Sep 05 2011


Published by at 12:39 am under Lifestyle & Values

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,


18 responses so far

18 Responses to “SNOOPY PEEPS”

  1. Lisaon 05 Sep 2011 at 1:00 am

    What a brilliant idea to put a note under the china. That would have been a moment in history for sure hahaha. I love that !!

    I think I would be ‘chuffed as’ if someone looked under our plates 😀

    My dad likes to peer through fences–It maybe hereditary :-/ I think I have said enough. LOL

    Funny blog CB and hysterical illustrations hahaha. Love it!!


  2. Mollyon 05 Sep 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Hey Lisa:

    So glad to see you here. Thanks for being such a loyal reader and friend.

    It really was funny when my mom put those notes under the plates. Before that happened, my mom and dad had quite a discussion on what to say in the note. My dad suggested something a bit stronger, but my mom wanted to be as ladylike as possible and get the message across. I also didn’t say in the blog that Mrs. Snoop’s husband actually thanked my mom. Poor guy was mortified by her behavior and could never stop her. Public humiliation seemed to do the trick, for the most part. I hear that she continued to look under plates, dishes, figurines and the like, but only when she thought no one was looking. Ha ha!

    Your dad likes to peer through fences? Does he know you’re exposing him? Too funny.


  3. Stuart Ross McCallumon 05 Sep 2011 at 1:37 am

    Great post, Molly:

    Yes, our world if literally brimming over with snoops, they can be anywhere and are practically everywhere.

    A few years ago a trusting client of mine gave me a set of spare keys to his apartment so as I could measure up for some new lounge room doors. Arriving early at the average looking building I was astonished with the lush interior of the apartment and soon found myself snooping. The bathroom was the most impressive, marble, granite, and a state-of-the-art shower. I peered into one of the cabinets, only to find practically every product on the market to relieve itching!

    I decided to put an end to my snooping and measured the door openings as I had been asked to do. On my way out, I opened the bedroom door and glanced in…shock, horror. My itchy client was fast asleep in bed.

    Thankfully, Ahmed (my client) remained oblivious to my nosey behaviour. 🙂

    Thanks Molly, Stuart 🙂

  4. Mollyon 05 Sep 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Hey Stuart:

    Now that is hilarious. Snooping in the dude’s apartment while he was fast asleep! Maybe all of the itching wore him out. Sounds like you really dodged a bullet there, my friend. Imagine if you’d been looking through the cabinets and turned to find Mr. itch starting at you. How would you have explained that?

    Great story. Thanks for being brave enough to share. Ha ha!


  5. James Morrisonon 05 Sep 2011 at 3:33 am

    Hi Molly,

    I’m definitely going to steal both of those ideas to catch out nosey people. They are awesome!!
    I cannot stand nosey people and I have been using the “Why do you want to know?” tactic for quite a while now and always works a charm. Nothing like a small bit of confrontation to put busybodies back in their place hahahah

    Great post again Molly!


  6. Mollyon 05 Sep 2011 at 12:52 pm

    Hey James:

    Always makes me so happy to see you here. DO try the “why do you ask?” line? I’ve used it many a time and it almost always stops people in their tracks. Either they don’t know how to answer, or they answer too much and babble on trying to give me a legitimate response. Hate to say it, but a couple of times that has been really funny to witness. Knowing you, I think you’d get a real kick out of that! ha ha!

    Yours in pickiness,

  7. Sheri Wilkinsonon 05 Sep 2011 at 12:36 pm

    This is a great topic. One thing I truly hate Molly, (and most people do not understand)….is asking me how much I weigh. I am very tiny (and skinny & for good reasons, I have medical issues I do not wish to share with strangers), but I am just as sensitive about my weight as someone who is fat!

    I would never ask someone how much they weigh, how old they are, or how much money they make.

    Ross….you made me laugh, everyone is curious to some extent, I think it is human nature…but to perpetually snoop, or be outwardly rude is just unacceptable!

  8. Mollyon 05 Sep 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Hey Sheri:

    Great to hear from you. I agree with you. Asking someone how much they weigh is just wrong! Because obesity is such a problem in our society, people don’t see being too thin as the same sensitive issue that being too fat can be. But they’re wrong. You simply DO NOT ask someone how much they weigh. And asking someone’s age, salary and all of that is just wrong.

