Pop Quiz

pop quiz

I surround myself with gabsters. My friends like to talk… a lot. I love that about them! I get to relax, listen and wade into the conversation when and if I want to. It is wonderfully freeing to sit silently after a long day at work where I am required to talk and talk and talk. Talking is part of my job, whether phone calls, face to face conversations or emails, all day long I respond to questions and concerns. By night, I am all talked out.

Occasionally I am required to attend events with people who do not realize that I don’t want to talk. In fact, they think they are doing me a favor by asking questions about my life.

  • “How are your kids?”
  • “How is your job?”
  • “When are you going to retire?”
  • “What do you think about blah, blah, blah?”

To me, this feels like a pop quiz. I don’t feel prepared for the barrage of questions and I am certainly not enjoying them.

So… as a dutiful student of life, I practice before these social events. My husband asks me questions and I try to deflect them.

Husband: “How are your kids?”
Me: “Fine, and how is your family?”

Husband: “How is your job?”
Me: “Great, and how is your job?”

Husband: “What do you think about blah, blah, blah?”
Me: “I’d love to hear your opinion.”

This works well for me. But then, one day, someone was on to my avoidance strategy.

Someone: “How is your family?”
Me: “Great, how is yours?”
Someone: “No, I want to talk about you. Really, how is your family?”

Hmmmm. I wasn’t prepared for that. So, I ended up talking about my family. But, I didn’t want to. My family is doing great but really, is it any of this ‘someone’s’ business? I do not think so. You see, right or wrong, I believe this person views me as significantly less than perfect and I’d rather not talk with them about my family or anything personal.

Last night, I had a dream. I dreamt I responded to this person’s pop quiz with honesty and boldness. The dream started out as a rerun of reality.

Someone: “How is your family?”
Me: “Great, how is yours?”
Someone: “No, I want to talk about you. Really, how is your family?”
Me: “Well, I’d rather have a conversation than an interrogation. I’ve never done well with pop quizzes.”

And that’s when I woke up… smiling.

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6 thoughts on “Pop Quiz”

  1. Hey, I know just what you mean! I’ve learned I often prefer to listen in crowds…I just don’t feel like I have to say something about every topic! And I sometimes feel protective of personal info too…I don’t have to tell/share all I know! Good for you that you give yourself permission to keep what you want to yourself too! ~ Sheila

  2. PW! It’s been a while. How is your family? When are you going to retire? Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

    I’m glad to hear (indirectly) that you are well.

    I have a colleague who asks these questions only so that she can provide the answers to them herself. Her life/husband/kids/health/world is perfect, she feels. And tells me about it repeatedly. Somehow I have managed to not smack her. But I’m not sure how long I can hold out!

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