Friday, December 14, 2007

Routine Questioning

Chinese New Year (CNY) is about two months away but we are already starting to plan for it. If we don't book our flights and hotels now we probably won't get any seats/rooms. Each year, CNY is a time for huge gatherings of friends and family for the annual catch up. Its always a boisterous time with lots of laughter but the questions that tend to be asked are always the same. Maybe these questions are the same all around the world whenever people gather.

When you're a kid, the question is always "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

When you're grown up and working, the question then becomes either "Do you have a boyfriend?" or, if you already have one "When are you getting married?"

When you are married, its immediately "Are you having a baby yet?"

And when you do pop out a child, they don't wait to ask you "When are you having another one?"

I wonder what question comes after that one....

My thoughts today are that many people are no longer living those lives of grow up, get a job, get married and make babies. There is nothing wrong with that, and many of those people are proud of the choices they have made. But these questions undoubtedly make them feel awkward. They make me feel awkward too even though I have started down that well trodden path. These aren't simple questions. The decisions behind each of them are life altering and I've always felt that they aren't meant to be small talk material.

This coming CNY, it would be really refreshing if people would ask me something other than when I'm going to have another baby. I think I would prefer questions like "Are you still breastfeeding?" That will make for some lively debate. It will definitely lead to "What for?" and "How long more?" and "Whats the point?"

I'll go brush up on my breastfeeding facts anyway. Bilbo's post on getting the facts straight has reminded me of how much I dislike listening to people spew facts that I know aren't all true. Don't want to end up being one of them!


Bilbo said...

You're right about the questions...they seem to be standardized across cultures. I think the question that follows "When are you having another one" is "Where does he/she go to school?" As for me, I don't think I'd be comfortable asking a lady whether she was still breastfeeding...seems like that's a bit too personal. But it does remind me that we're in the big party season now, and so I need to brush up on my Mindless Cocktail Party Chatter!

So, when ARE you having another one, ha, ha?

John said...

I think I'd have to pass on the breast feeding discussion. First of all I'll readily admit that I have few "facts" on the subject. And besides that, it would just be awkward, don't you think?

That would be worse than asking a woman her age or how much she weighs!

Amanda said...

Hi Bilbo & John,
I think you are both right that people (especially men) would find it awkward talking about breastfeeding. What was I thinking when I wrote that?! LOL! I guess I was probably referring to women from an older generation....they tend to want to know about that.

As to baby #2? ... I'm still preparing my answer to that...:)

Kellan said...

I think I'd like to hear you get into a breast feeding discussion in the middle of a CNY celebration - there might just be fireworks, right?

Have a good weekend - Amanda. See you soon. Kellan

Jean-Luc Picard said...

It looks like everybody wants to plan ahead!