7 Things I Should Have Told My Grandparents When They Asked Why I’m 28 and Not Married

I visited my grandparents last week and like any Jewish family, they immediately sat me down at their kitchen table to feed me, lull me into a sense of security, and pry into my personal life. Most of their questions could be answered with simple “Yes, grandma,” over a heaping plate of smoked fish. Was I saving for my future? Have I established my career? Am I taking good care of my dog? I chewed slowly. “Yes, grandma.”

“Well, when are you going to get married?”

That question stung. I looked up at them, face full of lox, with horrified eyes. My grandfather crossed his arms. “You’re 28! Don’t you want to have kids? You’re not getting any younger. If you’re not marrying your boyfriend, and you’ve been living together for two years, aren’t you just wasting your time? What are you going to DO?”

My face collapsed. I excused myself hastily to the bathroom, shut the door, and burst into tears. When I returned, they immediately changed the subject. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the pool meeting their friends and talking about sciatica and diabetes.

On my way home, I couldn’t stop thinking about their questions. I wish I said something and didn’t cower in the bathroom, smearing lox grease into my eyes. Here’s what I would have said:

 

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    • alexandra

      The suspense is killing me.

      • Trish

        I know! Me too!

      • alexandra

        yay! There they are.

    • Ellen W.

      I think bursting into tears is the best response. Grandparents hate to make you cry!

    • Tobi

      I’m about to start telling people that I’m not married because my dad won’t throw in a 253rd cow for the dowry.

    • woo

      ‘Because property law and paternity testing has come so far that marriage has been rendered obsolete.’

      Babam!

    • Ezzy

      My married best friend’s mother does this to me. Finally I just told her: “Because everyone I know who got married before they were 30, ended up being chronic adulteresses.” Don’t know if she knew about her daughter’s plethora of affairs before, but she does now, and she hasn’t bothered me since.

    • Grandma

      Heh.

      You go grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrl.

      Let’s see how you feel in 7 years when your ovaries have rotted and any chance of procreation is gone.

      Haha. Keep telling your strong girl power shmalz to your hamster, princess.

      Just remember to not come molesting the world with your needy, emotional sob stories and verbal menstruation.

      • Tobi

        Trolls troll.

    • Ceer

      These are the reasons stated by a person who’s streaming right at a life full of cats in old age.

      1. At age 27, women’s fertility starts to decline drastically, and chance of birth defects skyrockets. This is a biological fact. It’s dangerous to mess with mother nature.

      Sure, you can adopt. Except someone else has to have the baby. The world is full of women just like you who put career ahead of family and wound up with adoption as their only option. There’s a serious glut of families willing to adopt, and not adoptable babies. They have NO trouble finding families for them.

      2. Yetta’s status with your family has nothing to do with your own life choices. Chances are, grandma and grandpa are harping on her WORSE.

      3. Another red herring. Men have their own issues. Many of them are related to female selection practice…it’s not the men wanting to delay marriage. It’s the women.

      4. You’re trying to poison the well here. At 30, I know a good mix of men and women who have started marrying. I know not one, but several very bright and pretty girls who did it at the age of 19. They have a wonderful personalities, and obviously made finding a marriageable man a priority.

      Did you not get the memo? That’s how mature people act. They prioritize what’s important.

      5. You spent the last few years loading your plate with work like your vision of an alpha or workaholic man. The thing is…most MEN don’t even do this.

      But now that you’ve sunk in all this time, you’re emotionally invested in the status quo. Which is why the grandparents are asking questions. They realize if things stay the way they are…you’re destined to wind up old cold and alone.

      6. Ah yes, half of all people don’t bother to study how to live with a roommate, gain control of emotions, live within their means, and learn about their sexuality. Tell us…which of those describes you?

      7. This is the “modern is better so we have to chuck out everything that existed before me” canard. Outcome independence on an emotional level is a key skill in being able to step back and make an honest self-assessment. But you’ve gone way overboard on one side (marriage) only to sink on the other (career).

      “Pass the cream cheese”…? You sure seem to be treating this important topic like a mature, responsible adult. It’s great that you appreciate the gravity and importance of … cream cheese.

      • Don’t be narrow-minded

        But if someone knows they don’t want children, your entire comment is void.

    • sestamibi

      You stupid self-centered cunt. You are what MY grandmother used to call a shonde for the goyim.

