Introducing Miss B's Etiquette

Monday, July 07, 2008

Today over lunch, reader Brian and I brainstormed the following topic that has been on my mind for the past few months.

Inappropriate questions.

A few months ago, Brian stopped a girl he went to college with near Wrigley Field. This acquaintance asked for his phone number so she could call him when she came to town. As she went to enter it in her phone, she said “What is your last name.” Brian was fairly offended by this. Not that he would have hung out with her anyways, but why do you really want the number of someone that you can’t even remember their last name? She easily could have wrote “poopie head” into her phone to save herself the embarrassment of forgetting a “friends” last name.

As a 27-year-old, unmarried female, you find yourself being asked more and more inappropriate questions. While I believe that further down the road, more “don’t go there” questions will be asked, I’ve decided to list the things you just shouldn’t ask people, with some reasoning and suggested answers.

Question #1: Are you pregnant?
Why? Just like celebrities who eat a cheese burger, bloat up and are immediately put on bump watch, this question is just wrong to ask someone. If they were knocked up, they would most likely tell you. In most cases, the female is just having a fat day (hence the probable leggings). On this same subject, don’t ask someone what they plan on naming their baby. If you ask and they reply “Jayden” you may spin into a story about how that is Brittney Spears' baby and how he isn’t very cute. This will most likely offend that person and force her to regret the name selection. In addition, we all know what happened on "Friends"- don't discuss your 'baby name' either or else someone will take it.
Suggested Answers:
- Smile & say “Why do you want to know?”
- “That’s an inappropriate question to ask a woman.” (Ashlee Simpson’s answer when asked if she was knocked up!)

Question #2: When are you going to get married?
Why? Like question number one, this subject is popular at family functions. Chances are, if you are asking a girl this she is either single or has been in a relationship for a long time. I’d put more money it is on the later. I think this is just wrong to ask a woman, because she really isn’t in control (unless she is doing the asking).
Suggested Answers:
- “When everyone can.”
- “Whenever it happens.”
- “Hopefully soon.”
- “When he can save up enough money to buy me a ring.”

Question #3: How much money do you earn?
Why? Really, this question is none of your business. Especially if you are asking a co-worker. Total no, no. With the internet and salary calculators, you can probably figure out the answer yourself.
Suggested Answers:- “Not enough.”
- “You’ll have to wait for my biography to come out.”

Other “DO NOT ASK” questions…- How much did your house cost?
- When are you going to have kids?
- Are you gay?

There are also some generic responses that can be used for the above questions. They include:
- “That’s for me to know and you to find out.”
- Use no words – just give them ‘the look.’
- “I consider that question inappropriate, let’s talk about something else.” (I find that a little harsh)
- “I have the right to remain silent.”
- “Why do you ask?”
- “Bite me.”

(sources: yahoo.answers,,,,