Don't Ask, and For Sure Don't Tell

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Sometimes it's rudeness, sometimes it's a cultural misunderstanding.  Whatever.  There are questions you shouldn't be asked that you probably will be anyway.  Herewith some answers that could be helpful:

Q: How much do you make?  How much did your car/house/necklace cost?

Y: My mother raised me not to talk about money outside the immediate family.  It's a good rule, don't you think?

Q: That's a really nice weave—it isn't really your hair, is it?

You: Of course it is.  (If you paid for it, it's yours, right?  'Nuff said.)

Q: Are you pregnant?

You: Why do you ask? (and sit back and wait for the sputtering to subside.)

Q: Can I borrow $5,000?  You have that much, right?

You: Sorry, those T-bills haven't matured yet.

Q: All those kids can't be yours, can they?

You: Why can't they be? (Again, wait for sputtering to subside….)

Q: Did your grandfather leave you anything when he passed?

You: A lifetime of fond memories and a lot of good advice—like don't spend time answering questions that people have no business asking in the first place.

Have you ever been asked an impossible question?  Did you figure out a snappy comeback?  Share with us in the comments section, below.

Karen Grigsby Bates 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)

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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).

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