Don’t Ask

Top 10 Questions You’re Better Off Not Asking

1) Is that what you’re wearing?

(Got it, mom?)

2) Why don’t you have a boyfriend?

This might have been my LEAST favorite question of my 20’s, especially since it was so often asked in sympathy.

3) Do you think he’s “the one”?

Yeah, if we could not get into what I think of the concept of “soulmates” we’d probably all have a much more cheerful afternoon.

4) When are you two getting engaged/married?

5) When are you two having kids?  A.k.a., when are you going to give us some grandkids?

6) What baby names are you thinking about?

I learned not to ask this one when I immediately, reflexively passed judgment on one of the options a friend of mine was considering.   Now I try to never ask.

7) Are you breast feeding?

I’m also a guilty culprit on this one, as my friends/family are split about 50/50 between moms who switch to formula early on and women who breast feed for longer than 6 months, and so I like surveying mothers on this one.  Apparently it’s a rough equivalent of asking single or unmarried women questions like #2 and #4, respectively.  I try to turn it into a sympathetic space for venting for those who feel like they’re on the wrong side of the question to compensate for my prying, but maybe I should just stop asking instead.

8) Are you going to have anymore kids?  (And then, of course: when?)

And what has become my most loathed question of my 30s:

9) What will you do once you finish your degree?


I can only think of these Top 9, so give me your suggestions for #10.

10) …


15 Responses to “Don’t Ask”

  1. November 18, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    My personal favorite, after the whole “I’m a feminist” thing comes up: “So do you hate men?”

    It’s a close second after “So why don’t you have a boyfriend?,” which I get ALL THE TIME from dudes trying to hit on me, and which is perhaps the most obnoxious question ever.

  2. November 18, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    Why don’t you have a job yet?


  3. November 18, 2007 at 8:21 pm

    10. “Have you considered plastic surgery?”

    I got this from a well-meaning student the other day who studied my face, noting my many lines and offering to refer me to her boyfriend’s boss, a cosmetic surgeon.

  4. November 18, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    Hugo, OY. I haven’t gotten that one yet! Though when I had necessary back surgery, the E/R doc told me I was lucky enough to be a “freak” and have a stump of a rib that they were going to use for my bone replacement versus the much more painful skin graft. Nice moment of levity at the patient’s expense, doc.

    Kirsten, no doubt! Big oversight on my part, leaving that one out.

    Jill, you must have some ready responses by now: “No, but I hate you!” “No, but I do eat men like you for breakfast.” “Yes, as a matter of fact I do. Now get the fuck away from me.” “Why, it’s another star graduate of Feminism 101!” and so forth, no? 🙂

  5. 5 Amy
    November 18, 2007 at 9:19 pm

    “Is he/she sleeping through the night yet?”

    “How often do you and your husband get out just the two of you?”

    “Doesn’t breastfeeding become irrelevant after 6 months?” (yeah, I just do it for kicks and giggles)

  6. November 18, 2007 at 9:46 pm

    Irrelevant. Now there’s an interesting choice of words!

  7. November 18, 2007 at 10:07 pm

    I’m constantly asked by my sister and my mom “Why don’t you move to Utah so you can find a husband?” Yes, Mormon.

  8. November 18, 2007 at 10:23 pm

    “What are you writing?” and/or “What do you write?”

    …followed by “A blog? What’s that like?”

    Usually followed by “That sounds so… interesting” which clearly, to them, it’s not.

  9. November 18, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    angryyoungwoman, perhaps you should volunteer for the Romney campaign. hee hee.

    Weboy: this is like Kristina’s actor hubby Joey always getting, “You’re an actor? Have you ever been on Law & Order?” (And yes, he has, and no, it’s not his proudest professional moment.)

  10. 10 Laura
    November 19, 2007 at 9:49 am

    “Do you want one of these O’Doul’s we still have in the fridge?”

    This is basically like asking #8, only it’s my in-laws way of actually asking if I happen to be pregnant at that moment, since they bought O’Doul’s for me when I was pregnant with Owen. Do they think that if I was I would wait to tell them by asking for an O’Doul’s? Are they hoping that I’m going to have some kind of revelation right at that moment? Someday I should ask for one just to get their hopes up…but that wouldn’t be very nice.

  11. November 19, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Laura, I’m laughing out loud in my kitchen right now (no O’Douls in the fridge here)! I suggest you do three shots of whiskey and then tell them it’s because you’re celebrating because you’re pregnant! That’ll show ’em. 🙂

  12. November 19, 2007 at 2:27 pm

    “When are you due?” (a good way to look like an ASS)

    “What’s it like to have summers off” (grrr. every faculty member in the world hates this)

    also, my friends and I who have chosen fairly unique names for our kids always laugh our asses off about the wau people will say,

    “Is that a family name?” aka – There sure isn’t any way you could have LIKED it!

  13. November 19, 2007 at 8:47 pm

    #1 actually made me shudder as I read it. Good job.

  14. November 21, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Laura – simply hilarious.

  15. 15 Nikki
    November 21, 2007 at 11:33 am

    “Was your daughter a surprise?” to which my response is usually, “Well, let’s just say that contraception really works and fuzzy math doesn’t.”

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