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Carol Perkins: OOPs.

Some things to never say lends an idea for a new bumper sticker.
The next earlier Carol Perkins columnCarol Perkins: Just a Little Something

By Carol Perkins

Some things need to be left on the tip of your tongue. How many times I have I heard someone say, "It (a remark) was on the tip of my tongue but I held back." Usually, that is a good thing. If there is a doubt-don't.

Here is my list of the top things to keep on the tip of your tongue:

  1. "Are you married yet?" Now, I ask you, why is that a question to ask anyone? Whose business is it whether or not a person is married? Is it a crime to be single? The way the question is usually asked is insinuating it is a flaw in one's character not to be married, especially in rural areas where women were once called old maids if they weren't married by the time they were twenty.

    If a person were to say, "Really? Is it important to you?" she/he would offend the person and that is not how any of us were brought up. We were taught to be "nice." However, maybe it is time for some rude returns for rude questions. That might stop the questionnairer from asking the next person.

    First of all, the question is not fair. If asked to a guy, it is usually in the vein of "Well, play the field as long as you can." If asked to a girl, it usually means, "You haven't found anyone yet?" How does this make her feel?

  2. Another thing to keep on the tip of your tongue goes along with this question but it is said to a parent, which is worse because parents are protective and do not want anyone suggesting something is wrong with their child because he/she is not married. Never look into the eyes of a mother and say: "Sally never did get married, did she?" You might as well call her daughter a R.E.J.E.C.T. Keep that remark on your tongue and bite it hard before speaking.

  3. Another keeper on the tongue is, "You don't have any kids!?" In small areas like ours, having a family is what people are supposed to do. Many young couples are now waiting until they are in their thirties to have children and some decide NOT to have children. Some couples may not be able to have children. Since the person asking the question doesn't know the history, perhaps NOT asking such a personal question would be best rather than sounding accusatory.

  4. Another one is, "Boy, I liked to not knowed you." What made me think of this was what I witnessed at the funeral home recently. I was standing behind a man about my age and an older gentleman he recognized was in front of him. The younger tapped him on the shoulder with the, "Mr.____, you probably don't remember me, etc."The older man studied him for a minute or two until the younger one told him his name. "Well, I would never have knowed you." Then he stepped back to examine him. "You are sure bigger than you were when I saw you last. " He kept studying him. "I would have never knowed you," he repeated. I didn't excuse him because he was old. The younger man turned around and smiled at me as if to say, "Wish I had kept quiet." He went home, I bet, and had a bowl of ice cream to drown his hurt feelings.
Children say what they think and we know they don't know better. We forgive them until they should know better and then we call them bullies. Adults know better but can't or don't want to hold their tongues. Most of the time I don't think they realize how hurtful their words are, but other times I think they know better and just don't care.

HOLD THY TONGUE should be a bumper sticker. - Carol Perkins

This story was posted on 2012-07-15 23:25:06
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