Did they really say that?

A favorite friend is pregnant, and we got talking about the inappropriate things people say and do to pregnant women. (Please don’t touch bellies or offer unsolicited advice). But it got me thinking about all the well-intended, but incredibly rude questions people frequently ask. They leave you in shocked silence or an obligatory reply while wondering “Did they really say that?” There’s little, if anything, to be gained from the answer. The information is usually irrelevant and unnecessary.

“Hello, where’s your accent from?”
*who are you?* “I’m originally from Australia.”
“Oh, I didn’t pick it. You don’t sound like Crocodile Dundee.”

That’s an interaction I had at a business event. Business event. I admit my reaction was rude: “That’s because I’m a city girl with three degrees.” I still blush at the memory, and I spent the next 10 minutes helping him with marketing plans, but still, my reaction was from eight years of being reduced to my accent.</rant>

I put the question out on Facebook to hear the questions others have been asked. Thanks to all who offered examples. I hope it was therapeutic.

Let’s start with the pregnancy batch.

“Will you be coming back to work?” – I dare you to ask a man this. After all, they have extra responsibilities with a child. It’s fair.

“Was the pregnancy planned?” – An overly friendly barista asked this. Only your doctor can ask you this one.

“What are you hoping for?” – Please just say a baby and leave them wondering what else there could be. It’s so redundant. If it’s not the sex you want are you going to send it back?

The rest of the answers showed how international and diverse the respondents are. It’s something I adore. I’ve left the explanatory comments in.

Not that it bothers me (yet), but what about age-related questions? “How old are you?” “What year did you graduate high school?”

“Are you happy with your weight?” Asked by someone who’d known me about 5 minutes, who sold herbal supplements as a side job.

“Our church is very welcoming of homosexuals. I mean, some of our congregation is addicted to smoking cigarettes, and we haven’t kicked them out. Love the sinner, hate the sin!” – Sigh.

“When are you getting married?” and “Have you found a man yet?” – Marriage isn’t a career choice, and a man isn’t the only relationship option.

“Where did you go to school?” – only asked in Australia and with the aim of finding who went to private school.

And my favorite, not just because it’s from my mom. Ten points for an innocently sassy response:

My aunt once asked me what my friend’s father does for a living. I didn’t understand the question and said, “he’s alive…”. Later on, I could never understand the need for the question at all… snobbery maybe?

Feel free to share this as a passive-aggressive message to those asking rude, irrelevant questions that make you think “Did they really say that?”.

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Image License: Creative Commons Zero (CC0) License from ISO Republic

More about Bianca

Bianca's a nerdy, book worm who is constantly curious and appreciates being alive while the internet exists. During the day, she's a content writer for a tech company. The rest of the time she's reading, and running, and bike riding, and sipping coffee, and taking photos around Melbourne, Australia.

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