Okay, I understand that we are wired differently. That we are not the same even if we were raised in the same community or even if we are blood relatives. We don’t think alike; we have different views on things & what is an innocent remark for you is offensive for me. 

I am not easily offended. Even if you attack me, I would try to reason that maybe you had a challenging childhood or that maybe your caregiver failed to show you what is right from rude behavior or that maybe you just don’t have the emotional sensitivity to know that you’ve offended someone.

Down is a list of 5 annoying things that people think are innocent that I wish they should stop doing, pronto!

1. “You are so fat” is not an equivalent to Hi, how are you

Like what the f*ck? Do you think I don’t know that every time I check myself in the mirror? Some people’s biggest insecurities are their body weight & constantly pointing out their imperfections every breathing moment is just plain rude. Personally I allow few people to ‘tease’ me about my appearance, only my immediate family (because, well, I can not un- family them, can I?) & my close friends, but not after I give them a good fight. If we are not in this level of closeness, please don’t attempt to make a small talk with me by commenting about my weight & expect I’ll respond to you sweetly.

2. “Why aren’t you married yet?”

People would always point out you are one odd fruit & something is wrong with you. Or people would then say you’re too picky & have unreasonable high standards of men or you’re stubborn or that maybe you are gay. Others would say you took after a great aunt who is a spinster & it runs in the family. Singleness is hereditary? I would say I am not married yet because I have my own reasons & though they may seem uncommon but they exist & they’re legit.

3. “How old are you?”

This is only cute if you try to test your niece if she knows how to count her age & she eagerly shows you her little fingers. However, when you ask this to a female adult, this is rude. Especially if you have a follow up statement like, “You are already old what are you waiting for, you should hurry up before all your eggs dried up”. Like what the actual f*ck do you care about my eggs? I mean, surely, you mean well after discussing the childbirth horrors of late pregnancies, but I think I would be very comfortable discussing these intimate matters with my OB-Gyne.  

4. “How much is your salary?”

With exemptions if I am in a job interview or if my credit card agent is asking for this, I feel that this is very personal— like you wouldn’t give your ATM pin number to anyone right? I have encountered few who have asked this & I always feel uncomfortable. I always asked why? Is it your way of sizing up how much respect would you give a person based on how much they earn?

5. “You should study nursing or… marry a foreigner?”

People always have a say on things all the time & they even try to help you with career & life options. I mean, back when I was in school, people were obsessed about having a nurse in the family in the goal of later landing a job overseas. I was frequently asked why I didn’t take up nursing when almost 80% of my class became nurses? Well, I was just not interested in any field relating to syringes & blood. Now, having worked overseas (I’m not a nurse), people never failed to suggest I should marry a foreigner & produce mix-breds showbiz worthy kids or maybe raise one like the next Ms. Universe? I mean, wow, what a carefully laid out life plan! 

I know that people are just trying to make a small talk & this is the way they know how. I don’t know maybe this is a Filipino cultural thing because I’ve met few other nationalities who eventually became good friends & I don’t remember them ever asking me these intrusive questions. Well, I am saying these are not polite at all & not effective as conversation starters. If you’re reading this, then maybe it’s time to reflect that there are people who find these questions rude. Also, maybe before firing these questions, reassess first your relationship & your level of closeness. Are we even friends?! If not, oh please! Think again, how about if we start our conversations with, “You look happy today, how have you been?” Easy, right?