I'm sure everyone here is familiar with judgemental or dismissive reactions to our childfree choice. However, there are moments when a friend, a family member or a complete stranger will say the most peculiar thing. It is not insensitive or insulting, it's just...weird. Whenever I state that I do not have a desire to reproduce, I am occasionally asked "so, you never want to get married?"
Although this is none of their business, the question itself does not offend me. What bothers me about this question is the leap of logic the individual is making and their inability to explain their reasoning. When I ask what those two things have to do with one another the most common response I receive is "Uh...well, I guess...it's just..." While I do find it amusing to watch a person struggle with this question, I also find it heartbreaking that so many people of all ages and backgrounds still think this way.
I find myself explaining that children are not required in a marriage, nor does being married magically cause children. One is not required for the other, they are not a packaged deal, but sold separately. While many of these people understand my line of reasoning, they still seem perplexed as to why I might want to get married if I don't want children. So, I take a different approach. I ask the person if they like sushi (or black licorice, caviar, oysters, any "acquired taste" will do). When they say "no", I give them a confused look and say "you mean you don't want to go to the moon?" Then I watch them struggle to figure out my leap in logic.
I know it may seem like a condescending reaction to a seemingly innocent question, but it does make a person reflect on their own perceptions and ignorance. It also prevents a slew of other questions I've had to answer and explain repeatedly (What if your spouse wants kids? Who will care for you when you get old/sick? etc).
Since I know I'm not the only one dealing with this, I want to know, what are some of the unusual things people have said to you, and how do you handle them?