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Major Chord

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About Major Chord

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  1. Sure, of course. That's because I provided the questions as direct examples and there is no context provided. In real life, it would be weird, of course, if a stranger from nowhere asked you such questions. But then that's not how it happens in real life. Instead of abstracts, i will give you a real-life example. Something that actually happened last Saturday. I even mentioned it on my blog in this forum, although for a different reason. Anyway I was asked by somebody I had just met for the first time: "Do you plan to have kids?" Perhaps the question sounds intrusive. But here's the context. My wife's relatives had planned a huge gathering. Relatives from four or five countries were going to meet in one country. Many of these relatives had not seen each other for 15 years or more. Some had never met before, especially the spouses like myself. Some of these relatives - my wife had not seen them since she was a little girl. My wife and i also flew from our country to the other country for this meet-up. So at this family gathering (with 50+ people), there was a lot of hugging and handshaking and questions as well, because many of these people had not seen each other for a long time. Questions like, "Where do you work? Where do you live now? Are you married? Is your mother still alive? How old are you now?" were asked. Any of these questions, presented without context, could be seen as rude. But in a context of long-lost relatives meeting up, in some cases for the first time ever, and in other cases, for the first time in 10 or 15 years, the questions are quite natural. I ended up talking to this old man who was an uncle of my wife and he hadn't ever met me and he hadn't seen my wife since she was a child. And he asked me, "Do you plan to have kids?" I did not find the question rude. I found the question perfectly ordinary, in the context of this family gathering, where people were all talking about family stuff like children, parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, kids, babies. It was a question that was so mundane that I would not even have bothered to blog about it, but for one funny aspect which is not related to the topic in this forum. If you want to know what that funny aspect is, you can read my blog. But the funny aspect is not relevant to this thread. -------- Ok maybe I will tell you what the funny part is, after all. I look very young for my age. So does my wife. On my blog, I have related several past incidents where funny incidents occurred, because people thought I was much younger than I actually am. Anyway, this old uncle asked me whether i planned to have kids. I replied that I already have kids. He looked surprised, then he asked how old they were. I replied, "The older one is 15". He said, "Oh, your kid is 15 months old." I said, "No, he is 15 years old". And the old man nearly fell off his chair. I then told him that i am 44 years old. He said that he thought I was only 20+ years old. That's why he was shocked to hear that I have a 15-year-old kid. Anyway, this kind of stuff often happens to me. Like, when I was 30 years old and buying alcohol, the salesgirl would ask to see my ID to make sure I wasn't underage. Another recent incident i blogged about - we called for a plumber. When he arrived, he mistook me for a teenaged son and asked me to go tell my mother that he'd arrived. I look so young that he did not for one moment think that I could possibly be the owner of the property. Happens to my wife too. Yes, I can tell you our beauty secrets but that's not the topic of this forum. ----- Why I bother to relate this .... Well maybe it is, in a way relevant to the discussion, after all. At work, every now and then, I am asked, "How old are you?". When asked, this question often comes from people who do not know me well and are dealing with me for the first time. Without context, the question may come across as intrusive and rude. But I understand the context, and therefore I do not find it rude. The context is this. I am a lawyer. I walk into the room and I start talking. People are very impressed. Because they think I am a young 20-something-year-old lawyer, and yet I speak with such expertise and confidence. They do not realise that I am a 40-something-year-old lawyer. As I go on, they start to feel a little confused and uncertain. They sense a level of experience and maturity and authority in me which shouldn't be possible in a 20-something-year-old. Then they wonder what is my actual age. That's why they eventually ask, "How old are you." I do not find the question intrusive or rude, because I understand why they want to ask this question. Point being - context is everything.
  2. My father killed himself a few years ago. Although I was very sad and shocked, I functioned quite well. I definitely didn't have thoughts such as "Maybe it's not him", "Maybe it's somebody else". Guess it helps that I went personally to the bottom of the apartment block where my father's body lay in a huge pool of blood, to do the formal identification for the police officer. There he was, undeniably dead as a dodo, with half his face smashed into the concrete. No doubt about it. Oh, I felt no guilt whatsoever. And i also told everyone not to blame themselves. It was a very deliberate, planned act by my father. It is hard to argue with the reasons too. He was already very ill, quality of life was poor, doctors could not do much more for him. So he decided to end it quickly. His choice. Although anger is also supoosed to be part of the grief cycle, I did not feel angry with my father either. I just felt very sad that he had been suffering so much that he viewed suicide as a good option. And very sad that he was dead, of course. But no guilt, no disbelief, no anger. In a way, I actually felt glad too, that his physical suffering was over. He really had a lot of medical problems. I cried so much later, when I was tidying up his things, and found stacks and stacks and boxes and boxes of so many many different kinds of pills and medicines that he had been taking. Because he was so ill, in so many ways.
  3. Mmm, if you are even entertaining thoughts of dumping the father of your potential children, I think you should not have kids,
  4. Because .... dogs. Woof woof *sniff sniff*, raise a leg and pee etc.
  5. I think that cash is practical and sensible. Gift vouchers (for a big, general, department store that sells a wide range of stuff) are also sensible. That gives the person the chance to buy what he really wants/needs. For my culture (Chinese), it is in fact traditional and customary to give gifts of money. for both weddings, funerals and the New Year season. Though when I got married, my dad bought me a refrigerator. Because that's what we needed for our new home. Practical and sensible.
