Well, I was about to say ‘we all ask questions that are so embarrassing we nearly kill the person we’re asking’, but I don’t know if everyone does this.
See, when I was a young, impressionable, innocent 16-year-old, I was reading romances so fast the local library was shipping them from other branches to keep up with me. I was innocent at this stage, I swear! However, I was curious. As romance readers know, our books include either sweet love scenes that make you go ‘aw’ and wonder what they’re doing behind that closed door, or they have hot, erotic scenes that have you putting the book down to fan your face.
Oh yes, I remember distinctly reading my very first steamy love scene. I was blushing so much, I put the book to the side, fanned myself, collected my tattered composure, and picked the book up again. I was hooked. Not because of the sex, which was outstanding, but because I’d never imagined such things! I really was innocent, I suppose, though it was a lack of knowing about passion more than the mechanics of the act.
So, armed with my newfound understanding of passion, I had to ask someone about pre-marital sex. I could’ve asked my older sister. She was married by that time with a couple of kids, but I just couldn’t do it. None of my friends had done the deed either, so I couldn’t ask them (hell, they were asking me about sex because of all the romances I read). So I went to the best source for information. My mom.
We were sitting in the kitchen. She was drinking coffee and I think it went something like this:
I plopped into a chair across from her. Fiddled with stuff on the table. Shook my leg nervously.
“Um, mom? Can I ask you a question?”
Deep breath. “Did you and dad have sex before you got married?”
I watched my mom’s face turn from her pretty olive tone to nearly puce. She stuttered. She stammered. Blinked at me in shock. “Ask your father!”
Hm. I was intrigued. Obviously, mom hadn’t waited before she was married, but I wanted to be sure. So when it was time to go to my dad’s house, I waited for the perfect moment to ask my question.
He just got in from work, was drinking his coffee (notice a coffee flavored theme here?). We chatted about how school was going and all the other boring stuff I didn’t want to talk about. Then…
“Dad? Did you and mom have sex before you got married?”
I watched my dad’s face, which was tanned dark from working outdoors all his life, turn brick red. He looked at me as though I’d lost my mind, but I was persistent. I wasn’t going to take the question back. I stared back at him.
He spluttered. Put his coffee cup down. Cleared his throat.
“Well, we did date for four years!”
And that was that. I finally knew the answer to my question. However, I’d just put my parents through what had to be the most embarrassing moment in their years of parenthood. Now, through the years, I’ve come across questions my friends and younger cousins have asked their parents and nearly killed them with the shock.
Today’s question is: Did you ever ask someone a question that embarrassed them to the point of their imminent expiration? Have you ever been asked something that made you want to die right then and there?