Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NUNYA!! You Know, Nun-Ya Business... Or... What to Say When People Ask Innapropriate Questions

Babysitting puts me in this weird position where I’m forced to hang out with the other sitter at play date. Sometimes this is just fine and I’ve met some cool girls while our seven year old monkeys run around the park together. However, sometimes this is awful and I make painful chit chat while praying someone will fall from the swings and we'll have to rush home.

It’s kind of like having to hang out with the girlfriends of your boyfriend's friends. You pray his friends will date super cool chicks who you can go shopping with outside of the double date dynamic but instead you're stuck with a lame snob of a bore who hasn't learned how to walk in her heels.

On one particular play date from hell, asI was delighted that my little monkey child was wearing herself out playing Duck, Duck, Goose, I was forced to run the small talk marathon with Ms. Asks Too Many Personal Questions. Which got me thinking; why do people think its ok to asks intimate details after having only known someone for 12 seconds?

After hearing about my boyfriend from the overly chatty monkey herself and deducing that I wasn't married, Ms. ATMPQ says, "So, when are you getting married?"

Back the truck up woman.

Not only do I not know this answer myself, but who does she think she is asking such a personal question. If it was something I wanted her to know I’d offer the information myself.

I brushed it off by saying, "Oh, you know, when I’m bored of being happy." Which was sufficient to change the subject but also entirely misleading. I don’t feel this way about marriage at all, and I felt uncomfortable giving her the impression that I was anti-marriage, but what could I do? 

Over the years I have been ask many inappropriate questions to which I really wanted to respond by saying, "Nun yo damn business!"

This is hardly appropriate for me to say, no matter how much I want to, so I have thought of and saved up a little army of witty remarks to fire back with. I will share them with you and please, feel free to ues any of these if you need them for your own defenses.

After high school, when I had to put off going to college for a semester because I couldn’t afford it, people felt they should put pressure on me for not jumping to it right away. When they asked snootily why I wasn’t going right to college, I solemnly told them I only had 6 months to live and wanted to experience life while I could. Had this been real information it obviously would have been way more personal than saying I was too poor to go, but that didn't really cross my mind at the time.

Then when I was married the first time people started getting impatient for me to have kids. I’m not sure why it was so important to strangers that I have babies, I wasn’t in any sort of hurry, so when they asked me when I was going to have kids, I replied, "We're still waiting to see if the marriage will work out." It shut them right up, but I do feel a little bad that this turned out to be more true than I intended... Oops

And finally, when I got divorced, the boldest of the intrusive dared to ask why. This is where I drew the line in my witty self-preserving sand and said, "That is hardly appropriate to ask." A little hostile, but sometimes you have to put people in their place.

Wouldn't it be nice for people to learn what is appropriate to ask and what isn’t? But as long as there are intriguing things happening in my life there will always be nosy people wanting to know about it. There isn’t much to do but smile, try to keep the conversation light and  think of a clever retort.

As I am moving further away from the developing milestones of my 20’s, I’d like to think that my days of having to deal with intrusive strangers are over, but seeing as how I’m not married, I don’t have children and I haven’t even gone to grad school, people will continue to ask invasive questions. I am looking for more ammo to stockpile in my arsenal. Please, share with me your go-to lines to ward off the snooptastic so that I can keep my wits about me.


Keem said...

There are two successful approaches to the 'why don't you have kids yet" question. First, try something along the lines as 'Well, the doctor says that this new injection might increase his sperm count.' Second, explain that you haven't quite gotten a hang of the baby making action. Then either say you're going to go practice right now -or- ask them to show you sometime ;)

Savvy Pants said...

Oh Keem!! That is the BEST. I am SO going to ask someone to show me how it's done. Love it!! So Keem, when are you going to have kids?

Keem said...

I dunno, not sure if we're getting it right. But you don't seem to be an expert either, so maybe I don't need you to show me :)

~Mom said...

When you were married the first time? Have you had secret marriages I don't know about? Hehe. Talk about intrusive...I've heard women complain about strangers putting their hand on their pregnant belly! (This is worded weird, but I think you get the picture). I love all the creative ideas!

mj said...

When people ask me inappropriate questions - and for some reason they always do - I like to give responses that make no sense. For example, if someone asks about my marriage, I say "I like cheeseburgers with pickles." Or if someone inquires about my baby-making plans, I'll say "Aren't baby ninjas cute?" Works every time. Of course, everyone thinks I needs meds, but it shuts them up.