"Why didn't you get married?"
You know, it wasn't so much the question that bothered me, but the tense. Namely, the fact it was in the past. Quite clearly the message was:
"Why didn't you get married when you had the chance, since now you're waaaaaay over the hill so there's no point in even CONSIDERING it at your age."
Frankly, I'm somewhat indifferent to the prospect of marriage. It's expensive, divorce doubly so and I just downright hate the idea of having to move any of my books to make room for someone else's lesser tomes.
BUT. That wasn't the point.
I looked down at the five year old as she sucked on her special curly straw the waiter at the Italian restaurant had brought with her drink. I should mention, this was the SAME 5 YEAR OLD who insisted on looking at a leaflet on complications with wisdom teeth extractions while I was in the dental waiting room waiting to have mine taken out. Basically, I deeply regret this child learning to talk. She was also going to get a way cooler dessert than me.
I debated what my reply should be. I contemplated telling her that marriage was hardly a requirement in today's society. That men were inferior beings with bad taste in books. Or pointing out that her mum was divorced and contemplating turning the coal bunker into a burial chamber for her dad, so really it led to nothing but hard work in crime concealment. I thought about saying I preferred women, furries, anime characters or her dessert, that a piece of paper wasn't necessary to prove you loved someone, that I was too young for marriage and no one under 85 knew enough to consider it, that marriage often led to children and she was currently THE LIVING EXAMPLE OF WHY I DIDN'T WANT TO GO DOWN THAT ROUTE.
Fortunately at that moment my dinner arrived. It was fettuccine with sausage. I speared a small sausage, smiled and bit down.
"I just haven't met the right person yet."