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THE NOSY PARKER

The Nosy Parker really irritates me, and it’s not because of his huge nose. It’s more to do with the fact that he’s like the nosy neighbour, the annoying (nosy) aunt, and the nosy person on the train who tries to read your messages, all rolled into the shape of your date!

The Nosy Parker starts off by talking about normal things, like, "Did you get here okay?" or by making simple statements like, “I like this place”, maybe followed by a simple, “What do you think of the food?”. He may even chuck in a bit of banter to lighten the mood, but just when you’ve started to let your guard down, he swoops in with his first question.

“So, where do you work”?

Fair play, you think to yourself. That’s a valid question to ask, especially when finding a life partner, and it’s always a normal part of small talk, right? So, you politely answer and tell him what you do, where you work, and a little too much detail about that one annoying colleague, and so on. You then ask him the same question, and before you know it, the conversation is flowing. He then moves onto the next question.

“How many brothers and sisters do you have?”

This, again, is a normal question for him to ask you, so you answer, as you are finding out about each other during this first meet-up. Then, the next question is, “Where do you live, exactly?” And then the next one is, “What are your hobbies?” And then the next one is, “What food do you like?” This goes on for a while. These are all fairly normal questions to ask, and nothing is too invasive. You may talk for a while about your love for good food, the best places to eat, and the last movie you watched, and soon enough, the conversation is flowing, and this all looks so promising. But then, just when you've let your walls crumble down like Beyoncé’s, he swoops in and asks:

“So, what do your parents do?”

“Do you live alone or at home?”

“Is it a house or a flat?”

“How many people live there?”

“You’re not living at home? Why not?”

"Did you run away from home?"

"Do you not talk to your family?"

“How many bedrooms do you have?”

“How much rent/mortgage do you pay?”

“How many partners have you had in the past?”

“How many men are you talking to at the moment?”

Soon, he’s moved on to your salary and is asking you how much you earn, what your parents earn, and what your siblings do and earn. By now, don’t be surprised if he’s got his salary calculator app out to calculate your take home salary after tax.

Before you know it, he’s asking your dress size, your council tax bill, your rough electricity costs each month, your last mobile phone bill, the amount of money you have in your savings account, and why your Mum only had three kids.

The questions come in thick and fast, and don't seem to be stopping anytime soon. It’s like a rapid-fire round in a game show. It’s exhausting!

By now, you probably won’t be surprised to hear that I’ve actually had most of these questions asked to me on a FIRST meet-up by a Nosy Parker. The worse thing is that when you diplomatically swerve away from the very personal questions and try to change the subject back to lighter issues, he is irrational enough to get offended.

As soon as Nosy Parker starts moving into confidential information territory, you need to cut him off quite quickly! I can also guarantee you that when you do cut him off, and refuse to answer his invasive questions, he will have a strop, won’t see anything wrong with what he’s doing, and will be offended by your bluntness… and that’s your cue to leave!

Maybe next time, he should just send out a fifty-page questionnaire first.

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