      The fact that you and all your sisters have made the same choice has (along with our obsession with all the latest fashions in gay male lifestyles as well) has done more damage to Jewish continuity than the Holocaust. In fifty years there will be about 110,000 Jews left in the US–all of whom will be hard core Orthodox.

    • sestamibi

      You stupid self-centered cunt. You are what MY grandmother used to call a shonde for the goyim.

      The fact that you and all your sisters have made the same choice has (along with our obsession with all the latest fashions in gay male lifestyles as well) has done more damage to Jewish continuity than the Holocaust. In fifty years there will be about 110,000 Jews left in the US–all of whom will be hard core Orthodox.

      • Wow

        Only a troll or a douche would blame such a thing on a woman making a valid and personal choice for herself.

        So which are you?

      • Jolly Rauncher

        Wow is obviously a little child with no sense of cause and effect.

        You are right on sestamibi!

    • therev

      Your “career” huh? Your verrrrrry important “career”, huh?

      It was unnecessary for me to access that popular tool known as google to come up with this list of “career” related things that you’re NOT:

      Ceo of apple

      Ceo of walmart

      Responsible for:

      –Splitting the atom

      –Curing cancer

      –Curing diabetes

      World series MVP

      PULIZER PRIZE WINNER

      President. Of anything.

      Responsible for the higgs boson discovery.

      Inventor of the advanced stealth and radar metrics on the B1 bomber.

      Pilot of a B1 bomber.

      Capable of unclogging the toilet at the local indian buffet.

      Starting to get the picture honey? You and your stupid “career” (so-called) are really not that important. It’s nice that you have one and all. I mean, a work ethic is important and dwindling fast in yobama’s America. But really. Knock off the sanctimony and self-importance. Oh that’s right. I forgot. You can’t. You’re a chick. It’s everything you are.

      Know what else you really are? You’re just another chick with a job. That’s it. This job you have is required for your very survival so stop acting like you’re the only one who has one and using it as a crutch and a shield for the choices and failures re your personal life.

      Really, only one slide was needed here: “I told them Hey, I like being a noncomformist slut and anyway my constant cock gobbling has destroyed any innate biological ability to form any kind of deep, meaningful, pair bond with any man as well as made me totally infertile anyway, ok oma and pater?? See ya next week when I come back and tell you how my “boyfriend” came flying out of the closet!! Isn’t that like so totally MODERN??!?!?!”

      • Wow

        Dear Troll, if her CAREER is important to her, then that’s all that anyone here needs to know.

        Also, you don’t know what her career is. She could be developing a cure for people like you who can’t seem to get their head out of their asses. One day, you’ll probably even end up thanking her.

      • ron

        LOL.

        You put a smile on my face my friend.

    • On Safari

      Wow. Look at all the trolls! So many people emotionally invested in your uterus, Brandy. It’s great to know that these are the values getting passed to the next generation.

      The only irresponsible thing is when people have children for the wrong reasons. Despite receiving some bizarre responses here, I hope you keep your head up and contribute to the world in a way that’s right for you.

      • ron

        … Just WOW!

    • ron

      At the end of the day, what all your nonsense comes down to is that you are effectively sterile by choice. It could be worse, you could also be having children out of wedlock. At least you aren’t destroying some young mans life with promises of fidelity that you cannot/will not keep, followed by imminent divorce rape and the waste of all his earning potential.

      That is bad enough, but now all your friends are in the same boat by choice as well.

      So what we have here is a failed generation. You will not reproduce, you will not create the next generation of Jews, what it comes down to is that you are the last of your line.

      Goodbye, we’ll miss you, but unfortunately (and I mean it), we’ll forget all about you when we’re playing with our grandchildren.

      • wow

        Wow. usually I don’t resort to this, but this was just overtly dumb.

      • ron

        Wow! Just… Wow!

      • Jolly Rauncher

        THUMBS UP BRO!

    • Lo

      My stock response to the ‘you should be having the babies’ speech is some form of, “Why?” Then the other party has to do the explaining.

      It usually develops in one of two ways. The first, I get a explanation of why marriage and children have meant so much to that person. That’s awesome, because innumerable people find great things in marriage and genuinely love raising a whole separate human being. I’m glad we have a mixture of parents and non-parents.

