Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What Not To Say

Brief interruption before you open your mouth to speak: As a public service, please consider the followng a handy little cheat sheet for use in social and business situations. Carrying in your wallet is highly recommended, as is repeated studying if you find yourself to be a frequent offender.

NEVER, under any circumstances, say:

1. To a woman - "When are you due?"
Forget about the rule about being able to see the baby coming out of her, as very few children are born in public places. Not even if you know for certain that she is pregnant, because then you are likely to continue further down the path and make asinine comments like, "Really, not for four more months? Because you're HUGE!" No, no, no.

2. To a woman you know to be pregnant - "Should you be eating that?"
Remind yourself that you are not the person who will be up at night with the little caffeine and sugar addicted creature and this is therefore none of your business.

3. To a single woman - "Why aren't you married?"
Unless you are offering after a recent trip to Harry Winston's, really, what do you expect to come of this question? Do you think women sit around waiting for an opportunity to explain why the last four boyfriends were not the 'one'? Or her feelings on her ex-husband's sudden and acute longing for the office receptionist? I assure you, they do not.

4. To a coworker - "Are you busy?"
We are at work. Work is a verb. Verbs denote action. Assume everyone is busy. If you need something done, begin your sentence saying what you need done, and we'll go from there.

5. To a friend - "What are you doing Friday?"
No, no, no. You do not get to ask me what I'm doing, so I can say nothing, and you can then offer up an activity I'd rather shove icepicks under my fingernails than participate in but have no good excuse not to. You shall ALWAYS begin by mentioning the suggested activity, giving me the opportunity to decline the Stix cover band concert in the rain by claiming to be visiting my parents.

I believe these are my top five, but reserve the right to edit and add. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.

1 comment:

DCBrownie said...

I have to agree -- those are all good questions to avoid under any circumstances. I would also add that, although you may think it's a compliment, it's never acceptable to ask anyone, "Have you lost weight?" It either implies that you thought they were large before or you think they have an eating disorder. Just steer clear of any and all questions re: weight.