Sometimes people are well-intentioned but need to think before they speak.  Comparing children they're standing right in front of you ("the older one is really cute!  her sister must be at that awkward age"), questioning their ancestry ("are they mixed?"), commenting on their hue or hair (see "are they mixed"?), asking if they're a blended family when the information hasn't been offered ("are both these yours?".

Happens all the time, and it shouldn't.  If you have had this experience, and have suitably snappy comebacks, share them with us at askcomecorrect@gmail.com.  And remember: if they're really good, we'll want to publish them.

Karen Grigsby Bates is a LA-based correspondent for NPR News, and co-author, with Karen Elyse Hudson, of The New Basic Black: Home Training For Modern Times (Doubleday).

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is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for NPR News and co-author, with Karen Elyse Hudson, of The New Basic Black: Home Training For Modern Times (Doubleday).