Annie's Mailbox Some funny and not-so-funny responses to the child query
DEAR ANNIE: I read the letter from "Childless in the East," who asked you for a good response when people say, "When are you going to have kids?"
My wife and I waited to have children. We shut up the insensitive clods by giving them an indignant look and replying, "I cannot begin to imagine how that would possibly interest you."
We both had good jobs and enjoyed traveling. We also saved and invested. We had children when we were ready, and by then, we could provide nicely for them and give them the quality of life they deserved. -- George in Jacksonville, Fla.
DEAR GEORGE: WE WERE OVERWHELMED WITH SUGGESTED RESPONSES. READ ON:
PENSACOLA, FLA.: YEARS AGO, MY DAUGHTER WAS ASKED WHEN SHE WOULD HAVE KIDS. I SUGGESTED SHE REPLY INDIGNANTLY, "WE'D NEVER DO THAT! WE'RE VEGETARIANS."
REDDING, CALIF.: A FRIEND ONCE ASKED, "WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE A BABY?"
My husband replied, "Well, we keep kissing and kissing, and nothing happens."
JACKSONVILLE, FLA.: MY BEST ANSWER IS, "WHEN THEY COME WITH A RETURN POLICY."
CHICAGO: MY SISTER'S FAVORITE RESPONSE WAS, "ON THE THIRD THURSDAY AFTER THE SECOND BLUE MOON OF A YEAR EVENLY DIVISIBLE BY SEVEN." PEOPLE DIDN'T ASK TWICE.
WISCONSIN: HERE'S MINE: "IF I WANTED TO HEAR THE PITTER-PATTER OF LITTLE FEET, I'D PUT SHOES ON MY CAT." WORKS FOR ME.
SPOKANE, WASH.: I TELL PEOPLE, "I DON'T BREED WELL IN CAPTIVITY."
EAST COAST: MY HUSBAND'S FAVORITE ANSWER IS, "MY WIFE AND I PRAYED FOR 20 YEARS FOR CHILDREN, AND THEN WE FOUND OUT THAT'S NOT HOW YOU DO IT."
INDIANAPOLIS: I LIKE THIS ONE: "I LOVE KIDS. I HAD ONE LAST NIGHT WITH A GLASS OF CHIANTI AND FAVA BEANS."
NEW YORK: "WE USED TO HAVE TWO, BUT WE TRADED THEM IN FOR A NEW CAR."
EAST COAST: TELL THEM, "I CAN'T BEAR CHILDREN," THEN REFUSE TO EXPLAIN YOURSELF.
PORTSMOUTH, N.H.: WHEN PEOPLE ASK, "WHEN ARE YOU GUYS HAVING KIDS?" JUST SAY: "I DON'T KNOW. WHAT HAVE YOU HEARD?"
SCIFI FAN: "WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE KIDS?" ANSWER: "YOU MEAN YOU CAN'T SEE THEM?"
GEORGIA: HOW'S THIS: "I DON'T KNOW. WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE MANNERS?"
NEW YORK: MY HUSBAND WOULD LOOK DEJECTED AND SAY, "WELL, YOU SEE, THERE WAS THIS ACCIDENT AT THE FACTORY..."
People would immediately apologize.
MICHIGAN: I TELL PEOPLE, "OH, I'VE HAD SEVERAL CHILDREN, BUT THE STATE KEPT TAKING THEM AWAY, SO I QUIT."
HOBOKEN, N.J.: "WELL, HUBBY'S CERTAINLY PLACING THE ORDERS." THAT RATTLED THEM.
FREEPORT, ILL.: MY HUSBAND FINALLY TOLD ONE PERSISTENT QUESTIONER, "WE DON'T KNOW HOW. CAN YOU COME OVER AND SHOW US?"
She never asked again.
NORTH FT. MYERS, FLA.: WE TELL PEOPLE WE'RE GOING TO WAIT UNTIL WE RETIRE SO OUR SOCIAL SECURITY COVERS VIAGRA AND CRIBS.
NEVADA CITY, CALIF.: I SAY, "WHEN THE WORLD'S POPULATION DECREASES TO A SUSTAINABLE 3.5 BILLION AND EACH PERSON TAKES RESPONSIBILITY TO REPRODUCE ONLY ONE CHILD SO WE CAN ALL LIVE HEALTHY AND WEALTHY, ENRICHED, CARING LIVES FOR ALL SPECIES."
SALEM, ORE.: I'M A MAN, AND I RECENTLY SOLVED THAT PROBLEM BY SAYING, "DOUG CAN'T HAVE CHILDREN."
OVERSEAS: I'VE BEEN IN THE MILITARY 12 YEARS AND RECENTLY GOT MARRIED. I TELL PEOPLE, "IF THE ARMY WANTED ME TO HAVE KIDS, THEY WOULD HAVE ISSUED ME SOME."
MONTREAL: I USED TO BE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO WOULD ASK COUPLES WHEN THEY WERE GOING TO HAVE CHILDREN.
One day, a friend quietly responded: "It's not that we're not trying, it's just not happening. It's painful to discuss."
I don't ask anymore.