Answering those awkward or difficult questions~

humor, non-fiction No Comments »

February 16, 2011
Over twenty years ago a dear friend of mine’s niece, Nora (then 5 years old) went to her mother with a pretty big question.  “Mom, what is a bidet?”

Nora’s mother swallowed, took a deep breath and began.  “Well, Nora a bidet is something people sit on.  I think the French invented it.  It kind of looks like a toilet, but water flows up to your private parts to make sure you are clean.  It’s about hygiene really.  And hygiene means making sure your hair is not greasy, that your fingernails are not dirty.”  Nora’s mother nervously began to wash the dishes in the sink.  “A bidet is kind of like a very small bath tub.  Yes, a bath tub.  And for some reason here in the United States most people don’t have them in their homes.  Europeans, Europe is across the ocean, by the way, have them everywhere.  Your father and I stayed in a hotel in France that had one.”

Nora looked like a deer in the headlights.  Nora’s mother squatted down to be eye to eye with her.  “Honey, what made you asked about the bidet, anyway?”

Nora took her mother by the hand and pointed to the calendar.  “It says Grandma’s Bday right there.”

Thankfully, I heard this story before having my own children.  I’ve never forgotten it and I’ve learned that you ask this question first, “Why do you want to know?”  It has saved me on more than one occasion from offering way too much information for the question intended.

Another very dear friend of mine says that I do this with her ~ I suppose it is a short cut to make sure one understands what is being asked.

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