Friday, March 27, 2009

Impertinent Answers

My friend Jenni's recent post got me thinking about personal questions and how to answer them.

Being married for nine years without any growth in our family (other than our personal growth both inside and out), you can imagine that we've been asked a few times when we will have children, or why we don't have children, that the prophet said not to wait so why are we waiting, or, my favorite, if we know HOW to have children.

So to help all of you out there who might have been thoughtlessly put in the uncomfortable situation of being expected to answer such a question here are some possible responses TC and I have come up with.

-Why don't you talk to "Mrs. Always Has a Headache"? *with disdain*
-Why don't you talk to "Mr. Shoots Blanks" over there? *with disdain*
-It's not for lack of trying, if you know what I mean. You know what I mean? Huh? Do you?
-It's a funny story actually. Let me tell you about our honeymoon...
-But then I would have to stop binge drinking!
-Well if "Mr. Low Sperm Count" could do his part...
-But going to the DTD is so icky!
-We've been snuggling like crazy and still nothing, I mean like every day a couple of times a day. We've even tried doing it in different ways and watching instructional videos. I just don't get it. Do you have any suggestions on technique?
-Some people have AIDS, some people have gonorrhea. We just don't have kids. (Courtesy of the Brother of Jared)
-To have children you have to have sex. We don't do that. (Courtesy of Elena)

If any of you have some of your own to share, please do. We'd love to read them.


  1. Baha. I love it. People just have no tact sometimes. My sister actually told a man in her ward one time when asked why she didn't have kids--"Well, tell me about your sex life first."

  2. I never came up with a snappy answer because I never got many comments. Except for the lady who pulled me aside one day and said point blank: "You need to have a baby." I was stunned. Finally I said, "Then pray for me." She looked shocked and said, "Oh, I didn't know." Well DUH. Think before you open your mouth next time. What offended me most was that she could know anything about me and think I was childless on purpose. I love love love Brianne's sister's comment, though. I'll totally use that if anyone starts asking when we're planning to give Atticus a little brother or sister.

  3. I, of course, am one of those who, over the years, have not so tactfully inquired. I hope you will forgive me. Funny post, I will have to have Barbara read it. She will get a kick out of it. Frank gets home let's plan on getting together. Do you have plans for Easter Sunday?

  4. Well, I have some dirty, dirty responses that I've thought of, but I don't know what the age range is on your readership, so I'll be good.

    My general plan is look at the person, look down at my feet, tear up and look at them again tearfully, then mutter some unintelligible sound and run away.

  5. Ha ha, I can only imagine (since you are not only LDS but live in Utah) how many times you have been asked that. We didn't even get pregnant until we had been married three years and I felt like people were totally wondering why we hadn't already had like three kids. But I do have to admit that I will look at couples and wonder, but I'm not rude enough to actually ask. And then after you have one kid people start asking when you're going to have another. Since I had the miscarriage I know that at least now people will lay off from asking me for awhile.

  6. I was in RS once a few years ago and an older lady in our ward made a comment, somewhat appropriate to the lesson, about it being so selfish to not have kids. She went on to say that couples who made that decision needed to reevaluate their priorities and "get on the Lord's side." Seriously, she was looking at me the whole time. My comment was next. I explained that, really, it was very selfish to have kids and bring them into this terrible world and that, besides, it was really fun to not have kids weighing me down and keeping me from doing what I really wanted to do in life. I thought the RS president was going to die, but I was cracking up on the inside. I wonder why it took us so long to make friends here.

  7. i will have to use those answers. too funny. but yet so annoying when people ask.
    i have been wanting, NEEDING to know how sarah and jared bauer are doing. do you know?
    drop me a note at

  8. And for those of us with kids, people STILL have dumb stuff to say. After I had Holly, I got asked several times if I knew what caused this. And one Santa Claus that Ho-Ho-Hoed me and said it looked like I had been naughty that year:)

  9. Wow, my blog has been linked to! The irritating thing about our whole situation is that we've been married for a year. That's it. People can't even leave us alone for our first year. As you can probably imagine, I've come up with a few possible answers myself, but in the end, I'm sick of giving them. Hence, my memo.

  10. Sadly the older we get the more questions we get. They're well intentioned but incredibly rude. My hubby always replies with "We're never having kids, I hate them! You don't look so happy with yours." And yes, that is a quote. hahaha!

  11. Not sure if you remember us... we were neighbors for a short while at the Brigham (I'm the gal that forgot the slip that Sunday and stood in front of the huge window... Yup. Nice.).

    Anyhoo, my all time favorite was when a lady in our Ward was asking me why we weren't having children... blah, blah, blah... My husband came down the hall and interrupted the conversation with "I'm not allowing her to have children because I'm the patriarch of the home and my word is final."

    Then before walking away he quickly added "Plus, I don't want her to get all fat".

    We never did talk to that woman again, and we certainly didn't let her in on our joke.

  12. Oh my darling Gordita! How I love reading your posts!!! Barbara Fox here, gotta say I had no idea how funny you were until I read your blog! I had a hard time staying silent after your WalMart rant. I sooooo related to that! Liz and I have found solace at a WalMart up north; no passport required!

    This is a subject I sadly have some knowledge about. Michael and I have four more years of it under our belt. The nice thing is that in fifteen or twenty years people will stop asking. I recommend not wearing anything with an empire waist, peasant blouses, or gaining 5 pounds; you're just asking for it. My favorite is that when you politely explain to someone new that you would love to have children but haven't been able that they immediately follow up with "have you thought about adoption"? Why no sir, what the hell is adoption? Do they think we are complete morons? You and TC hang in there! Do what is right for you; for us adoption has not been a good answer because of my health; and beyond that I think very few people have any idea the red tape both physically and emotionally that has to be fought through on that front. Follow the spirit and do what's right for your family; you are a family just the way you are. It is the last days and everyone has some miserable cross to bear. If you get really tired of it, I'll be happy to field questions for you! Love to you both! (From Michael, too).

  13. This was always our response:
    I have three words for you

    That always shut them up.

  14. What an illuminating discussion. I wish I would have read these ideas several years ago. Although I'd love to claim a witty and pointed retort, I'm afraid my response most closely resembled Shannon's general plan. It's a really tough trial, and I'm sorry so many people have to deal with it, but have you considered adoption? (Sorry, I couldn't help myself.) To comment on your caveat, I have realized through my own missteps that most people are not trying to be obnoxious, we're just clumsy. Russell and I are prepared to field questions on why we waited so long to start our family. I've had the opportunity to use it just once: "It took us a long time to be able to have children. But we sure had fun trying."


Tell me something good.