RI Confidential: Three Annoying Questions & How To Turn The Tables On The Asker


What to do when someone asks you an annoying, intrusive or just plain dumb *ss question? I've been there. Believe me. The worst part though isn't the question itself (although they are pretty horrendous) - it's NOT being ready quickly enough with a reply that shuts the asker down on the spot. So instead of responding with a zinger without missing a beat, you blank out and mumble something lame and regrettable. Then, later on, after the person (the *ss, oops I mean asker) is long gone, you think of at least a half dozen spot on, hilarious responses you could've and should've used. Well, those days are O-V-E-R. Because I've taken the liberty of putting together a cheat sheet of stupid questions people like to ask women and responses that will leave them speeechless. #TurnThoseTables

1. Baby, Baby, Baby

If you are a childless woman over the age of 30, 35 or 40 - attached or unattached - the question will inevitably come up. I once had a guy acquaintance I used to work with get all serious in the middle of what was up until that point a pretty light conversation and ask me why I didn't have any kids. Didn't you ever want any? He asked. Tilting his head to the side. (Trying to get all dramatic.) I was so surprised and caught off guard that for at least 30 seconds, I was mute (a real rarity for me - ask anyone who knows me in my off-the-blog life. They will back me up.). My response was unfortunately embarrassing, mostly because it contained lots of awkward pauses and uh's. 

Being older (more about that in a sec) and savvier now though, I have the perfect response to this question or line of questioning: I'm too selfish and self-centered for kids. I'm all about me. For maximum impact, you must be able to say this with a certain degree of seriousness and confidence. (No smirking allowed!) Also, be prepared to literally turn and walk away from the conversation. Most people will laugh. Some will wonder if you're bananas. Do yourself a favor and let those people wonder. 

2. How Old Are YOU Anyway?

Back when I was single, my sister tried setting me up with a friend of a friend of a friend who, if I remember correctly, was the polar opposite (on paper anyway) of everyone I'd dated up until that point. Think white collar, short hair and Bob Saget-ish, the Full House Bob, not the 2015 stand-up comedian version, whose act is all about dirty jokes and shock value. Anyway, I talked to this guy on the phone for maybe a few minutes tops (You know it was a long time ago because it was back when everyone still had landlines.) - We had NOT met. - and one of the first things he asked was: 'How old are you anyway?' Unlike the previous situation, in this case, I was prepared with - 'Are you bleeping kidding me?'. My own totes adorbs way of extricating myself from that call. See ya!

Also, for those times you're chatting with someone in person, remember, no matter how fabulous a woman looks, do not, I repeat, do NOT ask her age. Just don't. It's rude. And she will secretly or not-so-secretly dislike you for it. 

3. Are You Putting This On Your ________________ (Insert specific store name here.) Card?

This one's definitely equal opportunity annoying, but true story, I've had it up to here (gestures to chin) with cashiers asking me to open store credit cards. When "they" don't take my initial not-interested-but-thank-you-for-offering (I worked in retail, so I don't want to be a total a-hole ya know?), I resort to: No, no. My husband says he'll divorce me if I open another credit/debit card. An effective fib I've used dozens of times over the last year or two, which usually elicits a blank-ish stare along with maybe an "oh" and a sympathetic head nod from said cashier or salesperson. (Insert evil laugh here.)....And all you men out there, feel free to co-opt this one as needed. It works.

Ciao For Now,

Patty J 


Photo credit: Photo courtesy of Ashley Farney. To see more of her work, click here.