    I think the overall issue is just that people are not sensitive to the feelings of others and don’t think before speaking. A married friend of mine was asked loudly at a social gathering why she didn’t have any children yet. She had suffered three devastating miscarriages and the asker’s question just sent her into tears. She got so upset that she had to leave the party. And when someone clued in the asker, she didn’t even feel bad. She just said, “Well, it’s a perfectly normal question.” No, it’s not. When in doubt, do without.


  9. Janet Leeon 05 Sep 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I love that pingpong ball idea!! Now I got to find myself a snoop to do that to!

    Thanks Molly!


  10. Mollyon 05 Sep 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Hey Janet,

    If you like the ping-pong ball idea, just fill your medicine cabinet with the balls at your next party. I guarantee someone will open the door. Just make sure you don’t forget they’re there and do it yourself. Ha ha ha.


  11. Gabriel Barbaroon 05 Sep 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Nice work Molly!

    I will attempt to use your advice in my own life, as I tend to get thrown off guard by rude, prying questions!

    Being a nice person usually entails becoming fodder for nosey peoples’ agendas and so we must arm ourselves in social defense against this rude precendent!

    Thanks again!

  12. Mollyon 05 Sep 2011 at 6:58 pm

    Hey Gabriel:

    You’ve so right. Being nice to some peeps makes them think they can pry. WRONG! I’m a very friendly person but that doesn’t mean my life is on public record.

    Thanks for stopping by again! A pleasure to have your company.

    Yours in pickiness,


  13. Leigh Annon 05 Sep 2011 at 6:36 pm

    Good Lord, Molly! Not only was your blog yet *again* scarily close to home (I’m still thinking you’ve got a surveillance camera somewhere in my house/car/purse/something), I was taken aback when I saw the first graphic. I wondered aloud, frightening my own cat (whose name is Emily, and she would like to know very much if Captain Jack has a girlfriend), because I was certain that you had swiped a photo of one of my extended family members?

    Ah, yes, the “Why do you ask” – – – – – just a fantastic reply. Asking a question to reply to another question. You keep our wits razor sharp, my dear Molly, and give us hope that good manners, correctly using the “possessive-thingy” while writing, and appreciating the true beauty of all the things around you are what gives life its flavor. 🙂

  14. Mollyon 05 Sep 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Hey Leigh Ann,

    Ha ha! Glad to see you, g/f. I’m glad you liked Ms. Nosy! I think many peeps know someone just like her, whether they’re unlucky enough to be related to her, work with her, live in the same town as her, have her as a neighbor and on and on. She is frightening and she must be stopped.

    No, Jack does not have a girlfriend, but like me, he’s kind of picky in looking for a mate. What does your Emily look like? =^..^=


  15. Marta Moran-Bishopon 06 Sep 2011 at 9:23 am

    Hi Molly,
    I don’t know which I love most your blog or the comments. Hmm maybe some of both would be the honest answer.

    Being the curious person that I am, I love to look at things when I visit someone. Yet I am also very sensitive to their feelings. I cannot understand people who consider it to be their right to know whatever they are interested in.

    Prying questions are just that. It usually isn’t the result of someone wanting to know you better. Instead it is someone who is either just nosy or wants to talk about you behind your back like your Naomi Hall-Benchley.

    I must say the snoopiest neighbors you can ever have are our three horses. You cannot leave your house, walk in your yard without them watching you.

    They will leave whatever you are doing and line up along the fence inspecting each and everything you do. LOL I know I should teach them manners.

  16. Mollyon 06 Sep 2011 at 10:26 am

    Hi Marta:

    So glad to see you here this week, g/f.

    You are so right. The asker really determines if the questions are nosy. Two different people can ask me the same question. One person’s question can really tweak me because I know there’s just being nosy, where the same question asked by another can take on an entirely different meaning.

    Taking an interest in someone is way different from just being a busybody. I think most of us have a built-in radar to know the difference.

    I love it when real friends are interested in the art and other things in my apartment. That’s not snooping. Huge difference, don’t you think?

    How cool that you have nosy horses! I just love that! And you, too.


  17. Shykia Bellon 06 Sep 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Great blog, Molly!

    Awesome illustrations, too! It’s human nature to be curious, but some people take it way too far. Thanks for sharing these cool ideas to combat nosey behavior. Loved the story about the note under the china plate. Hilarious!


  18. Debon 13 Sep 2011 at 4:14 am

    That’s hilarious!

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