Advice: Courtesy call


Express April 18, 2010

What is the appropriate way of making introductions? Does one need to provide a brief curriculum vitae or is it acceptable to merely identify people by name? Do I say this is my sister Aisha or this is Aisha? What does one do with a friend? What would comprise a polite yet firm way of dealing with the aunty brigade’s curiosity and alleged concern vis-à-vis my single status? I’ve taken several approaches, ranging from telling them that I’ve not met the right man or that I have other priorities right now. The last time, I shouted “Fire! Fire!’’ and then ran off when they turned around to look. I can see this isn’t a sustainable solution. While I appreciate that they mean well, is there any way to get those prying, evil vultures off my back without having to resort to pepper spray?

Scared of introductions

Giving some background upon introduction is highly recommended as this cuts down the chances of wandering into an embarrassing situation. Say you introduce your protective older brother to a friend only by name. Said friend then launches into a story about your wild partying ways to break the ice, thus leading your brother to glare at you menacingly through the evening. If you find making introductions dull and repetitive, feel free to inject some levity into the proceedings, only not too much levity. NB: Think of levity as salt, too little and you may as well not have bothered, too much and you’ve wreaked havoc. There is nothing more uncomfortable than the pin-drop silence that follows the introduction of your boss as Hitler.

What would comprise a polite yet firm way of dealing with the aunty brigade’s curiosity and alleged concern vis-à-vis my single status? I’ve taken several approaches, ranging from telling them that I’ve not met the right man or that I have other priorities right now. The last time, I shouted “Fire! Fire!’’ and then ran off when they turned around to look. I can see this isn’t a sustainable solution. While I appreciate that they mean well, is there any way to get those prying, evil vultures off my back without having to resort to pepper spray?

Fearful of aunties

Aunties are like Nazis; you can’t appease them and you can’t negotiate with them. If you want to defeat them, dear reader, prepare for war. Various singletons have attempted the reasonable approach which is to thank them for their concern while assuring them it’s not necessary. It doesn’t work. Aunties are indefatigable. A scorched-earth policy is recommended. This could include telling them that you would love to get married but are worried about how a prospective husband might react to your syphilis, or dunking said aunty in a steaming bowl of chicken karhai. If you want to be really cruel, tell them you’re tired of your privileged, elitist circle, and want to look outside your social echelon and marry somebody “real”. If that doesn’t do it, nothing will.

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