I may or may not have asked a few…
We have all had those times when you ask a question and the moment it is out of your mouth you realize you shouldn’t have asked it. I had lunch with a friend the other day and we were discussing this very thing. How we both have asked someone if they were pregnant and of course they weren’t and how embarrassing it was for both the asker and the askee(don’t think these are actual words but you get the point) It really makes both parties involved feel terrible. So after my one and only disaster I decided to refrain from ever asking this question again until the person involved told me she was indeed pregnant.
This got me to thinking about other questions you should just not ask. Below is my list of ten that I may or may not have asked or been asked.
- The first and obvious one is, “Are you pregnant?” You just should never utter these words if you don’t know the person. If you do know them don’t ask this until you hear the words “I’m pregnant” come out of their own mouth. Just take my word for it. My friend told me her story of how a woman came in to her workplace all the time and she was super skinny, ran all the time and was in great shape. So she came in one day with her child in a stroller and had a very distinct baby bump. It was right there, not a speck of fat on her body. So my friend knew she was pregnant. She says, “oh you are pregnant.” The woman gave her a very sad look and said, “no I don’t know what is the matter I just can’t lose this bump.” Of course my friend felt terrible and I’m sure the woman did as well. You can’t base your asking of this question on looks because this incident proves that. Just don’t ask..
- Is that your Grandmother? Being in retail, customers are always coming up to buy jewelry or perfume from me and have a person with them, Sometimes that person is much older than the customer. Don’t ever ask if the young man you are talking to if this lovely person with him is his grandmother? You will get a blank stare and be told that no, indeed this isn’t my Grandmother, it is my wife. Note: I also lost the sale.
- Is this your son? Just like “the is this your grandmother question”, do not ask is this your Mother, Father, Grandparent, etc… This actually happened to me. I was once in a very long term live in relationship with a younger man…much younger. 11 years younger to be exact. We were going to a wedding of a mutual friend and he needed a new suit. We went to a high end department store and he went about trying on various suits coming out to show me and let me help him choose. This went on for awhile and the clerk who was helping us finally looked at me and said, ” is that your son, he looks great in all of them.” To which I replied, “no, he is my boyfriend, and yes he does.” She looked a bit embarrassed and walked away. Just don’t ask.
- Why aren’t you married? I get this one a lot. I’ve been there, done that and have 2 tee shirts. I don’t feel the need to do it again. It is a nosey, rude question and one that doesn’t even deserve a reply. Personally, I would never ask someone this question, but you wouldn’t believe the amount of times I get it. Most times I try to ignore it and move on, but if they push, I usually give my stock answer which is, “why do you feel the need to know this?” That line and my look most times stops them…just throw it back at them.
- Why don’t you have kids? This is another one of those questions that is very personal and I think people shouldn’t ask. They don’t ask me this question of course but I know several people who have chosen not to have children or couldn’t have children that get asked this question all the time. This just goes without saying, you should just not ask someone this question. End of discussion.
- Do you want to date my ex? Ok, this one was very weird. I had a good friend and helped her through a terrible divorce. Her husband was a jerk and not at all good looking. A year or so after the divorce out of no where she asked me, “you want to date my ex don’t you?” I said no and thought that would be it. but she kept asking me this question every time we were together. I felt if I told her how much he repulsed me it would be a slam to her so I just kept my mouth shut and hoped she would stop asking. But she didn’t. So one night as we were watching a movie together, a chic flick romance, she asked me again. I screamed at her, “no, I don’t want to date your idiotic, stupid jerk of an ex who looks like he is wearing a sweater when he really isn’t and loves to wear tank tops to show off his hairy skinny stupid looking body, are you happy now.” She never asked me that question again. Of course we are no longer friends.
- How much did that purse cost? I get asked how much that top, that purse, those shoes cost all the time. Now I love a bargain as much if not more than the next person but you just don’t ask that question. I tell my friends when I find a great bargain and how much I paid, They don’t even need to ask, I want to spread the joy with them. It is usually strangers or acquaintances that ask this and it really ticks me off. And the few times I did stupidly share the price and place I purchased an item with them they must have immediately gone there because the next time I saw them they had on the exact same thing. Not cool.
- How much money do you make? When I worked at various jobs over the years I would have people ask this question a lot. I don’t even know how much my own daughter makes. You just don’t ask this question.
- Asking a very personal question when someone close to you dies. I had people I hardly even know ask me how my sister and my son died. If I wanted you to know, you would know. Just maybe if the question is of a very personal nature and you think it may hurt the person you are asking, think about before you ask. And maybe just don’t ask.
- And finally this one…don’t ever ask a guy you are dating that is much younger than you after you pass a milestone birthday this question. “How does it feel to be dating a 40 year old?” It must not have felt too terrific as he decided it was over shortly after this.
So my point in this whole thing is this…do not ask something of someone you would not want someone to ask you. Don’t be hurtful and regret what you say to others. Words hurt. Think before you speak and most of all.. be kind!
Did you ever ask a person something you regretted asking? Did someone ever ask you a question that you wished they wouldn’t have?
“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” ~ George Elliot (maybe we should all try to be more like animals)