In my Q&A Portion, I encourage people to ask me any questions, as long as they do not “border on too personal, below-the-belt, or unwholesome (too adult-oriented, nasty, of an intolerant nature).” So of course, being oh-so-popular, I only got a few questions thrown at me (LOL!!!).
So today, I thought I’d share to you the QUESTIONS people have most often asked me (aside from the name) and, naturally, my responses.
There are the Hair Raising Questions, called so because my hair tends to raise questions.
1. (Upon seeing the curls) Is your hair naturally curly?
“Yes, it is.”
Sometimes they ask this because they are amused. Sometimes, a few peeps actually like the curls. Sometimes, they ask because they are partial to straight hair. Whatever the reason, it’s in the genes, folks.
2. Don’t you want to have your hair straightened?
“No. I like my hair.”
Maintenance is a bit of a challenge sometimes, but I kind of like it curly. One, I don’t want to conform to people’s standards when it comes to hair. Two, this is our Filipino ancestors’ legacy. I will not be ashamed of it. Three, it’s just gonna go back to curly anyway.
3. Oh, your hair is soft?!!
That’s my reply because more than a question, it’s really often an exclamation. Due to my natural curls, people tend to assume the strands to feel…hmnn…well, wiry to touch, maybe, or stiff. Then they get to actually touch it and get a pleasant surprise. Another surprise is the strands are actually thinner than they seem.
Now let’s talk about Age-Defying Questions. Well, more like Confirm-or-Deny.
1. How old are you?
“Secret.” Or, “I stopped counting.”
For the longest time, I would give the first answer, sometimes I still do. Even when I was younger, I didn’t feel comfortable answering this. Why? Because I knew/know that people tend to label you and judge you and your capabilities, especially if you’re a woman, based on your age.
You could be as young as 25 and already, they would be needling you about getting married. You could be older and the more they would needle you about it as if the status would be what’s going to define the whole you. Or sometimes, they assume you won’t be able to catch up or be cool enough to fit in with younger people, which can be a disadvantage in the workplace.
One thing I can say: I don’t lie about it. I just don’t normally give the answer they want to hear. If it does not involve anything related to work, health or important documents, let me stop at 28. I’m in my 30s but let them assume that themselves.
2. (When I actually give the age) Really?!! But how come you look younger???
Ironically, many people tend to assume I am younger so they can’t believe when I say I’m this age. Sometimes I feel like a teenager having an identity crisis. I’m neither old enough nor young enough for anything. Go figure. Ha!!!
I smile and keep silent until I am made to spit it out.
Well, I used to smile and keep silent, that is. The truth was, I was someone who was what we call an NBSB — No. Boyfriend. Since. Birth. At my age. I don’t see why anyone could have a boyfriend at birth, but that’s beside the point.
I always believe that being single should not be seen as shameful. Why push to be in a relationship just for the sake of it and suffer? A relationship means having responsibilities anyway and, as others claim, it is better to be an NBNP — No Boyfriend, No Problem. It’s on a case to case basis, really.
But I have to say, to be still an NBSB at 30 could be a trifle awkward to admit. It’s one thing to be single right now, another to be forever single, and it seemed I fell into that second category. I was single not by choice alone. And then here were others practically demanding that I explained further the whys, to which I said “I just haven’t been in love yet,” and what they perceived as the whys, to which I didn’t know the answers.
But what was I to do? Lie??? Being single is not pathetic. Lying like that, now that would be pathetic! Life was what it was. I was not going to lie, just hoped no one would ask so I could avoid the awkward pick-me-apart moment. It also gave more reason for inquiring minds to go around the age question and these ones below…
4. Are you married already?
That’s a typical question, isn’t it? It just wasn’t what I wanted to hear when I was much younger because usually, it would be followed up with How come you’re not married yet? said in a way that made me feel like I was supposed to be ashamed for committing a mortal sin by not being married to anybody.
Well, that’s bound to change.
5. You have kids? or How many kids do you have?
“Uh, no, none.”
Typical question, too, right? Just not the kind of thing a young, unmarried woman would like to hear. Kind of a downer because it just emphasizes how frumpy she looks.
Now before anyone reacts violently and raises hell because I just generalized married women as frumpy, please take time to realize that biologically, that’s what’s bound to happen to most of us women. That hurts but that’s reality. There are just some lucky girls who still manage to not look a day bigger after giving birth, whether they have done something about it or not.
The thing is, I am frumpy and no amount of denying is going to change the fact, so anyone who asks me the question above, I cannot really blame. I just blame my ego for not coping well with the situation. I should keep a mantra. Say it with me, girls: “I don’t care. I love myself. I don’t care. I love myself…”
Last, we have the Family-Oriented Questions.
1. Are you the daughter of Mr./Mrs. Federizo, the teacher? Where is s/he now?
“Yes, I am…S/he’s _(FILL IN THE BLANKS)_.”
I used to get these inquiries often enough until these recent years when both of my parents were retired and, later, passed away. I don’t really mind answering…well, most times. It’s just that folks whom I don’t know from Adam (or Eve, as the case maybe) just suddenly ask me these questions. Sometimes, they just go straight to asking how my parents are, where they are, etc., and almost always, they don’t even mention how they know my parents. They just expect me to respond.
I especially don’t like answering when they ask who stays with my parents when I am away (that is if they don’t know yet about my parents being gone forever). I more especially don’t like to answer now when they ask me who is left at home when I am away, or who stays with me when I am home, or when I usually go home.
Would you feel comfortable giving your answer to complete strangers or people you know but don’t really trust? When my parents were alive, I worried about their safety, now I worry about the house’s and mine.
2. Don’t you have a sister? Where is she?
“Yes. She’s in _(FILL IN THE BLANKS)_.”
Okay, I still answer, even when I am in no mood for small talk, just to humor others. There are just some who tend to give their unnecessary opinions: “Why does she have to stay there? She should bring her family here.” “Isn’t that too far? She ought to go back home.” “It’s better here. She should stay here where….” Etcetera, blaaah…
Sometimes, I am tempted to say, “Uh, excuse me. First, she’s an adult. She has a life of her own. Second, we respect that, so should you. Third, I’m sleepy and cranky and really not in the mood to discuss with you things that ought to be discussed within the family alone. I can be polite, but please don’t push me.”
So THERE!!! So far, those are the usual questions I get that are at the top of my head. Thank you for letting me share things about myself, embarrassing or not, but very honest. 🙂
Not sure if you enjoyed this one, but I did. It allowed me to express myself more freely and talk publicly about certain thoughts and things I have kept inside.
This post serves as my “Q” post for…