Ask A Silly Question, Get A Silly Answer

Your hair color is so BEAUTIFUL,” the twenty-something receptionist at the beauty parlor gushed. “Is that your REAL hair?”

Now, I ask y’all: what was I supposed to do with a question like that?

I’m a “woman of a certain age,” I had just come out of a beauty shop, my hair was sopping wet, and I DO NOT have a single gray hair on my head. I would have thought that such a question was totally unnecessary. You show me a woman my age who doesn’t have a single gray hair, and I bet she is as bald as a cue ball.

People, everyone should know that an older woman colors her hair because she doesn’t want YOU to know she has any gray–she wants to look younger. Let her delude herself!

No one would ask a woman if those were her “real boobs,” would they? Wait! Come to think of it, some folks might.

Have y’all noticed that people seem to have no qualms about asking invasive questions these days? I’m curious about “why” they think they can get away with it. Didn’t their Mommas teach them any different? Do they think that by prefacing a query like that with a compliment they can negate the downright rudeness of the question? Do they not think before they speak? Or, do they just not have the common sense God gave a goose?

There are some questions that everybody should know never to ask a woman who is a stranger to you:

  • Don’t ask a woman her age.
  • Don’t ask about her “real” hair color.
  • Don’t ask if she has had any cosmetic work done.
  • And, NEVER (under any circumstances) ask “when is your baby due” unless the woman has specifically told you she is expecting one!

What do you do when someone asks a question that you consider rude? Are you prepared with a “standard answer” or do you just get flustered?

Me? Sometimes I answer a question with a question. I smile sweetly, put on my most sugar coated Southern drawl, and ask, “Why would anyone as smart as you ask a rude question like that?”

Other times, I remind myself of my cat playing with one of those little salamanders that get in my house. Y’all have seen how a cat “plays” with a living critter, haven’t you? The cat bats at it and nips at it until it won’t move anymore. Then, the game is no fun and the cat moves on to other mischief, leaving their former “toy” helplessly struggling on the floor. My cats are never merciful enough to just put it out of its misery.

I don’t swat people with my paws, but I play verbal games with them until their mouths stop moving and they aren’t fun anymore. That’s what I did on the day I’m telling you about. I bet some of y’all knew I was going to finish that story I started.

I looked that little gal in the beauty parlor right in the eye, and shook my wet mane of hair. I grabbed a hank of it and gave it a tug. I wanted her to know I wasn’t yet senile enough to wear a wet wig. I answered the question she asked.

“Yes, it’s my real hair.”

Is it really red?” she chirped.

At this point, I could not tell if the girl had caught on to the fact that I was “playing” with her, or if she really believed me. Glancing at my hair, I answered, “Your eyes do not deceive you. That color is really red.”

Wow,” she said. “I can’t believe that’s your natural hair color. It looks so GOOD on you.

What the heck did she mean by that? Was that some kind of veiled insult? I studied my “prey” for a moment. Sitting there popping her chewing gum, that little gal had the vapid expression of a cow chewing a cud.

I decided she didn’t have the brain to insult me. In fact, I figured that if doctors took an x-ray scan of that little gal’s head, all they would find in her brain cavity would be a couple of Q-tips she had used to clean her ears (that had fallen into the void).

I smiled at her through gritted teeth and said, “This is the hair color God gave me.”

I wish God had given ME that color,” she said. Her eyes were as big around as dinner plates … she believed me! I couldn’t stand to lie to her. She wasn’t much fun; it’s never exciting to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person. Besides, I had other mischief to find.

As I turned to leave, I put her out of her misery. I called over my shoulder, “Yes, this IS the color God gave me. He put it in a TUBE. If you have a solid base of white hair, God will give you this color, too.”

  10 comments for “Ask A Silly Question, Get A Silly Answer

  1. Sheila Atwood
    September 10, 2008 at 7:58 am

    🙂 I made the “when is your baby due” mistake once. I’ll never do that one again! Love the color, good choice.

    Yes, darlin’, that color is supposed to be a warning signal :lol:. Some folks just don’t get it. The “baby due” one is common…and so mortifying for all parties concerned. At least you learned your lesson 😉

  2. September 10, 2008 at 9:17 am

    Oh Lord. The very young just don’t know when to shut up. Just saying. What an entertaining thing for you to go through though. See you got a post out of it and all us older women can so relate. Have a great day. Big hug. 🙂

    Comedy Pluss last blog post..This Week in Entrecard

    😆 Sandee, you know as well as I do that it’s not always the very young who don’t know how to mind their tongues. Though, I admit that young people haven’t always lived long enough to think twice before they get their tongues flapping. Yeah…I did get a post…one that we “mature” women understand! You have a good day yourself, and hugs right back.