      The second isn’t so great. I’ve occasionally been told, “I know what you want better than you do,” or “you should do it because it’s normal,” or that I should be preserving my genetic ethnic purity as if I’m some kind of show dog. At times like that, I go and look around at people who were respected and remembered for actions other than childrearing.

      I’ve been having a look at the writings of people who escaped fundamentalist groups where marriage/childrearing was the only thing a woman was expected to do. It’s downright scary to see the control such groups expect to have over other adults, but interesting to see just how many people are managing to break free and get themselves a broader frame of reference. Worth researching.

      • ron

        You could also sit in a room and play video games all day long while smoking cannibis. We call men who do that “bums”. Similar expressions have been used for females who don’t feel like contributing to the next generation of people because they are too busy reading proust and riding the cock carousel or the lesbian version of the same.

        Now here is a crazy idea – odds are everyone is going to forget about your existence 100 years from now. No one is actually going to give the slightest bit of damn about anything you have done in your life. On the wild off chance that somebody actually remembers you for something you’ve done, I can assure you with full Ronovision based insight, that they will have no clue whatsoever about what you were actually like. And even if they do, you’ll be dead so it won’t matter very much to your ego if some nerd in academia spouts off trivial bits of history regarding your corpse.

        With that in mind, people usually react to the above in one of three ways

        1) They become utterly selfish narcissists, who only care about personal glory for the duration of their lifetime, hence that crap you spouted about “people remembering me for blah blah blah” which translates into “people honoring me while I’m alive for blah blah blah”. Such people tend to refer to themselves as “enlightened” when really they are anything but.

        2) They get that thing called “perspective” otherwise known as “humility” and consider that maybe they can find fulfillment in benefiting humanity as a whole. One really interesting way of benefitting humanity as a whole is by making more humans, and raising said humans in a productive loving stable environment best suited to bringing out all aspects of the male/female dynamic. People like that are willing to grow up a bit and learn to live with things that aren’t comfortable for the sake of giving to those close to them. Thus developing through effort and self abnegation (all while taking care of themselves) that emotion called LOVE. (That same word is used for infatuation)

        3) They stick their fingers in their ears and say mindless shit like “Uh .. NO!” or “Wow! Just Wow!” which is a seemingly original way to express an ironic sentiment. The only irony being that masses of idiots use the same “original” phrase to express irony and originality.

      • Lo

        I didn’t say ‘people remembering me’ or ‘people honoring me while I’m alive’. What I said was what you said in point 2: that we can find fulfillment in benefitting humanity as a whole, whether or not our names go on a plaque. One way to do that is to raise children, but that is just one way.

      • Hol

        Ron, those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

      • ron

        @Lo

        Then it’s good for you that I read what you wrote:

        “At times like that, I go and look around at people who were respected and remembered for actions other than childrearing”

        You did not say:

        “At times like that, I go and look around at people who contributed to the human condition with actions other than childrearing”

        Your ego is fuckin witcha’ kiddo.

      • ron

        @Hol

        Aphorism time! Yay!

        Check this out, it’s a great scene:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9eLTtDjIi8

      • Hol

        No need to be up in her uterus, Ron.

        I’m genuinely not sure why you assume that your contribution for mankind’s future is so much better than hers simply because she chooses not to be married or a mother. So far all you’ve proven to contribute is negativity and a weird urge to control another’s personal choices, which is actually oddly creepy.

        Biologically sterile women and men can contribute as well, just as the author can.

        The author could be curing cancer, and all you’re concern with is the fact that her choice to not marry or breed is means she is narcissistic.

        Just irony and hypocrisy at its finest.

      • Lo

        It’s helpful to me to see people whose non-childrearing contributions to society were held up as a good thing. That doesn’t mean that I want to be in the history pages with them. It does, however, mean that I have a variety of role models and proof that you don’t need to raise children to be a worthwhile human being.

      • Tobi

        Oh Hol, there you go being logical and stuff.

      • Jake

        Lo, doesn’t matter. His logic says that you could better the life of millions, but if you’re a woman and don’t want to have kids, it means that you’re still a bum.
        Can’t argue with a troll.

      • ron

        @Hol

        The most amusing thing about your comment is that there are a few cures for cancer, and I personally know one guy who has a cure for it. It’s just a bitch and half getting it past the corporate nazi pigs who run the pharmaceutical companies.

