In Vietnam, this question is the short form of: “When are you getting married and inviting me to your wedding party so I can eat some candies?” It drove me nuts this new year’s season (no surprise!) and I have thought up of a genius idea: From now on I’m gonna bring candy bags with me when I go with my parents to visit their friends and our relatives. And if anyone brings that question up, I will simply pull out one bag to hand them: “Here, have all the candies you want.” Just imagine all the awkward silence, and once I’m out of their sight, all the phone calls and gossiping.

I have to admit that they’re right in saying now is a critical time frame to seriously look for a life partner; a couple of years more and my chance would go down precipitously. The problem for me is I can’t decide if I even want to get married and have kids. The more I talk with friends and see them off to set up couple life, the more I realize how indifferent I am. I’ve never dreamed about wedding dresses, celebration parties, honeymoon. I’ve never had the instinct to protect and guide young children, to put them on my lap and baby talk them about what they like. I look at them as funny creatures with fascinating behaviors and logics and sometimes they’re cute and entertaining; other times downright annoying. Yes I understand family life is a lot more than all the things I just list, but the traditional form at least in Vietnam isn’t a particularly attractive idea to me.

Following many repetitive arguments with my mom, I flipped and told her flat out: “I’m not getting married. You can drop the matter.” The parents are utterly confused. Why would anyone think that it’s a matter of personal choice? What do I mean that I have no duty to the human race, society, ancestors, parents, to mate and procreate? They know I’m a bit weird, but surely not so weird that I don’t want to have my own little clones running around?! Not in their wildest dreams would they ever picture their daughter becoming a spinster. My mom even sheepishly asked if I was gay. I tried so hard to keep a straight face.