“So how many kids do you have?”
“Um. One. His name is Edvard Munch.”
Thus began yet another awkward party conversation with a total stranger who assumed, either by virtue of my clearly remaining baby fat or perhaps by my advanced age, that I must have birthed someone or something at some point in the past.
We’re full into the swing of holiday party season which means it’s time to brush up on our bingo-playing skills. Childfree bingo, that is (a.k.a., “Breeder Bingo“).
What are our options when it comes to these kinds of oh-so-fun interactions? Seems to me there are two paths we could take.
If you like the person with whom you’re having this awkward conversation and/or you think you might have any interest at all in having any interaction with them at any point in the future, your options are somewhat limited. You could:
- Grin and bear it and ask them about their kids since that’s what they probably really want you to do anyway.
- Kindly say you don’t have human kids of your own but say something about the kids you do have in your life (e.g., nieces, nephews, god children, pets, your significant other).
If you’re already bored to tears by the person with whom you’re having this conversation and/or you hope to never have to see or speak to them again, you’ve got more response options at your disposal. You might:
- Walk away.
- Hug them. (Seems less hostile than walking away but also makes your conversation partner so uncomfortable, they might walk away.)
- Burst into sorrowful tears, telling them that you have no kids.
- Burst into gleeful cheers, telling them you have no kids. (I’ve found options 3 and 4 make people equally uncomfortable, which is kind of fun.)
- Ask them how much money they earn a year. (Almost as presumptuous as asking how many kids one has without knowing whether they have kids.)
- Walk away. (Did I mention this one already? It’s my favorite. Ain’t nobody got time for boring or awkward party convo.)
What are your favorite responses to such inquisitive party goers?