The true art of gossip is dead. As Lynne Harris notes in her recent article So, why aren't you knocked up yet?, it seems that there is an inherent loss of civility with regard to personal matters, especially when it comes to marriage and child bearing. Gone is the veiled reference, the knowing wink, the couched innuendo about what might, or might not, be happening to those around us. Now, the level of discourse when it comes to certain personal matters seems to regularly have all the discretion of a men's room at a meat market bar on a Satuday night -- "so are you two screwing like mad bunnies, or what?"
Even more, people seem to have advice about what you should be doing. I first learned this the hard way once I got out of grad school. Everyone had advice about what I should be doing with my money, if they knew the particulars of my situation or not. Next, once I met Mrs. Geek, the question always was "so when will you two be getting married?" When we were engaged, there was a never ending stream of "well you should get married here, but not there... there but not the other place... you mean you don't want $2000 on the cake?" Now, the question is "when will you be having children?" Mrs. Geek dreams of responding to this question by asking "so you want to know how often my husband and I are having unprotected sex? is that what you are asking?" but never does in the interest of diplomacy.
I was neatly reminded of all this over the weekend when I picked up our "anniversary cake." Rather than save and freeze the top tier of our wedding cake for our first anniversary (as is custom), our wedding cake provider instead gives each couple a small, specially made cake. The chit-chat I exchanged with our wedding cake vendor ran something like this:
Her: Hi, what can I do for you?
Me: I'm here to pick up my anniversary cake.
Her: Which one are you? There are about four in the refridgerator. We must have been super busy for the 25th of last year.
Me: The name is Geek, G-E-E-K.
Her: Ah, here it is... with the Heath Bar crunch, right?
Me: Me. Yes, that's us.
Her: Doing anything for your anniversary?
Me: We're going to a family party, and then spending the night at nearby four star hotel.
Her: You two have anything "in the oven?"
Me: Umm... no. Not right now. Maybe next year. At least we'll be talking about it a lot more seriously by this time next year.
Her: Well, at least get lots of practice between now and then.
Me: Umm... ok. Have a good day!
I consider myself to be a fairly open person... but I didn't go over there expecting to even tangentially discuss my sex life. Oh well. At least she knows how to bake a beautiful and delicious cake, shown above. It was delicious!
on 2005-06-27 at 1:27 p.m.
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