Throughout the past couple of weeks, I have read several blog and Facebook posts about the insensitive questions people ask. As an individual who spends a significant amount of my thought-energy on avoiding making people feel uncomfortable, I take these advice-giving posts very seriously: basically, be very careful about what you say to someone who is married, single, dating, engaged, male, female, heterosexual, homosexual, a parent, childless, religious, atheist, conservative, liberal, feminist, masculinist, etc., etc., etc.
I still believe it is very important to consider the implications of the words you say and the questions you ask.
After many years of feeling this way and acting accordingly, though, this belief has translated into avoiding any type of question which could make any person feel uncomfortable in any way. Consequently, I know a lot of very surface-level facts about the people I care about, and very little about the soul that lives underneath.
This weekend, Michael and I hung out with two of his sisters and some other friends from their high-school days. Toward the end of our laughter-filled evening at Blue Lemon, Ronnie said, "Aly, I don't know you very well. I would like to change that," and started asking me questions. They were hardly deep questions--mostly, "If you came home and had no homework, what would you do?" (Note to self: I need some hobbies other than reading. I couldn't answer that question. But that's a post for another time.) and "Marry, date, or dump: Tom Hiddleston, Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth"-- but it got me thinking. At some point I'm going to have to stop being so worried about offending someone that I can actually get words out of my mouth and start building up the relationships I've let go of because of my fears. All weekend I found myself nearly asking more personal questions, then holding them back. It's interesting how questions bring about connections; both are things I've been missing.