My mum sent me a note about Carolyn Hax's column yesterday and why we answer questions that should not be asked (in other words, every question you've probably ever heard tied to family building).
The questioner asks: "Whatever happened to the cold stare, the raised eyebrow, the, 'Excuse me?' said in a chilling voice? Whatever happened to answering the question that SHOULD have been asked ('I'm fine, thank you; it's lovely to meet you') instead of the question that WAS asked?"
Carolyn admits to the questioner that "It's just that some people aren't that fast on their feet -- be it because they're a little nervous, or their first instinct isn't to protect themselves, but instead to please."
What do you think of that last thought in Carolyn's answer? Do you find yourself answering the question asked, have you become a master of deflection, or do you simply melt into a small pool of person at the feet of the asker (guess which one I am? Let me help you out--the last one!)?
*Updated to add: I wonder if what we do when faced with a rude question is also indicative of whether we're an alpha dog, beta dog, or gamma dog. Or in my case...as Josh and I like to say, "Mel is the delta dog."