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Ask Anyone

hard questions

>Now that it’s legal here, everyone is asking me and my long-time boyfriend if we’re getting married. It seems pretty fucking nosy to me, and frankly I don’t like the tension it adds to our relationship. (Is he going to ask? Am I supposed to ask? What would the answer be? Do we even believe in marriage?) Are people being rude or am I being over-sensitive?

Buzz Off

The Backroom Guy says: I think this is very rude. Your answer should sound something like “We haven’t decided yet. How long have you been pregnant?” or “That’s none of your business, but I’ve always wondered, where did you purchase your toupee?”

The Practical Cogitator says: No one is supposed to ask you, and you are not supposed to ask others. This was true before marriage equality, and remains true now. Couples will announce their good news when and if they have any. Your response to “Are you planning on getting Married?” could simply be “Our intentions are still private.” That ought to silence the questioner.

The Straight Skinny: Welcome to the world of expectations heretofore open only to heterosexual couples. Relatives and friends never hesitate to ask different-sex couples, “When are you guys tying the knot?” or to drop hints like, “I’m just saying it’d be nice to have another wedding in the family...” The pressure from children in the family, especially, can be relentless.

There are prices to pay for the equal right to conform, and this is one of them.

The Gay Perspective: Say, “We haven’t decided yet, but rest assured, we wouldn’t think of making such an important decision without first consulting with you!”

Dining Out says: Of course people are going to ask you if you’re getting married; especially because you live in America. In this country people feel like the natural life progression is College, Career, Relationship, Marriage, Children, Retirement, and so on... The most peer pressured demographic in this country used to be single women in their 30s (hello, Bridget Jones’s Diary). Now others are starting to feel the heat and most of us agree that it’s fairly annoying and invasive. You can find ways to diffuse the marriage question or answer it truthfully. Unfortunately, the question is here to stay.

Smart Money says: tell them to mind their own fucking business. Better yet, start crying and run away. That would be uncomfortable.

Strictly Classified says: Take a socratic approach and respond to such questions with questions, such as: “Are you pregnant?” or “Wow, is that some sort or boil on your face?” You get the point. Be creative.

the gift that keeps on giving

Seven years ago, I attended the civil union of two good friends, who I’ll call Beth and Anne, in Vermont. Very nice ceremony and reception. I gave them a KitchenAid.

Today I received an invitation to their wedding right here in Niagara Falls. It’s in the spring, I am elated for them, and I am absolutely going to attend. On the wedding website, there’s a link to their gift registry at Williams-Sonoma and Target. Am I obligated here? That KitchenAid was damned expensive.

—Serial Guest

The Sales Guy says: I doubt you will find this problem’s solution in any etiquette manual presently available. The closest thing really is a couple who are renewing their vows. If there is a dinner and drink component that comes with, then I say if you’re attending it’s off to Target you go.

The Practical Cogitator says: You can certainly spring for a nice card to commemorate the occasion. Write something lovely and thoughtful on the right hand side of the card. On the left-hand side tape in a photo of the KitchenAid from the William Sonoma Catalog and mention how durable and long lasting that item is and how you hope they are still enjoying it.

Strictly Classified says: You can give a gift that you feel is appropriate. Since your lady friends have registered at Target and Williams-Sonoma you have many options (and hopefully may reasonable options) available to you.

Smart Money says: It’s been seven years, you cheap bastard. Pony up and schedule your own descent into the pit of despair...I mean wedding.

The Gay Perspective: As a gay person, I have little to no experience with weddings of any kind. You should ask some heterosexual people. They get married and remarried all the time! I’m sure they’ll know what to do.

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