Saturday, 20 February 2016

Things Not To Say To Me (Or Anyone Else, Really...)

Recently, I've realised that a LOT of strangers think nothing of asking very personal questions.   Well, I say recently, but that's actually not true; I've always known this.    A few months after I married, (we're talking 2004, here) an acquaintance asked me  if I was 'having children straight away'.   No, 'congratulations, that's great news!', or 'how's married life?', just straight into a totally personal question about my intentions towards starting a family.    Obviously, she assumed that this was what I wanted because, well, I'm a woman and women have kids, right?  

I've also been lucky enough to have someone say to me: 'Well, you're getting on a bit...', and 'You have a step son?  You'll feel differently when you have your own'.    Will I?  Will I, really? I'm so glad you know me well enough to make that judgement, strange person I've barely spoken to.  Thanks for the insight.   

Interestingly, these comments, plus the countless others I've had over the years, are ALWAYS from women and ALWAYS from ones I barely know.   It's 2015, ladies!  Give it a rest.  

These are the questions guaranteed to completely rub me up the wrong way and make me not want to speak to you:

You’re Not Married?:   No, no I’m not.   And that’s ok.   I was married…for 10 years, if that makes you feel better about my potential compatibility with the opposite sex.   These days I just live in sin.    And that’s also ok.     Note: I have no wedding ring on and that's often an indication of marriage.    The absence of one is also a sign.   

When I’m asked this question (and since moving to Wales, I’ve been asked it a LOT), I genuinely don’t understand why you need to know.  Does it change your perception of me?  Does it make me a better or worse person?   Does anyone actually care whether I wear a ring or not?   I didn’t think so.

Therefore, unless you know me fairly well (and by that I mean you’ve spoken to me more than a million times): Don’t enquire about my marital status – it’s irrelevant to anyone apart from me.    Also: if I want to tell you about why I’m no-one’s wife, why I got divorced, why I’m not married to someone else, I will.   

wedding flowers
*yawning*
When are you having kids?/You’re 37 and don’t have any children?:  Firstly, again, thanks for your comments, I am aware of my age and I’m fully aware that I have no children.   It’d be a bit odd if I didn’t, wouldn’t it?   Secondly, the reasons why I don’t have kids are absolutely none of your business.   Before you asked, did you consider that I may not be able to?  Or did you just assume that because I’m a woman, I’m not doing my job properly if I don’t?  Either way, it’s not really your place to ask: so don’t.

jelly babies
my favourite kind of babies

Your Partner Does THAT for a job…why do you need to work?:   I work for me.   It doesn’t matter how much money my partner might earn, my life does not revolve around what he does…it mainly revolves around what we do.    Not every woman wants to sit at home all day; cooking, cleaning and looking after children (please see earlier comments).   

Some of us want to out into the world and use the degree we worked studied so hard for.  We even think we actually have something to offer in the workplace that might be wasted if we were stuck in the house all day, like some 1920’s housewife.   Plus, surely my partner shouldn’t have to use his hard earned money to pay for me when I’m perfectly capable of earning my own?   Just a thought…

money
money, money, money...it's so funny

You don’t say much, do you?:  No, you’re right, I don’t always say much.  Thanks for pointing it out; I wasn’t aware of it until you said.   I’m an introvert and the thought of conversing with people I don’t know actually makes me panic.   I’m not being rude; I’m just being me.   I was recently referred to as ‘a stuck up diva’ by someone who has barely said two words to me in the last 3 years, but clearly thinks that my reluctance to get involved is some sort of confession that I might be better than her.

quiet time
if you don't have nothin; nice to say, don't say nothing at all... 

I hate it when people are so wrong about me.   Yes, I’m quiet.  Yes, I can be shy.  Yes, I know it can be difficult to get through to me.   But, no, I’m not being rude and no, I don’t think I’m better than you.   I’m just very reserved with people I don’t know and folk who terrify me by asking me why I’m not married and don’t have kids…


Am I alone in getting frustrated by relative strangers who think it’s acceptable to quiz me about my personal life?   I can’t be the only divorced woman with no children that gets asked these questions so often, can I??

Suzanne x 

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