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: