Sep 05 2011
Greetings, Cool Peeps:
This week I’ve got a few words to say about snoops. You know, the nosy folks who are always in everyone else’s business, asking inappropriate questions and focusing their prying eyes where they shouldn’t be.
How nosy a question is has everything to do with the asker and not as much to do with the question itself. In the right situation, most questions are reasonable. But when the wrong peeps ask me things like “How much have you saved for your future?” “Why don’t you have any children?” and “How much did you pay for this or that?” I get a bit perturbed. I never knew how to respond to these questions until my coworker BFF Randy gave me some advice he’d picked up from Ann Landers. When someone asks you a nosy question, simply say, “Why do you ask?”
It really works like a charm. I was at a social gathering when a woman I’d just met said to me, “How much do you earn as a reporter, Molly?”
“Why do you ask?” I said.
“Uh, well, um, I was just curious, um, never mind!” she said indignantly as if I’d offended her, and walked away. When you say, “Why do you ask?” the answer is almost always “Because I’m nosy,” but no one is going to say that.
There was a woman in my parents’ social circle who was obsessed with the value of objects in other people’s homes, especially china, silver, pottery, and items such as that. She would either raise or overturn everything to see the mark on it. People got really tired of it. Especially my mom.
One summer, my parents were hosting a gala for close friends, and unfortunately, this Mrs. Snoop had to be invited. My mother was dreading the idea of this woman examining the value of objects in her house. So, to thwart this ghastly busybody, she wrote out tiny notes and discreetly taped them to the bottom of every object she thought this might be in danger of an unwanted surveillance.
Peeps, it was beautiful. Ten minutes after this Mrs. Snoop arrived, she picked up a china plate from the coffee table and raised it to look underneath. Confused by seeing something she didn’t expect, she loudly exclaimed, “What in the world does this say?” Her husband took it out of her hands and read aloud my mom’s note: “Mind your own business!” Everyone was in freakin’ hysterics, including the Mrs. Snoop’s weary husband, and although she arrived wearing green, she stomped out of my parents’ living room wearing red.
Once, I was at a party at a friend’s house when an inebriated guest spilled his drink on her bar and broke the wine glass. Being the good friend that I am, I grabbed some paper towels and began frantically trying to wipe everything up before his spilt Pinot Noir made it to the carpet. In the process, I cut my finger.
“Oh, sorry, Molly,” she said. “There are Band-Aids in the medicine cabinet.” Well, yours truly had no sooner opened the medicine cabinet, then out poured bouncing ping-pong balls, filling the bathroom. Apparently, my friend’s brother-in-law was always snooping to find out what medications friends took, and she wanted to embarrass him when he inevitably checked out her medicine cabinet. Only I made it there before he did — for legitimate reasons.
I was momentarily mortified, but when the truth of why she did this came out, the dude was just as embarrassed as if he had opened the little mirrored door himself.
I could easily dissertate about snoopy people, especially because I live in a town with so many of them, including Naomi Hall-Benchley, the she-devil, who wants to know every nuance of my romantic life for their own absurd purposes. But I will stay calm. I will not go off on a tangent. Not in this blog, anyway.
Please, cool peeps, tell me about the snoops in your life. How do you handle those pesky “little” snoopers?
See you next week.
Yours in pickiness,