This is a gripe that really should have made it to the bitter wish list.
When you greet a homeschooling friend you haven’t seen for a while, please cut the phrase “So — still homeschooling?” from your working vocabulary.
The Bitter One
Not everyone understands. There are even some homeschoolers who aren’t quite sold on the point, so let me explain. Fair warning: there are several things wrong with this question, so grab some chocolate and settle down.
Yes, it’s technically true that if you haven’t seen someone for a while, they might not be homeschooling now, even though they used to be. And if you’re catching up with an old friend, you want to cover the basics. And homeschooling is an important part of the life of those who engage in it. Naturally, it’s going to come up in conversation.
Great. Fine. Lovely, so far.
It’s also absolutely true that there are some people who homeschool and who then decide, for whatever reason, not to do so any longer.
Okay. Hold it RIGHT THERE.
Stop and think about the major aspects of your life. And then think about how many of these are things that plenty of people start to do and then, for whatever reason, stop doing.
The fact is, things that are socially acceptable never get asked after, no matter what the statistics say about them. If I haven’t seen you in over a year, and the last time I saw you, you were half of a married couple, there’s a perfectly good chance that you’re no longer living in wedded bliss. Or even wedded just okayness. So is it all right to ask about that? Even if I took the comparatively optimistic route and asked, “So — still married?” rather than jumping to the far more evilly gleeful-sounding, “So — divorced yet?”
Actually, some people do get asked if they’re divorced yet. Specifically, they get asked by people who have strong opinions about That Person You Insisted On Marrying.
People who homeschool never ask other homeschoolers, even those they haven’t seen for a while, if they’re “still” homeschooling.
All of this leads me to the inevitable conclusion that you’re asking because you disapprove of my decision.
Still think this question is peachy? Okay. Please just tell me how exactly it differs from any of the following:
“So — do your kids still go to public school? Really? Huh.”
“I was watching the news last night and I thought of you. Has the bank repossessed your house?”
“How’s your job? You still have one, right?”
Hey — I’m just asking.