Questions people always ask you

When you meet someone new and they find out where you’re from or what you do for a living or whatever else, do you get the same questions or comments - serious or otherwise?

For example, at one time, when people found out where I went to college, they’d immediately make some comment about the football team and ask my opinion. (For the record, I didn’t care about the team when I was a student, and I cared even less after I graduated.)

There were also the occasional jokers who, when hearing I’m an engineer, asked about my train - hahaha :rolleyes: And I expect more than a few folks from West Virginia have been asked which of their cousins they married.

Is there anything about your life that prompts certain questions or comments? Do you have zingers ready to be deployed in such situations?

“So, do you have any kids?”

Eh, I hate that question. I always say, “No”. Usually they get real uncomfortable and embarrassed. Everyone who asks me that has kids, and they’re usually not prepared for that answer.

Not a question, but when people find out I’m a professional photographer, I get “My uncle, friend, casual acquaintance is a photographer. He’s REALLY good.”

I’m guessing it’s that standard need to top you in stuff. Just like the SDMB!

When people hear I’m from California I always get an incredulous "what brought you * here* ? " The answer to that is “incredibly bad luck and even worse judgement” but of course I don’t say that.

The company I work for has its name on a stadium. People often think at first that I work there or for the team that play there.

I have a lot of people ask about my work, then ask them to do something for free.

I am the uncle/friend. I am REALLY NOT very good.

But you probably already knew that.

“Have you ever had to use it?”

Shodan <-- because of this

When people learned I grew up with Great Danes they usually ask the same 4 or 5 questions over and over again. Or make the “lol I could put a saddle on her!” comment.

Yeah, we spend our lives being perpetually insulted. It’s a fun existence. :slight_smile: Besides our sexual proclivities, we also get how ignorant we are, how fat we are, how racist we are and a whole host of other wonderful things.

My Dad was crossing the border into Canada in the 70s and the border guard looked at his license and said, “I didn’t think you wore shoes.” Dad said, “They give us a pair whenever we leave the state to impress people.”

One time I was in London in I guess the late 2000s and my wife and I were in the British Library and actually in the Lindisfarne Gospels exhibit and as is frequently the case, my wife was wearing a WVU shirt. A guy comes up to her and shoves her and actually shoves her and tells her that at some football game he was at WVU fans were rude and arrogant to him (I think it was the Sugar Bowl against Georgia.) I step in between them and say, “Dude, we’re trying to enjoy the Library. We weren’t at that game and it was in your own state, so they were probably fans from Georgia. What do you want us to do?” He pushes me again, says, “You can F*** off.” and storms out of the Library. Weirdest thing ever. Usually when we’re wearing WVU gear out of state, we run into West Virginia ex-pats and will go out to dinner or chat for awhile with them, but this time it got us into trouble. I don’t know what the heck happened to him at that game, but it must have been bad.

These days we get a lot of patronizing about our poverty and opioid addiction. In some ways you feel like a Victorian era curiosity. It’s amusing when we are out-of-state and they are raising money for Appalachian poverty relief or going on a mission trip to West Virginia. To be honest, I’ve learned to live with it. We really do have serious structural problems and if people want to help out, I guess I should let them. My mama always said to not let your own pride get in the way of their blessing.

It’s actually a nice place to live. We have rock climbing 15 minutes away and whitewater rafting within a half hour. Lots of little cultural festivals around the state. The Mon National Forest is a million acres of public land you can just do what you want on. We’re the third most forested state in the country after New Hampshire and Maine with roughly 80% of our land area covered in trees. I go fishing on my lunch break. Our summers are largely cool and our winters are tolerable outside of the Alleghenies. Our only natural disasters of note are floods and I’m 300 feet above the floodplain, so not a big deal. I live an hour from Pittsburgh and 3 from DC and Baltimore, so I go to Pittsburgh all the time and DC every few months when I want city amenities. I see eagles, otters, beavers and pretty much every other east coast animal regularly. Short commute, reasonable housing costs, friendly people. It’s a nice place.

Anyway, this whole digression is simply to say that ‘Yes, West Virginians get asked some really interesting and at times offensive questions.’

West Virginia is a beautiful state! Wild and wonderful, mountainous.

It hasn’t happened in a long time.

It used to happen frequently. I attribute it to the probability that the askers are kinda dumb (unsophisticated, poor at filtering). In my current life I don’t have the opportunity to interact with all strata of humanity (fewer dumb people), so I don’t get the question.

Without giving away details, my first name is rare-ish and matches a name of a well known fictional character. When I would introduce myself, the other person would ask, “Oh, like (fictional character)?” To which I would reply, “Yes, I am often mistaken for (fictional character).” Which is oh so funny because I do not resemble the fictional character. Ha ha, ha ha.

See? - kinda dumb.

I work in software development, which never prompts follow-up questions!!

But since you said “or whatever else” in the OP … I swear I get asked about my ethnicity more than other people do. I’m the offspring of a redhead and a Jew, which has given me Middle-Eastern type features but with very light skin, and according to my husband, it makes me look “exotic.”

When I’m with my gf and we get that question, I field it. I explain that my gf has never had any, my two are grown up, and talk about where they are and what they’re up to.

Then I add on that although we haven’t totally ruled it out, we are currently using protection. (She is 59, I’m 60) I say it with a totally straight face and people accept the information as given.

Huh, I’ve never met a Sherlock!

Depends on where they are from, what their field is…

Someone who isn’t familiar with IT (SAP) consulting: “what’s that?”
Someone in the field: “which modules?”

People tend to want more detail on “where are you from”, but even how much is initially given will vary by where we meet and where are they from. Abroad, I’m from Spain. In Spain, I’m from Navarre. In Navarre the explanation gets real long: “I’m from Pamplona but my mother is from Barcelona, I grew up in Tudela and now have a house in the Pre-pyrenees.” Anything less would be considered incomplete; that long answer also provides information about languages spoken (Basque no, but there is a possibility that I’ll speak Catalan and that is often the next question - yes, I do).

ETA: if I’d married in an English-speaking country and had a boy, I planned on naming him Mycroft :smiley: called Mike, of course.

“Can you help me?”, “Are you the manager?”, “I have a complaint!”

Gorcery stores. Book stores. Sitting at my insurance agents office. Restaurants. Many times, many places, people approach me like I run the place.

On the JAQass side, it’s mainly about language. Americans tend to ask about the so-called lisp (sigh). Hispanic JAQasses, about differences in vocabulary (“why do you call them ordenadores when they are computadoras? They don’t organize anything!”) or about “why do Spaniards [hold some extreme political opinion which is held by one (1, eins, un, bat…) columnist in right-wing newspaper ABC*]?”. A French JAQass once interrupted an extremely busy and complicated working session to ask “why can’t Spaniards pronounce the (French) r?”

  • I keep thinking ABC is now good only for carrying your freshly-cooked chestnuts but no, here comes another Latin American who apparently reads it :confused:

After answering their queries about Mr.Wrekker (he’s very well known around these parts) the most questions I get are about the recently finished mural I painted. Smallish town and they saw me up on scaffolding for a few weeks last summer. I never can give a satisfactory answer it seems. I usually say “never again”.

In my former life as a graphic artist, I would often get “Oh, the 10-yo next door does that. He’s pretty good too.”

Now, when I’m an artist, I of course get “What kind of art do you do?” I honestly cannot describe my art in words, so I just say “Mixed Media.”

When I was a kid, I was very good at art stuff. But all the other kids knew that both of my parents were artists, so I often got “Oh, your mother/father did that for you.” For the record, neither of them ever helped me do art.

We ‘mixed media’ artists need to stick together, not with glue though;)