As a nurse I meet truckloads of people everyday. I get to know them almost intimately, hearing about their health problems and their troubles. I am nice to them and I extend a hand of kind, yet professional understanding.

Unfortunately kindness is often mistaken for an invitation to speak to me in any god damn they choose because ‘she’s so nice, she won’t mind.’ 

So I’m taking a post-op blood pressure when the patient asks me ‘do you like to eat a lot of chocolate? You would be so perfect if you did not have so many pimples on your face…stay away from chocolate.’

I gave her my ’tilted-head-side-glance’. Apart from the whole chocolate thing being totally wrong because my acne is mostly down to stress and hormones, why does this person care? I mean, she just had surgery, she had her own problems to deal with. Was she trying to be helpful? Was she a dermatologist in a past life?

No.

She was just impertinent. 

And perhaps a little nosy. 

However, she made me realise just how many annoying questions people ask on a daily basis. Yet, it’s not the question itself that bugs me. It’s the assumption that goes along with it. The acne question gets posed to me a lot. The assumptions usually include:

– I gorge myself silly on chocolate 

– I do not attend to my personal hygiene

– I have not tried anything to remedy my situation.

What people don’t know is that I’ve tried everything imaginable, some with horrible side effects. It was a long and rocky road until I decided that it is not worth the trouble, I was fine with myself and who doesn’t like it doesn’t have to look.

So here are some very common, impertinent questions/statements which people really should shut-up about:

1) ‘you are so pretty, how are you still single? Is something wrong with you?’ 

There are people out there who enjoy not being tied to anyone. They are happy being by themselves, they lead fruitful and lovely lives. People can be single by choice. 

2) ‘you have been married for how long? And no kids yet? Come on, get busy!’

There are a hundred reasons why people do not have kids. Maybe they don’t want them. Maybe they can’t have them. Maybe they are still on the fence about them. Maybe they do not afford them. When this question is posed to me, I generally answer ‘oh, are you asking because you are gonna raise them??’

3) ‘wow, you seriously  gained weight! Stay away from the carbs!’

People gain weight for a multitude of reasons. It isn’t always food related. They may have a slow thyroid or are on fertility treatment or anti-depressants or simply have unfortunate genetics. 

4) ‘wow, you seriously lost weight! Go eat a stick of lard or something!’

Once again, you never really know what someone is going through. Sometimes through trauma, people lose weight. And people who are just naturally very skinny exist too. 

Weight is such a personal issue and the unfortunate part of that is you can’t really make it private because dramatic weight-loss or gain is something noticeable. And people are rarely kind or understanding about it.

I just can’t understand why we can’t just let each other be. When it’s good friends and family in a way I can understand the concern, even though I still think it’s a bit of a tall order so just imagine if it’s someone I hardly know, dishing out advice and judgement about something they know nothing about or someone they know nothing about.

The bottom line is this: your words can make you look like an asshole. 

Don’t be an asshole.

I deal with enough of those, literally and figuratively. Be prudent, some things are nobody’s business. 

Like this tiramisu. You’ll only really know what’s going on in there if you take the time to dig in.

  
  

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