        Anyway, let’s deconstruct your comment shall we? I’m bored and I have insomnia, so I may as well.

        “No need to be up in her uterus, Ron.”

        Sexual based shaming language, coupled with the implication that I have a strong sexual interest in her. Thus on the one hand implying she has something I want which also changes the dialectic to give her the position of power in the conversation. She is the object of desire and I am the moth attracted to her goddess flame.

        On the other hand the sexual based shaming language has it’s roots in evolutionary psychological mechanisms which cause males to check themselves in aggressing on non socially available females. This is a survival mechanism in that males without this innate psychological check who attempted to initiate sexual contact with protected females usually were weeded out of the gene pool by larger, more aggressive males wielding huge clubs. Today, we call such males “cops”.

        “I’m genuinely not sure why you assume that your contribution for mankind’s future is so much better than hers simply because she chooses not to be married or a mother.”

        But you are sure that I assume that “my contribution for mankind’s whatever is whatever because she chooses not to whatever”. With no logic or evidence, you have now set the frame for what I must believe. If I choose to argue with your assertion I implicitly accept it, once again putting me into the subservient position.

        Clever girl!

        “So far all you’ve proven to contribute is negativity and a weird urge to control another’s personal choices, which is actually oddly creepy.”

        1. I have proven nothing of substance – to you. The implication being that my job in this life is to please you and I have clearly failed! Bad Ronny!
        2. I am negative
        3. I am “weird” and “creepy” thus outside the social norm

        Shaming language trifecta! For this you get a prize!

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26DD0JwAbAc

      • Hol

        Ron, you are incorrect on several points.

        I never implied that you had sexual interest in her. It’s very funny that you assume that I mean that though.
        The phrase I used is a common one that is used when someone else shames someone for reproductive choices.
        The author chooses not to have children. You are attempting to shame her for it. In other words, you are putting your business in her uterus when you should be tending to your own choices.

        Second, you assume I am female. Is it because I disagree with you and defend a woman for her choices not to marry or have children?

        The example of curing cancer is just exactly that—-an example.
        You’re obviously missing the point or you’re choosing to ignore it.
        She could be contributing greatly to mankind, yet you imply that she, as a female, is a bum if she doesn’t breed.

      • Tobi

        Hol, it’s called deflection. People deflect when they can’t rightly answer to or defend their mistakes.

      • Hol

        Tobi, yes, quite obvious. Trolls are trolls still.

      • Tobi

        Uterus trolls.
        I thought I’d seen it all.

      • Hol

        No, no. There will be always be the hypocrites, trolls and creeps.

        Good night.

      • ron

        @Hol

        Yawn. Getting bored now.

        I give you a great song by depeche mode, a beautiful scene from an incredible french movie, some brilliant deconstruction of your mindless yet mildly entertaining bullshit and the best you can do is snark?

        Well, at least I can finally fall asleep now. Thanks!

      • Hol

        Good night, young Ron.

      • Lo

        Before my uterus and I go to bed, I’d like to suggest ‘clam carousel’ as the lesbian alternative to the cock carousel. See, we’ve had contributions to society zipping all over the place tonight.

      • Jolly Rauncher

        If I were your father and asked you this, and you told me why, I’d respond with:

        “I didn’t bust my ass for years raising you only for you to be a genetic dead-end by choice! You’re taking the no-responsibility easy way out!”

      • Lo

        If you were my father, my siblings and I would form a sterilization pact.

    • Lavender

      I think everyone should stop having kids. To me, it’s selfish to bring more kids into the world when there aren’t enough resources to go around as it is. As terrifying as it seems to be to the nasty trolls and people like them that some women might actually not want to reproduce, we’d all be better off if we focused on making the world a better place for the people already here. Also to the trolls: try not to be so emotionally invested in someone else’s reproductive choice. All it does is make you look like an as*hole.

      • szopen

        It’s not just your reproductive choice. You yourself presented why it matters for the society. Somehow you still believe that your choice affects only you and therefore it’s none else’s business. I’d say this is very immature — just like calling other a*holes before even hearing their say.

        As for the slideshow, I say western civilisation is doomed. If more woman have this narcisstic, highly egoistic attitude, joined with totally unrealistic expectations, there is literally no future.

      • jon

        But szpozen, what are YOUR attitude? Do you not find it ironic that you say that her attitude is dooming society, but you say nothing about how your own is the ruin of humanity itself?

