As promised, here’s part two of the question of the week: Why do we intrude on people’s right to have their life unfold as they wish, by asking (in an intruding way) when they are getting engaged, married, having children, having the next child, etc?
Why do we push these standards on people and what about the way they exclude other possibilities: infertility, an inability to “get married” because one has a same sex partner, a decision not to have children, etc.?
Donna: This always slays me…the way people are seemingly unafraid to ask such personal questions. I guess it really depends on the situation, though…and how good of friends you are with the person in question and the way the question is asked.
Crystal: I’m one of the nosy people. It’s one of the reasons I became a journalist – I get paid to be nosy. I generally ask those types of conversation to gather information about someone. I have learned that how you ask is the big difference. Like Janine, I’m single, in my 40s, no kids and driven. And I thoroughly enjoy my life. People stopped asking about babies, a hubby and such when I hit 41.
Donna: On the flip side, some people don’t mind telling all either, to total strangers, and that is something I really don’t get. I do think a lot of people are just curious (or nosy, depending) and I think some of it may be fueled by competitiveness.
Amy: If people are asking these questions in an agressive, intruding manner I always wonder whether that person is trying to gather evidence that they’re living their lives the “best way”. I think people who have made certain choices such as getting married, or having children, or giving up their youth to develop a career would like to think that others are just trying to get there (e.g., where they are) and may ask these questions to validate this for themselves.