My grandparents’ 50th anniversary party is coming up, and they asked us to bring SO’s. When I said I didn’t want to bring a date, they criticized my “emotional retardation” and said to “hurry up before nobody wants you anymore.” I handled that conversation well, if coolly, but now I’m dreading the actual party. So I guess the real question is: how do you address an entire extended family with graciousness & panache when they base a lot of your worth on your relationship status (and you don’t)?
What the ever-flying-fuck?
You are obviously more mature than several dozen elderly people who will be at this party. Just laugh condescendingly and stop thinking about it. Let’s practice the laughing part now.
Old-Timey Misogynist: Women should not ride bicycles. It disrupts the menses!
You: Whoa, haha! Um, okay, very interesting! [can’t wait to go tell Tumblr about this]
Child: I’m a demon. You’re a turtle. Demons beat turtles, die die die!
You: Oh! Hahahaha that’s great, sure.
Like that. Practice your condescending laugh.
A few other ideas for next time your grandparents tell you you’re “emotionally retarded”:
- “Retarded” is an offensive word. Prepare a little lecture about having respect for cognitively disabled people. That fucking changed the subject, right?
- Turn the talk back on them. “Ha, having a boyfriend sounds like a lot of work. Didn’t you say work was the key to staying married so long?”
- Make them sound really old. “Ha, women have jobs these days! We can get houses and things for ourselves. Haha!”
- Prepare a really esoteric, jardon-laden summary of your work or studies: “Ha, actually right now I’m doing my thesis on Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit and the path from Hegel to historicist nihilism. I’m learning a lot by reading Hegel in the original German. What are you working on?”
Or just, you know, ignore them and their stupid shit!
Also of interest: What To Do About Your Racist Family