"I'm going to be asked by my aunt, yet again, why I'm not married, and am tired of answering the question with 'Because I haven't met anyone yet.' Because the look on my aunt's face when I say that is, like, triumphant. 'Oh dear,' she says, shaking her head. 'I guess, well,' and here she smiles, 'no one's really good enough. Such a shame. How old are you now?'"
"My brothers are going to tease me about gaining weight. I need a quick answer that doesn't humiliate me. Help!"
"My mother will put down my boyfriend-a fabulous carpenter just starting out--with little snyde comments like, "And what do you do again, dear?"
Okay darling earth girls, time to get smart-now, before Christmas.
Answers to stupid questions require planning ahead, lest they make you so mad you lose your cool.. Here are three tried-and-true ways to answer the world's most obnoxious questions. Note that they share a theme, and that it's the theme you're to remember.
1. ANYONE WHO ASKS YOU WHY YOU'RE NOT MARRIED DESERVES A BLOW-OFF ANSWER.-AS GOOFY AND INSINCERE AS YOU CAN MAKE IT. Don't take the question or the person seriously, as it's not a sincere question but rather one designed to make you uncomfortable (for, after all, what answer can you give that doesn't require an intimate, honest exchange?). So, unless you're prepared to level the person and start a fight, evade the question a breezy, even goofy answer-it deflects the hostility and you come out looking cheerful and unfazed.
2. To hone this skill, try anticipating the questioner's real point, and offer the answer she or he wants to hear. "I guess no one's good enough for me, Aunt Jane" is very good, as it saves her the trouble of implying just that. "No one would ever marry me because I'm far too stupid" is another good one. Whatever you suspect the hidden agenda is.
3. Disarm the questioner with something more interesting than the question. "I came close to marrying Fred Auntie, but he got worried when he discovered how rich I am." At least she'll do a double take. You? Rich? How and when? Huh? An excellent answer. Then turn and pour yourself a drink-and don't join her again.
The theme here is to disarm the rude questioner in any way you can. The goofier the answer, the better. "Gosh, Grandpa, I DO want to get married and have found just the right guy....but my psychic told me not to get married until February of 2011. So I'm waiting. " (Grandpa won't know whether to ask about the psychic or the reasoning for the month of February, or why he didn't know you were engaged--by which point you'll have dashed out of the room.) Your "psychic" could also be your guru, or your priest or your Groom's mother. Anybody who hasn't been introduced to the family, nor heard of at all, will do. You want to sound like it's all taken care of-by some lunatic no one knows.
For a roomful of family friends who all seem to be asking the same question and can't shut up, try. "Oh, you haven't heard, Uncle Bill. I AM married! I just haven't announced it yet! You're the first to know--so keep it a secret for me for now, okay?" Bill will want to know when you're going to tell everyone. Just say, "Soon! Very soon!"
Same for your boyfriend, the neophyte carpenter. Have him tell your mother he's working on a chest of drawers for the queen of England . And tell your brothers that the reason you've gained weight is that you're on the girls' basketball team and are taking steroids till you reach the proper strength.
And then walk away and find someone to talk to who loves you just the way you are..
Dalma Heyn, M.S.W., Founder of The Love Goddess, is the author of several bestselling books on marriage and relationships. Dalma is a widely read columnist and sought-after speaker. She has appeared-without her wings--on national talk shows including Oprah, The View, Charlie Rose, Good Morning America, and Larry King Live. For more information visit www.thelovegoddess.com or www.dalmaheyn.com.