  6. I ignore people unless, well, there is a reason to not ignore them. Even online, like in this forum, I like to use the Ignore function on posters whom I find repeatedly rude or offensive or stupid.
  7. Oh, you thinking of dumping your boyfriend?
  8. Nope. However, again I have heard people asking and discussing such questions quite openly. This here is a good friend of mine - Cyril Wong. He is well-known for various things. Eg he has won multiple literary awards, and usually for his gay literature. Anyway, I have been to his events, and the audience seem to be straight and gay in 50/50 proportions, and once again, people mingling at such events would quite openly ask questions about sexual orientation. So as I already said, it depends on context. Since you are into the literary stuff, I presume that you must have attended literary events, and if those in your country are anything like those in mine, well, basically people will openly ask, share and talk a lot about themselves in the context of whatever literature is being discussed. Eg if it's a gay book being discussed, a lot of people during the discussion will ask and volunteer info, anecdotes, opinions etc drawn from their personal experiences.
  9. Work context? Sure. We have a LGBT association at work. They organize events. Straights and gays are equally welcome to attend. I've been there. I've been asked at such events whether I am straight or gay. It's like almost the first thing anyone would ask you if you were there and they didn't already know the answer. Also, I don't know if you have it in your country, but here there is something called the Yellow Ribbon movement. It's a movement to help ex-convicts. I have also attended such events (due to my background as a former prosecutor, I feel that I should do my part to help ex-convicts reintegrate into society). Anyway a very common question there is also whether you are an ex-convict. Yes, people at YR events have asked me whether I am an ex-con, and I don't feel offended. If your answer is "yes", the usual follow-up questions are "for what crime?" and "how long in prison?", and in the context of YR, these are completely natural questions.
  10. You see, your question is already wrong from Step One. Because you already assumed that the questions are intrusive and probing. You know - like, "Wow, what large portions", is definitely rude and intrusive.
  11. For example, my industry is very international and cross-border, and many of my colleagues have spent part of their career in one continent, then another continent, then another continent. Furthermore my specific corner of the world is very cosmopolitan and open to foreigners - people from many different countries come here to live and work all the time. And it is not at all common for interracial marriages to occur, and it is not at all uncommon for people to ask and talk openly and ask about the experiences with a spouse of a different race. Right in my department where I sit, I have: (1) a Polish colleague who married a Vietnamese (2) a white American from Minnesota who married a Malaysian Indian (3) a Chinese who married an Indian (4) a half-German, half-Filipino colleague who married a Frenchman (5) a Dutch woman who used to be married to a Sri Lankan People in my country will also straightforwardly ask you about your religion. It's no big deal, because generally everybody respects everybody else's religion. Taoist priest, Buddhist monk, Jewish rabbi, Christian nun, Muslim imam, Hindu priest etc getting together for a party. Common stuff in Singapore, They'll even pray together.
  12. Anyway, I think my point is clear. If a person feels sensitive, insecure or defensive about his own position or situation on a topic (any topic), he is more apt to perceive questions on the topic as intrusive or critical in nature. If a person feels assured, confident and happy about his own position or situation on a topic (any topic), he is less likely to perceive questions on the topic as intrusive or critical in nature. The above can be true, in fact, regardless of the true intentions of the person asking the question. To give what is hopefully an example on which you have no personal bias, you and I might be at a restaurant, your meal is served, and I might comment. "Wow, what large portions". If you perceive yourself as fat, and are sensitive about your weight, you may perceive my comment as a criticism that you are eating too much, and feel offended. If you perceive yourself as far, but are not sensitive about your weight. you might reply, "Yeah! I'm going to enjoy this meal a lot!" If you perceive yourself as average in weight, you might not even draw any connection between my remark, and the food, and your weight. You might think that I am just saying that this restaurant gives unusually large servings of potatoes or pasta etc for a $9.90 meal.
  13. If you insist, Yet you are the one who, earlier in this thread, got peeved & upset because I did NOT ask why you do not have children. LOL, how non-intrusive and bad of me.
  14. Nope. It depends on many things, such as context. For example, to use the one that Rickster mentioned. "What did you study in college?" could be a perfectly innocent question, if for example, your ex-college schoolmates had invited you and other ex-college schoolmates to a party. And there you met somebody you didn't, and you presumed that he was just somebody else from your college whom you hadn't met before. It could also be a perfectly innocent question in a work context, eg in a work environment where people of a certain corporate title/rank are usually college grads, Flip side of the situation. Suppose someone just met you, Madden, and after a while, he asked you, "Did you ever attend college?", you might well feel a little surprised. After all, you not only attended college, you have post-grad qualifications and teach in a college, and yet this guy seems to be implying that his impression is that you might possibly not have been clever enough to continue with education after high school? Thus if you are of a sensitive nature, you might well feel offended. Whereas if he had asked, "What did you study in college?", you would not even have blinked, but merely said naturally, "Oh English Literature, I love literature", and it would not even have crossed your mind that the question might be rude, Isn't that true?
  15. Oh. YOU are telling me what rude is. Heheh,