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The CNY Interrogation

As Chinese New Year draws near, (hey that rhymes!) so does the dreaded annual round of Q and A. I came across this article, ‘5 Things to Say the Next Time Someone Asks Why You Aren’t Married’, and remembered how there are always a few ‘standard’ questions that I’ve gotten over the years, some of which really bugged me. This year, because we’re in Adelaide and not going back for CNY, I finally DON’T have to go through the ‘interrogation’. My mum, who always sees the good in everyone, and always told me that people ask me these questions because they are genuinely interested and/or have nothing else to talk to me about, will probably be appalled at this post, so mummy, please stop reading now. 😛 

You know how there’s a Ten-Year-Series filled with past year exam questions? Someone should really come up with one for these questions, complete with model answers like the one in the article above. In the meantime, here’s my list of model (read: boring) answers, as well as my tongue-in-cheek version of answers which I think some people would love to be able to use, which NO ONE should take seriously, okay?

What CNY seems like to some people 


Regardless of age 

Q1. Wah, you’ve put on weight hor? (Not really a question, just a not-so-nice observation masquerading as a question so that you don’t feel so offended. But then again, my layers of fat should protect me from the ‘pain’, right?) 

Model Answer (MA): *polite laughter* Ya lor… My dad/mum/husband/wife cooks very well.

Politically Incorrect Answer (PIA) 1: Ya, so have you! Did you finish all the CNY goodies on the table there just now? Why didn’t you leave some for me?

PIA 2: Ya, I eat when I’m stressed/depressed/angry/bored. Excuse me, I need to find something to eat now, after talking to you.

PIA 3: Oh my therapist told me to eat a chocolate every time someone asked me a stupid question, because I have anger management issues. Can you pass me a chocolate please?

PIA 4: Are you trying to say that I’m fat? *burst into tears*

For kids/teenagers 

Q2. Wah, so big already ah? How old are you now? 

MA: *polite laughter followed by your correct current age* 

PIA 1: Ya, people grow up, you know?

PIA 2: One year older than the last time you saw me lor.

PIA 3: *subtract five years from your current age, just for the shock effect, ie if you’re actually 15, say you’re 10, and watch how confused the person gets*

Q3. Why are you studying/reading a book during CNY? 

MA: Oh, I have a test coming up. (Has anyone noticed how there’s usually a test after CNY? I never understood why, both as a student and as a teacher.)

PIA: Because it’s more interesting than making small talk.

PIA: I’m trying to avoid answering silly questions.

For single and available adults 

Q4. No boyfriend/girlfriend yet ah? 

MA: Not yet… I want to focus on my studies/career first.

PIA 1: Waiting for you to match-make me with someone! Do you have anyone in mind?

PIA 2: Waiting for your son/daughter to be single again!

PIA 3: Got! But my boyfriend/girlfriend is a super-star and wants to keep our relationship a secret. Have you heard of *insert name of celebrity*? That’s my boyfriend/girlfriend lor…

For single but unavailable adults 

Q5. When are you getting married? 

MA: We’re waiting till we have saved enough money to buy a house. / Soon! Look out for the wedding invite, okay?

PIA 1: We’re waiting till we have saved enough money to buy a house. How much money did you put in your angpow for me? Can you give me more please?

PIA 2: Soon! But you’re not invited.

PIA 3: We actually got married last year but didn’t invite you. Sorry ah. It was just for 5000 of our closest family members and friends.

PIA 4: Did my girlfriend tell you to ask me that? I don’t know why she’s so desperate to get married. We’ve only been dating for a month, you know.

For married couples with no kids 

Q6. When are you going to have a baby? *Side note: This question really got on my nerves for the longest time. You can read our IVF story here to find out why, as well as to learn about other questions you really shouldn’t ask childless couples.

MA: Soon, I hope! / When the time is right. / We enjoy our couplehood very much and prefer to keep it that way. / *Your real reason*

PIA 1: Never. I changed my mind after spending five minutes with your kids.

PIA 2: That’s a question that only God can answer. I may look like a god/goddess, but I’m not God, you know.

PIA 3: Tomorrow.

PIA 4: I think Singapore is overcrowded enough, don’t you?

PIA 5: I don’t think our genes are that great that we need to reproduce.

PIA 6: Are you offering to look after my kids for me?

For married couples with one kid 

Q7. When are you going to have another one? 

MA: Hopefully, we’ll be able to have our second child soon. / We’re planning to start trying again soon.

PIA 1 & 2: (See PIA 2 & 3 for Q6.)

PIA 3: Our first kid is only two weeks old. Don’t you think that’s too soon for us to start trying again?

PIA 4: Would you like to babysit for us?

PIA 5: We can’t afford more than one kid. Would you like to contribute to our baby fund?

For married couples with more than one kid 

Q8. How many more kids do you plan to have?

MA: *Your real answer*

PIA 1: As many as it takes to form a soccer team.

PIA 2: More than you have.

PIA 3: (See PIA 2 for Q6.)

Q9. Wah, you’ve got so many kids! Aren’t you tired? 

MA: Yes, but children are a gift from God, and we are thankful for every single one of them. 

PIA 1: No s***, Sherlock. Are you offering to help us to babysit them?

PIA 2: Wah, so many questions? Aren’t you tired of asking them?

PIA 3: Being a parent in general, is tiring. You mean you aren’t tired at all? Your kid must have been independent since birth.

For married couples with one or more girls/boys 

Q10. Are you going to try for a boy/girl next? 

MA: Yes. / No.

PIA 1: What’s wrong with having all girls/boys only?

PIA 2: It’s not as though our next child will definitely be a boy/girl, you know.

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If you have any other questions, model answers, or politically incorrect answers to share, please do leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you. 

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