        I’m sure the irony is lost on you.

      • Puzzled

        I’m not sure whether it’s just that you’re naive to think we can solve all the world’s problems in under 35 years if we all start -right now-, or if you’re arrogant enough to assume that not having a family makes you more industrious. But either way, I note that you’re not proposing that people stop reading columns full of angsty whining (like, say, the one to which you’ve commented) in favor of “making the world a better place”. Now if you’d like to talk about time wasted…

      • jon

        But it’s also naive to believe that the world’s problems can be solved by children as well. You may not imply that, but many commenters act as if everyone just bucked up and had kids, everything would be peachy keen.

    • Kurt

      I don’t understand this “I can always adopt” attitude toward kids. When you are in your late 30s, I think you’ll want to bear your own children, not raise someone else’s. For all you know, you might be limited to raising an abandoned black crack baby – do you really want to deal with that?

      Your grandparents do have a highly relevant question – why have you been living with a man for two years who hasn’t asked you to marry him? If he chooses not to marry you, maybe he’ll dump you and marry a younger woman. And you will have wasted two year at which you are your most attractive and during which you could have been looking for your eventual husband instead of wasting them on someone who doesn’t want to marry you.

      If you think that dating is difficult for you at age 28, I guarantee you it will be much more difficult when you are 35 and no longer have the same dating power that you currently do. You might not even realize how much power you have until it is gone.

      • Tobi

        Really, Kurt? That’s so incredibly narrow-minded.

        Some people are just GREAT people with kind hearts that have no tie-ups when it comes to the lack of biological relation with their children. Do you honestly believe that adoptive parents can’t love their children? Your comment implies that. There are millions of orphaned or homeless children out there. How dare you speak ill of someone who wants to help those kids.

        Your comment about the “black crack baby?” Definitely one of the most racist things I’ve heard in a while. Congratulations on that.

        Why live with a guy for 2 years if he won’t marry her? Have you considered that in some of these relationships that the woman doesn’t necessary want to be married?
        My significant other and I have been together for almost 11 years. We’re not married. We own a house together. We have great jobs. We share two wonderful pets (we’re animal lovers).
        We’re happy. I guess really I can’t speak for him, but I’m happy with our relationship the way it is. I don’t care if we ever marry. I guess the tax breaks are good, but other than that, it’s a social contract that I’m not particularly interested in, and it seems he feels the same way.

        Is it really that difficult to imagine that people have different views or lifestyles than you? Do you really feel like everyone has to fit such a tight mold?

      • Tobi

        Also, your comment implies that if you bear your own children biologically, they’ll automatically be perfect and healthy. This is not so. Of course there are large chances of adopting a special needs children if you adopt, but that’s also a large risk when having children biologically.

        Finally, you must also realize that some people who adopt deliberately choose special needs children because they recognize that those are the children that need homes the most.

      • Kurt

        Tobi, no man would write what you wrote. If a man wants to raise children, he wants to raise his own children, not someone else’s and certainly not one with “special needs.”

        The woman who wrote the article apparently does want to be married someday even if you don’t. So if she wants to get married, she needs to strike when the iron is hot and shouldn’t have spent two years living with a man who does not want to marry her. She has much more power in her 20s than she will in her mid-30s or later, when men, instead of women, can afford to be the picky ones.

      • Kurt

        Also, regarding adoption, most of the white people willing to adopt want to adopt white babies, just like black people want to adopt black babies. However, the white people typically have much more difficulty finding a white baby to adopt than they had anticipated and either have to give up on their dream or adopt an abandoned black baby whom they don’t really want. You would have be be very naive not to appreciate this.

      • Tobi

        Oh, I guess I must have IMAGINED these kind, giving men who adopt special needs children and raise them lovingly.

        You don’t have to feed me your facts on adoption. I almost guarantee that I have more experience with it than you.

        After all, you seem to think that no man on earth would be willing to adopt any child, much less one that is special needs or outside of his race.

      • jon

        Dads like that should get more recognition, Tobi, but instead you have other men, like Kurt, perpetuating the myth.

      • Drew

        @Kurt
        You have to be smart enough to realize that just because you don’t know any men or women like that, they still exist.
        and by your logic, a stepfather would never want to help raise his stepchildren. After all they’re not his own.

        come on and get out of your hole, man.