A few weeks ago I was minding my own business in Barnes & Noble rewarding myself with some new books after a great therapy session when my aunt called. She wanted to tell me about her new love for CBD oil, invite me to attend the company’s conference in Charlotte, and then ask me whether I was bringing a significant other to my brother’s engagement party in August.
She went from calling me an “Instagram Influencer” (I mean, seriously those were her words) to asking me about my relationship status. I share a lot of things in Instagram so don’t you think if there was an amazing man in my life that I was going to be bringing to the happy parties surrounding my brother’s upcoming wedding you would have seen him appear? I’m not that stealthy. I’d be so forking excited to be partnered up for the first time in like forever, that I’d also be great at keeping him a secret? I’m not that good at keeping secrets.
The thing that drives me the craziest about the “Are you seeing anybody?” question is that when I say “No, not right now” with no hint of bitterness or shame or regret or sadness, I’m met with “Well, it’ll happen some day” or “You know your uncle and I met when we were in our 40s” or “You’re still young.” How did this get to a comforting me about something I wasn’t upset about two minutes ago? Now you feel bad and have no idea what to say, so I get shamed. Great. Who’s coming out a winner? Also, I’m not the only single person who hates this question … spoiler: we all do!
So to avoid this at all of the wonderful upcoming events related to my brother’s wedding – and every family gathering and phone call in the future, I’m going to make a list of questions that are appropriate for catching up with someone you haven’t seen in a while “that you love” and “just want to be happy.” If you really mean those two things, then you’ll avoid “are you seeing anybody” and choose any or all of the following options. These definitely work for me, but really – they could work for anyone you meet! I’m doing a public service here people, since the art of conversation is practically dead.
- Read any good books lately?
- How’s your work travel? Enjoyed any great visits recently?
- What are you up to next weekend?
- Doing any DIY projects?
- What’s your secret to finding time to cook amazing meals for yourself?
- How’s book club? What’s this month’s read?
- If I came to visit for the weekend, where would we go in Charlotte?
- Love your yoga practice that you share online, what’s your secret?
- I’ve just been getting into Podcasts, what do you listen to on a regular basis?
- Love seeing your book reviews on the blog, what made you get into writing?
Is that enough questions for you to choose from? I mean, 10 great options that I have fantastic answers to. And if that’s not enough, let’s talk about Trump, Immigration, the 2020 Presidential election, building a wall at the border, and why I’m still Catholic! Those are all still better than “are you seeing anyone?