So recently someone came up to me at a family wedding and said something to me that literally make my jaw sag open in shock. It was quite the doozy, but unfortunately it’s something I’m asked not infrequently. And then it got me to thinking about all the things I really wish people wouldn’t say to me.
So here they are. I’ll ease in gently, and end with the doozy in question.
Oh, you’re tall! ¦¦ You know, I’d only just realised. Also, observations are not the same as compliments. Just sayin’. Sidenote: No, I don’t play basketball, netball, or row. Nor would I like to join your team of any of the above.
What are your hobbies? ¦¦ Trying to answer this makes me feel like a total loser, because I have to admit I have none. Aside from going to the cinema, reading, or sitting by myself at home. Hey, at least it makes me happy (even if I do sound like a 90 year old).
Any form of Management Speak ¦¦ Let’s get our ducks in a row, let’s touch base, shall we take this offline?, moving forward…. You know what I’m talking about. Some days, you can play buzzword bingo and get a full house during just one meeting. The thing is, I know I’m guilty of letting a few slip out every now and again, and I hate myself a little bit for it.
Do you mind if I… ¦¦ Because it’s basically just guilt tripping me into saying I’m fine with something I’d really rather you didn’t do, like smoke near me or take the last biscuit.
Oh, I’m thinking of trying to go gluten free as well ¦¦ Where do I even start?! A gluten free diet is only a good idea if you have coeliac disease. Otherwise, it has absolutely no benefits whatsoever. It’s not something you give a try, either, because it’s really hard to adhere to 100% of the time like an actual coeliac has to. And if you balls it up because you haven’t done your research properly, or do it part time, it makes us proper coeliacs look overly picky and risks us getting glutened because people think that your rules are the actual rules. You’re not only doing a disservice to yourself, but to others as well.
Are you tired? You look tired. ¦¦ Substitute in ‘ill’ for ‘tired’ if the person is really doing well. And really, there’s no good outcome to this. It’s basically just code for, you look awful. And not very subtle code, at that. I have one colleague at work who asks me this on a semi-regular basis, usually when I can’t be bothered to put on mascara, and I’m now so sick of it that I tell him that I’m fine actually, and this is just my face. Then I usually give a cheerful smile and wait for the ensuing awkward.
Myself, when you mean me ¦¦ ….has been working with myself to…..was developed by myself…..myself and Greggles have been… The word you need to use is ME. Why is everyone so afraid of this little word? Sometimes it is actually grammatically correct!
So when are you having kids, then? ¦¦ And finally, the biggie. Yes, people ask me this with surprising frequency. This is just so, so rude from start to finish – what if I have fertility issues? What if I’m a little bit pregnant but not telling people yet? What if I’m trying to be sensible and waiting until I’m in a suitably stable life position first, but would rather not explain what particular financial, career or relationship parameters that this entails to you? What if I want children, but my husband doesn’t? Or vice versa? What if I’d just rather not discuss the state of my uterus today, thanks? And of course, underlying the question is the whole implied assumption that of course everyone wants kids anyway. Especially if they’re married. Not always the case, my friend.
What do you wish people wouldn’t say to you?-Rachel