A lot of my (Asian) friends say I have the coolest, most down-to-earth parents.

Because unlike theirs, my parents don’t smack me for getting bad grades. They don’t yell at me for having a boyfriend. They don’t bombard my phone with a million messages asking where I am, what I’m doing, who I’m with, and when I’ll be back.

But the one thing they do that makes me flip (that I secretly wish they’d stop doing) is asking me stupid questions. Questions that I don’t want to answer, simply because the answer is right in front of their face.

Here’s a classic example.

I’m about to hit the gym. I put on my full workout gear on — tank, sports bra, yoga pants, tennis shoes. I got my headphone blasting in my ear. My hair’s tied up in a ponytail.

Right before I sneak out the door, my parents catch me and throw out the six words that annoy me most.

“Are you going to the gym?”


Do I have to repeat my answer for the 154937th time? 

YES!!! YES I AM! Is it not obvious already? Can’t you take an extra 3 seconds to process what you’re seeing and just take a guess as to where I’m going? Or what I’m doing?

It’s such a pain, and a complete waste of my time, to answer something most everyone would get right away.

It’s like me asking someone what they’re eating when they’re eating a banana. Or what they’re doing if they’re reading a book.

They’re all useless questions that don’t lead to a conversation. In fact, it kills it.

While I didn’t tell my parents about this annoying habit of theirs, where they’d ask the same pointless questions over and over again, I did try different ways to answer back.

1. Rehearsing the same answer + the scheduled time

“Yup. I always workout around 10pm to 12am. Everyday.”

2. Pointing at my workout clothes

“Yup, gonna go workout!”

3. Questioning their question

“How come you always ask me that question whenever I have my workout clothes on?”

4. Telling them to stop

“Can you stop asking me that question? It’s getting kind of annoying.”

5. Answering something ridiculous

“Nope, I’m going to school.”
“Nope, I’m going to New York.” (Btw, I’m from California) 
“Nope, I’m going to sleep.”

Unfortunately, they still haven’t caught on. 🙁


  1. Grace
    Sep 03, 2017

    How would you ideally want the interaction to play out? I’m curious because I have Asian parents too and they often do things that I find perplexing but realize that it is just their way of trying to engage. Understanding that their way of engaging is not what you would like, they likely mean no harm and what good does it do to your relationship with them by you responding in a snarky and disengaging way?