  3. Marcia
    September 10, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Please, may we agree to disagree — at least on half of it…. I tend to agree on the pregnancy and cosmetic surgery end of it, and I suppose I have to give in on the age thing, but to me age is no big deal, who cares, we got to our age by living and that seems a good thing to me. (I can half see that one, though, because of things like job discrimination abounding.) But I don’t ask because y’all think it is rude.

    But the hair color thing, I don’t get, but then my gray shows, I could care less; I would rather live with gray than put chemicals on it. That said, oops, I suppose job discrimination is an issue there, too. 😎

    You are allowed to disagree with me…you know that. I’m not as much concerned about which questions not to ask as I am about not being rude. It’s that Southern thang. 😆 If I hadn’t started turning that iron-gray when I was 21, I might not color my hair…but then, the red suits me. You would think that gal would have recognized the red hair as a “warning.”

  4. September 10, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Haha I’m also fairly surprised sometimes at the gumption that people have. Well, I suppose that it could also be ignorance.

    You handled that well, though!

    Derek Wongs last blog post..Finish Line Mirage

    I think I’m going to get a tattoo on my forehead that says, “Don’t gimme no sass!” I’ve noticed that you occasionally are dumbfounded by the stupidity some people display. I guess we share that attitude :wink:.

  5. September 10, 2008 at 11:11 am

    These kinds of things just floor me. I love your “why would anyone as smart as you…” response. I have to work on my southern accent, though. You can get away with saying things in a southern accent, like Brenda on The Closer. She sounds polite no matter what she’s saying. It’s not as easy to pull off with my Chicago twang…..

    Jessica The Rock Chicks last blog post..Apocalipstick

    Bwahaha! Yes, Brenda is my hero. She can sound polite while being a total smart aleck. I’ve got to hear this Chicago twang…when are we gonna find a spot to meet?

  6. September 10, 2008 at 1:54 pm

    You have true Southern Charm! You could also have followed most of those rude questions with a good old fashioned, “Well bless your heart!” which I’ve learned can actually be a Southern form of an insult. THAT’S AWESOME!!! I think you handled that splendidly! We are going to see more and more people that are rude because of all the children whose parents don’t want to ‘correct them and damage their self-esteem.’ These kids are almost bred to think they are above manners and common courtesy!

    Leann I Ams last blog post..All I want for Christmas is an….
    Why, thank you, darlin’. Unfortunately, since the rest of the world has discovered that “Well bless your heart” is actually an insult, it makes it more difficult to use :lol:! I don’t know whether it’s parents not teaching the kids or whether society just doesn’t reinforce good manners. I sure miss them, though.

  7. September 10, 2008 at 2:21 pm

    When asked when the baby is due I try to be very understanding and easygoing. I just say, “Oh I’m not pregnant. That’s just where I carry my weight”.

    No matter how little offense I take the other party is mortified and they won’t make that mistake again.

    I don’t even mind so much these days when I get called Sir (how on earth can I be a man AND be pregnant?). As soon as they get a good face-to-face look at me and hear me speak they correct themselves and I pretend I didn’t notice.

    marilyns last blog post..This Is A Brainy Blog!?

    You are a MUCH nicer person than I am :wink:. I’m afraid I would resort to giving them the evil eye.

  8. September 10, 2008 at 5:57 pm

    I find, when I am being insulted to my face, that a good open eyed silent look – make the silence re-ally last – can generally get people to reengage their “oops, that was stupid” dig out of ditch sequence. Not always, though.

    Loved your response.

    jeanies last blog post..The Softball Shuffle

    Well, I love the stare response you mention. I’ve used it, but not effectively. 😆

  9. September 10, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    Guilty of “when is the baby due”…never again. As far as hair color goes, I just say, Love your hair color and leave it at that. Though I did catch a dye job going on at my hairdressers on a fellow football mom and I was just floored. But thought it was a compliment to both that I admired the color. You just never know!

    My problem with stupid questions is that I think of the answer, hours later!!!

    Jennymcbs last blog post..It’s All About Choices

    Yeah, that “baby due” business is hazardous to your health if you comment to the wrong person! 😆

  10. September 11, 2008 at 2:38 am

    I was on the receiving end of the when are you due question, and boy does it make you feel like crap :(.

    Now your hair chick on the other hand just seemed like more of a dingbat. I can’t imagine it would take anyone else that long to catch on.

    Robins last blog post..TT – 13 school supplies not on the original list that I had to buy this week

    I dunno. Maybe it’s just because she was young…or maybe she was playing a game with me and I didn’t know it.??

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