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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

what’s the rudest or most annoying personal question or comment you’ve received?

annoyedcat

Reader Rebecca writes, by way of suggesting a question:

Does anyone else get offended or annoyed when people (strangers) ask what your race is? I’m half Asian and am a cashier, so I get asked this quite a lot and I find it annoying and refuse to answer. Or I pretend I don’t understand what they’re really asking.

I think this is a bit narrow, because many people will never have been asked this question. I, for instance, am about as white as people come, so I’ve never encountered this kind of rudeness. But it’s the great basis for a question of the weekend:

What’s the rudest or most annoying personal question or comment you’ve received?

Probably the one that annoys me the most is the generic assumption that I’m married. The most extreme example may be the time I was asked by a junk phone caller if I wanted to check with my husband before rejecting the fabulous offer they were presenting to me. But it happens a lot, particularly from telemarketers or in comments on this very Web site, people calling me “Mrs. Johanson.” There’s nothing wrong with being married, of course: it’s the assumption that, as a I woman, I must naturally be married that pisses me off.

You?

(If you have a suggestion for a Question, feel free to email me.)


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