Sunday, April 15, 2007

Stages of life, culture and stupid questions

I've observed that, just as we all have stages in life related to age, we also have stages in life related to our culture and stages in, what I call for lack of a better tag, stupid questions.

I remember when everyone I knew was getting married, having babies, and buying and decorating houses. Now everyone I know is buying a smaller house or redecorating their original one (because the kids have moved out) and is on a mission to get rid of stuff they spent years acquiring. I remember my parents doing exactly this same thing and, believe me, as creepy as it is to look like one's parents or sound like one's parents, it's equally creepy to do the same things one's parents have done! We all tend to (want to?) feel like we're moving into uncharted territory in our lives, but we're really only acting out the cycle that everyone else has acted out before us. As I play my part in this cycle, I think that, with both of my parents dying in their 60s, mortality is looming in the recesses of my mind. I'm not going to elaborate on that, though, except to say that it ties in to the stages of stupid questions . . . .

I'm amazed at how many times I've been asked lately if I have any grandchildren yet! I don't even have married children (but, apparently, I should) and I don't feel old enough mentally or physically to be a grandmother. I must have, though, developed the definitive wrinkle on my face that causes people to move me from mother-of-college-aged-children to the next level!! Not particularly flattering, to my mind and it just makes me feel old. Just as the questions once were "are you married yet?", "when are you going to have children?" or "when are you going back to work?", now I'm asked about grandchildren. I guess people ask these questions as openers or ice-breakers, but they just seem prying to me. I've never liked to interrogate others about their personal lives -- obviously, this is why I'm not good a small talk (and, also, why I don't want to be). I'm sincerely interested in other people, but I'd rather get to know what they think and feel than the current state of their family.

My youngest son told me recently that I don't update my blog often enough, my posts are too long and that I don't write about interesting things. I think the last point is proved out by today's post -- interesting to me, but probably not to a college sophomore. He is, though, living out both stages. All he needs to do is count the number of times he's asked "what's your major?" or "do you have a girlfriend?"

So, as you read this blog, ask yourself what stage you're in and what stupid questions you've been asked lately.

Thanks for visiting -- leave a comment!

1 comment:

bethany said...

I think this is interesting.
And something I've been thinking about too. My mom sent me my copy of my high school's alumni magazine this week (it's weird that we have one) and there were a lot of birth announcements from my class. I felt a little bit behind the curve, being as I am still unmarried. You're right. Those questions are usually hurtful. I just ask people about politics and current events instead, because that's so polite ;)

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