When I spend time with someone (either by phone, letter or in person), I tend to ask questions. Not intrusive ones. Not ones that are none of my business. Not under the spotlight, give up the top secret info, we have ways of making you talk kind of way. Just Hey, I'm interested in you. Tell me about yourself. Kids? Partner? Job? Interests? If the conversation is still going, merging into favorite authors/tv shows/way to drink coffee/thrift stores and so on. You know . . . a conversation? But lately, I have been absolutely mind boggled at people who willingly answer all of my questions, sometimes at GREAT length and detail and then never, ever, ever ask me a single thing.
That happened today. Joseph and I met a new couple. We asked them about why they had moved here, if they liked it, were they getting connected, how old were their kids, did they enjoy homeschooling, what kind of work did they do, what hobbies they had . . . you know . . . CONVERSATION. Every question was answered and then . . . .silence. Never once did they ask anything about Joseph or I. Believe me, I left them wide open opportunities . . . statements like, "I have been very fortunate that I have found ways to make enough money writing that we can live on a single income." Now, this woman was also a writer who is struggling . . . surely it might occur to her to ask me WHAT I wrote. Nope. Nothing. Not what type, for whom, nothing. I could have said I was a dumpster diver and gotten the same response. Just silence.
I don't get it. They suggested we meet. What was the point? They know nothing about us . . . how could they? They made absolutely no attempt.
I walked out of there bitchin' and whinin' but I know it really was just my way of handling disappointment. I am an interesting person that is worth the effort to get to know and no effort was made. It made me sad.
So, tell me . . . . do people just not ask questions anymore? Do they think that if you want to share the information you will just volunteer it? I tried doing that . . . . and just got a blank stare in return. I ask a bunch of questions in my letters--it keeps conversation going. It shows that I care what the person has to say/write about different topics. It shows that I am interesting. And I just don't understand why people don't do it in return.
To question or not to question . . that is the . . . well, um . . question.