My boyfriend and I have been together for a few years, and we get asked all the time when we are getting engaged, especially as our peers begin to post engagement pics (taken in parks, railroad crossings, industrial complexes, junkyards, abandoned buildings, crime scenes) all over social media and prepare to tie the knot.
As it is wedding season, the question “So when are you two getting married?” is hurled at us with alarming frequency lately. Don’t get me wrong. It doesn’t make me angry when people ask — it’s nice to have someone in my life who I would consider marrying — but it gets old after a while. So, I have decided to stop answering with a demure shrug and awkward laugh, and instead, compile a list of 10 go-to responses for this predicament. Feel free to use any of these yourself. Hopefully they will distract people to the point where they change the subject or stop asking.
1. "We haven’t resolved the last name issue."
According to tradition, the woman takes her husband’s last name. Many women today hyphenate. Recently, actress Zoe Saldana’s husband took her last name to much media fanfare. We haven’t decided what to do if we say, “I do.” I propose we just come up with a new surname. My boyfriend, however, isn’t sold on my desired new last name: Mrs. Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, Protector of the Realm, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, called Daenerys Stormborn, the Unburnt, Mother of Dragons. I’ll admit it’s a little bit of a mouthful. It’s a work in progress.
2. "We’re actually ineligible because we’re not really adults.”
I mean, legally, sure, we have both been adults for years. However, each time I find out that people my age or younger are getting married, I have the panicky thought, OMG they’re not old enough! I still feel like I’m in high school. I can’t believe I can do some things without parental supervision like drink and get tattoos. My boyfriend and I are basically children. Sure we LOOK like adults to the naked eye, but we are secretly kindergartners. We laugh too hard at fart jokes and spend too much money on candy and toys.
3. “We are still holding out for our celebrity crushes.”
We need to be legally unattached in the event that our celebrity crushes come to their senses and decide they are madly in love with us. Let’s face it, everyone’s significant other is just a placeholder until Chris Pratt or Anna Kendrick arrives. Tons of couples have a “free pass” list. Sure, I love my boyfriend, but if my celebrity crush comes along, he is old news. And vice versa. Fair is fair.
4. “We are waiting until all of our favorite bands are so outdated we can afford to book them for our reception.”
I’m not talking Beyoncé because, of course, she will always be in high demand. But, ya know, just like any band we like currently who will be ecstatic to get a gig by the time we get married and will do it on the cheap. Does anyone know the Spice Girls’ booking agent?
5. “May 10, 2018 at 2 p.m.”
I may just start naming an exact date and time. Is that not what the person wants when they ask when you’re getting engaged? What am I supposed to say? Can I see the future? Do I understand the vast complexities of love and relationships and wedding planning? No. I don’t even fully understand how to change my WiFi network name.
6. “We’re going to wait until we have our first child and just see how it goes from there.”
A friend of mine actually suggested this answer to me. I love it because it shifts the awkwardness onto the person asking about your life. Hopefully this will shock or scandalize them into silence. (Warning: this may also prompt them to start asking when you will be having children. Use with caution.)
7. “We’re still undecided about each other.”
This is our go-to answer, to just tell people we are ambivalent about each other. It’s like leasing to own. Do I LOVE this car’s power steering? Am I a fan of its shade of silvery blue? Try it before you buy it, everyone. Don’t make any rash decisions.
8. “We are dragging it out for the suspense.”
Some of the best moments in my favorite TV shows involve a will-they-or-won’t-they plotline: Ross and Rachel, Jim and Pam, Luke and Lorelai, Angel and Buffy. The suspense is what makes it great! It’s always satisfying when your favorite couple finally gets together, but it’s never as good as the anticipation. Plus, it’s usually followed by lower ratings and the end of the show. We don’t want to be cancelled!
9. “We have political reasons.”
The best part about this answer is that it completely shifts the responsibility off of you while making you seem politically savvy. “We’re waiting for same-sex marriage to be legal everywhere. Marriage for all or for none.” While this is completely ridiculous, if you say it with enough vehemence, I doubt anyone will argue with you. The ball is in your court, legislative bodies. I’m looking at you, Joe Biden, you handsome fox. (The VP is on my “free pass” list.)
10. “When you give us a blank check.”
Weddings tend to be expensive. Sure, you can do it in a frugal manner or elope. But why not seize the opportunity to make someone uncomfortable by talking about finances? It’s only fair since they decided to make you uncomfortable by asking about your love life.
Again, feel free to use any or all of these suggestions and good luck navigating wedding season. May the odds be ever in your favor.