Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Personal Bubble

I'd really like to know what goes through some peoples mind when they feel they are entitled to ask personal questions to complete strangers. The other week at work I was helping a girl who noticed my wedding ring and asked how long I had been married for. No biggie, almost 5 years. Her next question also seemed harmless, "Do you have any kids?" to which I replied, "not yet." This is where I think most people would end the conversation or change the subject but she felt it necessary to pry further. "Well when do you think you'll have them?"
This was followed by a few seconds of silence while I took a breath and swallowed what I really wanted to say. Then I responded, "I don't know.... when it happens." After a brief break of questioning while she talked about her own children she then resumed the questioning with, "well how many do you want to have?" and "why haven't you had them yet?"
Now, maybe it's just me. Maybe it's because I have been asked this question so many times that every time I hear it now it makes me want to lose. my. shit. But really, don't people stop to think? I think no matter what age a woman is you should never ask her why she hasn't had children. For all you know maybe she has tried and discovered she can't. Or maybe she has suffered the lose of 3 unborn children and is too scared to try again. Or maybe she just doesn't want them for reasons that are NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! What is it with society that feels the need to impose their expectations of life on others?
It's the same when people continually ask, "when are you going to meet someone and get married?" Does it really matter? Have you ever thought of how hurtful this question can be to someone who desperately wants to get married but it just hasn't happened for them yet?
I feel bad for a friend of mine who suffered a very serious illness when she was younger and bears scars from it. Almost everyday she is asked, "Is that a hickey?" It wouldn't be so bad if the question wasn't accompanied by a degrading look. Your judgement constantly reminds her of the time she was told she had cancer and had to live with the burden of possibly losing her life.
People aren't just imposing with their words these days, they have started to think they have a right to invade your personal space too! I was horrified to hear stories from my pregnant friends about how complete strangers came up to them to rub their bellies. And how after their baby was born they had complete strangers ask to hold it!
So what makes strangers think they have a right to ask such personal questions and impose on the private areas of others lives? Well I don't know, but it sure can be annoying! Please do not enter my personal bubble unless I have invited you!

1 comment:

  1. I think you nailed this issue. I am open friendly sort so perhaps people feel more comfortable to ask - but some of these questions are jsut amazing. Hey we just met -- I don't know you -- enough alredy.