|Older Brother, Me, Younger sister|
As I read people's experiences through NYTimes articles, blogs and other sources, I can always find a "rant". Here's mine: annoying questions.
For me, my annoying questions relate to my adoption. However, I'm noticing others who rant about these questions, particularly when people don't "match." It is not necessarily limited to race or skin colors, but can also happen between family members who do not resemble each other physically (eyes, nose, etc.).
For example, when I introduce someone to my sister, occasionally, we are on the receiving end of what I have termed "The Tennis Match Gaze." The person first looks at me, then at my sister, then back to me...as if it were a Serena Williams/Maria Sharapova volley at the U.S. Open, incredulous that we are actually sisters in the same family. If we have pity on the person, I will quickly explain "I'm adopted"...but not always. If I wait long enough, the annoying question will inevitably come: "That's your sister?" Why can't we be taken at face value (no pun intended)? Just because our hair colors, eye colors and skin tones don't "match," it doesn't mean we're NOT family. I mean, don't we live in the 21st Century? Why do we cling to an old-fashioned view of what it means to be family?
I'm not trying to be mean and nasty here. Most people are genuinely curious and just don't seem to know how to phrase their question. But I think as the recipient of these questions over a period of thirty to forty years, they can tend to wear you down...and sometimes make me want to shut down.
So, here are some of common questions, potentially annoying. If you're interested, click on the linked questions to read articles/blogs that speak to these questions:
Is that your baby/child? a.k.a. Are you the nanny?
Are those your kids?
What are you? (for those who have an unusual "ethnic" look)
Is that your mother/sister/brother?
Where did you come from?
Any history of (insert medical condition here) in your family? - this one is particularly annoying for me if I have to keep repeating it to the SAME physician each time I visit. Can you keep the fact that I'm adopted and have no access to this information on record, please? Thanks.
Readers, what are questions that annoy you? Please share.