a colleague asked me (not so delicately, I might add) when the first baby was expected. Of course my mother has a softer touch, but her first reaction to seeing photos of my husband as a child was “I will have the most adorable grandchildren!” (Of course, I tend to agree with her!) Now I suspect that the rest of the world is in on it.
You know those targeted ads? The ones on Facebook or MySpace or your e-mail that get into your internet history and show you only things that they think you’ll be interested in? I see them daily – ads for Cole Haan shoes and Lane Bryant and Avenue, for the San Diego Symphony and (inexplicably) Betty Crocker cake mixes… When I was wedding planning, I had constant ads for photographers, David’s Bridal, various wedding websites, and even wedding blogs. Even up until last Friday, I was getting a few “wedding” targeted ads a week.
Well, it’s offically begun – the rest of the world is in on the pressure, the joke. I opened Facebook this morning to check my messages, and there, as clear as day, was an ad with a giant pregnant belly. “Trouble getting pregnant?” was the caption underneath.
No, thank you. Just trouble with everyone thinking I need to be.