Today, I was to meet my "Lunch Bunch" at Wendy's. While waiting to order, I spoke to a couple in front of me. The man is 35 years old and the woman is 55 years old (yes, THAT, in itself, is an interesting story, perhaps for another article).
A clerk behind the counter asked the man, "Did you ever have any kids?" The man, very diplomatically answered, "No, we were never blessed." The clerk continued, "Didn't you want to have any?" The discomfort level of the couple was quite obvious. However, the woman answered, "I can't have any children." And yet, the clerk persisted and asked, "What was the problem?"
Despite my being outraged by the clerk for her causing the couple such embarrassment, and the fact that hers was totally inappropriate behavior for her workplace--and for her lack of common courtesy and common decency--her continuing the questioning was just going too far, and I felt compelled to intercede. I asked, "Why is it you want to know?" She blithely answered, "Oh, we worked together."
Although I was astounded by her lack of logic in thinking that because she'd worked with the man that it was proper to be asking such a personal question, I was more offended by her lack of propriety in asking in such a public place. I answered, "Well, he and I worked together also but it is VERY inappropriate for you to be asking these personal questions."
I told the couple that I had had to face those kinds of stupid questions for the first ten years of my marriage but then I read in Dear Abby the perfect comeback to inappropriate questions which is by responding 'why is it you want to know?', but I swear this is the first time a person hasn't shut up!" Of course the clerk heard that exchange and she acted miffed!
I joined my group at our table and when I told about the incident it was interesting to hear about similar examples from them. I debated whether to complain to the manager about the clerk's unseemly behavior but the consensus of the group was to "let it go".
Later, in recounting the encounter to my brother, he asked, "And did anybody tell you that it wasn't any of your business?"