People seem to think that to get to know you they need to know your family. I don’t know how much they think they can really learn about a person from a list of information, but people are like that. So you wind up listing your siblings and their vital stats to anyone who’s decided that they’re going to “get to know you.” What is considered a vital stat seems, to me, a bit arbitrary. Do they have jobs? Who cares. Are they happy? Not interested. Do they feel God’s presence in their lives? Aw c’mon. Stick to the important stuff. We just want to know if they’re married. (And if they’re married, if they have kids.) And if your siblings are not married, then friendly interrogator is going to say “Oh,” and pull a sympathetic face. If there are three of you looking for mates, the sympathetic expression becomes downright pained.
So I was rather relieved when my older sister got herself engaged. She was the old maid in the stat list (for real, at age 28), and I had come to dread the “so tell me about your siblings” because she’s number two in the list. Well, she’s spoken for now, I’m glad to say. That leaves only two of us careening toward lonely old age at the breakneck speed of one day every 24 hours. But my second brother won’t become antediluvian for another two years at least, and I probably have a similar time span before my own scalp peering through the part in my own hair becomes a target of sympathy.
But I celebrated too soon. I’ve only swapped one annoying response for a dozen others. Like “Oh that’s sooo nice,” and “So there’s nothing holding you back now,” or “That mean’s you’re next!” I’m not sure what to respond to these, so I give a tight smile and say, “Uh huh.” Is there a good response to those kind of comments? I never thought I’d say it, but I much prefer the irritating “So what color is your gown?” (Arriving, yes, the day after the official announcement.) At least to that one I can just say “stone-washed denim” and change the subject.