I’ve been reading along with the Mama’s Losin’ It writing exercises and one this week really caught my eye. It’s to write your own FAQ page about yourself. It says you can make up the questions, but really, doesn’t everyone have questions that they get asked all too often? Or is that just me? I seriously get most of these, like, every week. And it’s not like I meet all that many people.
While I try not to lie, in real life I do occasionally gloss over the fully truthful answers to some questions, because quite frankly, I can’t be arsed with the inevitable follow-ups.
1) Where do you come from?
(note: Paisley is in Scotland. I live in Scotland. The people asking me normally live in Scotland.)
2) No, where do you really come from? It’s obvious from your voice that you don’t just come from Paisley.
Paisley. First 18 years of my life.
3) No, I’m sure I hear some American/Canadian/Irish/English in there
Er, well, I’ve moved around a bit.
Please stop making me feel so self-conscious. I have no idea how I ended up with this accent. My sisters have it too, if that helps, and they’ve never lived outside Scotland.
4) What do you do?
I’m a physicist.
(Actually, at the moment, I’m an unemployed physicist.)
5) I was terrible at physics at school.
Oh well, I always liked it.
6) There aren’t many girls in physics, are there?
Gives threatening look. The chances of them starting to imply that either I must be not adequately feminine or not a good physicist are remarkably high at this point.
7) Why did you study physics?
I thought that being smart meant that you were morally compelled to study the hardest thing you could find. I am only just in recovery from this weird masochism. Luckily, I found out that I did actually like physics.
I don’t actually say this. I witter on about being good at maths and the mysteries of the universe and all that stuff.
8) Why didn’t you change your name when you got married?
I’m a feminist and I don’t think anyone should change their names on marriage. Yes, that includes you. No, I’m not wasting breath judging you for changing your name, but still, if I ruled the world, no name changes. If your name sucks, go get a good one by deed poll rather than hanging around waiting for a man.
Yeah, I never actually say that either. I have discovered that there are two socially acceptable answers to this question.
I already published in this name.
I like being at the start of the alphabet.
These basically never kick off. Every other answer does. Weird.
9) When are you having children?
10) But why are you not having children?
I don’t want to.
11) But your husband obviously loves children. Why won’t you have them?
Yes, he would like to have children and I wouldn’t. We’re OK with that.
Amazingly, this is considered a reasonable topic of conversation in front of both of us, with people we hardly know. Why, thank you for loudly airing what could have been a difficult fault line in our marriage! (It’s not, thankfully.) The fact that it could also relate to details of our fertility is an added bonus!
Now I’m really looking forward to seeing other people’s FAQs. More here along with a really funny photo-blog about flying.