Author Topic: Deflecting hometown questions...  (Read 15596 times)

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whiterose

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Deflecting hometown questions...
« on: December 06, 2009, 03:52:36 PM »
As you all know, I was not too happy where I was born and first lived (let's call it Lavenderland) and am much happier in Florida.

I have a thick accent- so it inevitably leads to people asking where I am from. Which leads to people making comments like "oh my neighbor is from Lavenderland" or "I have been to Lavenderland". Which is okay per se, but I do NOT want to be seen as just a Lavender (or Purple in general, hehe). I can state it very matter of fact when it is absolutely relevant- just as matter of fact as I state my height or blood type, which are vital statistics as well but do not seem anywhere near as pigeonhole material.

Is "I will let you know that when we get to know each other better" a good way to deflect when the question is asked by a prospective romantic partner? After all, it is not an offensive question- though given my unique situation, I do find it a bit intrusive and would prefer the person ask me about my hobbies/interests/career goals.

When someone said yesterday "I hear Lavenderland is very pretty" and I replied "Yes, but I am much happier here", was that rude? Does it sound like I have something to hide? Is it a good way to state "please let's change the subject, I am a complex person and there is more to me than that vital statistic"?


This has nothing to do with pride or shame. This simply has to do with the fact that I am  happier and better off here and that I do NOT want to be seen just  as "the girl from  Lavenderland" under.ANY.circumstances when there is so much else to me.
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RainhaDoTexugo

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2009, 04:04:53 PM »
The problem with avoiding the question is, it tends to make a bigger deal out of it.  If you tell me you're from Lavenderland, I'll probably think "Oh, Lavenderland, I hear they have X there," and I won't think about it any further, unless maybe one day I really need to know the Lavenderese word for pickle or something :P  In most cases, I wouldn't see you as just "the girl from Lavenderland," any more than I'd see you as that librarian, or the girl in Florida, or anything like that.  Anyone who does find out where you were born and makes a big deal out of it, and can't see beyond it probably isn't worth knowing anyway.

If you make a secret out of it, people will want to find out why it's such a big deal.  Since "where are you from?" is generally such a simple question, to give an out of the ordinary answer really really draws attention.  People will want to know where you're from, why you're hiding it, what happened that was so terrible that made you hide it, why you left, etc.  If I asked "where are you from?" and got "I'll let you know when we get to know each other better," I wouldn't be able to stop myself from focusing on it!  If you don't want a big deal made of it, you're much better off just treating it like any other fact, and not making a big deal out of it at all.

I do think "Yes, but I'm much happier here" is perfectly fine.  If someone asks where you're from, you can use something similar.  "I was born in Lavenderland, but I'm so much happier here.  I really love the *insert distracting bean dip about Florida and your interests here*"

Suze

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 04:06:35 PM »
first is "lavenderland" the state or the city....

cause if it is the city -- you could always say

I'm from around "fushia" (some place "close" to lavenderland) and leave it at that.  

or the old - I've lived in many places but this one is home now.  thanks.
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whiterose

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2009, 04:16:26 PM »
Lavenderland is probably closest to the state. If I mention the city (let's call it "Normal Brother Ville"), they will either be able to figure out I am from Lavenderland, or keep asking since their geographic knowledge may not be keen enough.
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Veronica

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2009, 04:24:36 PM »
How long ago did you move to Florida?  If you arrived before you were in your teens I'd just say, "I grew up in Jacksonville."*


DH gets this a lot because his name is very Indian.  When they ask where he is from he says, "Chicago."  If they then say, "no, where are you froooooooooooom?"  He replies, "my ancestors are from India and Ireland. I grew up in Chicago" or "My Dad is from India" or something like that.  

*or wherever you grew up.

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whiterose

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2009, 04:57:09 PM »
I moved to Florida when I was 17. Too late for me to lose the accent naturally. I do state my hometown as "Pigsburg, FL" (this pseudonym is based on the city's actual nickname) on social networking sites- after all, my parents still reside there. I do state that I am from the northern part of the state/Pigsburg/Cowsburg (which is true), BUT people keep persisting due to my accent and are not content till I tell them that I come from Lavenderland. Sometimes they are satisfied, sometimes they point out that the accent does not correspond, sometimes they go for the questions about it, sometimes they go straight for the pigeonholing or stereotyping.
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gollymolly2

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2009, 05:51:11 PM »
I would say "I was born in [town] but I consider Pigstown, Florida home, what about you?"

Being weirdly defensive draws a lot more attention to it than just stating it and moving on. And there's a good chance that people don't think it's as big a deal as you do.

HorseFreak

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2009, 06:05:25 PM »
To be honest, if I was on a date and he said, "I'll tell you when we know each other better," I'd be thinking there's something serious that he's hiding (crime, for example). Being secretive, as others have said above, makes it much bigger deal than you want it to be and may result in fewer second dates.

whiterose

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2009, 06:37:43 PM »
So being secretive is not the best way to deal with it then.

I just do not want something like this to happen again:

Guy and I meet at a photoshoot. He thinks my accent is Russian. I tell him the truth about my background. We go on 3 dates that go great. My hometown and ethnic background are not mentioned at all! Then on 4th date, he is not in the best of moods. He apologizes for the attitude. It comes up that I do not get angry easily. He says that he can see me as having buttons that can be pushed. I say yes, but that overall I have a long fuse. He then replies:

"I have never met a Lavender woman with a long fuse".

Owch.

Or like this (ok, so this is to a lesser extent).

Guy and I go out for lunch and he asks me where I am from. I tell him. He says "cool". We go into the specifics a bit since one parent is from one country and another one from another hence my accent is not what you'd expect. But not much is said. We talk more about video games and music and the sort.

Yet at the beginning of the second date, while we are on the way to the mall, he asks one too many questions about when I moved here, about which parent was what, and had a bit of trouble getting everything straight. But he asked a bit too much about it- as if it were no longer "cool" and as if he may have had an issue with it. This was the second and last date :(

It is not the easiest pill to swallow due to reputation- hence I wonder if being secretive may have been better. If it added mystery and mystique and thus allure. But I see this is not the case.
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Veronica

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2009, 06:40:43 PM »
Hey, at least you were able to weed them out early!  Honestly, would you really want to be with someone who judged you based on this? 

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Hanna

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2009, 07:23:09 PM »
Try "It's not a topic I relish. Perhaps another time." Then change the subject.

I have to confess that the previous comments you've made in other threads about your origins have always made me more curious rather than less so.

kareng57

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2009, 08:12:40 PM »
So being secretive is not the best way to deal with it then.

I just do not want something like this to happen again:

Guy and I meet at a photoshoot. He thinks my accent is Russian. I tell him the truth about my background. We go on 3 dates that go great. My hometown and ethnic background are not mentioned at all! Then on 4th date, he is not in the best of moods. He apologizes for the attitude. It comes up that I do not get angry easily. He says that he can see me as having buttons that can be pushed. I say yes, but that overall I have a long fuse. He then replies:

"I have never met a Lavender woman with a long fuse".

Owch.

Or like this (ok, so this is to a lesser extent).

Guy and I go out for lunch and he asks me where I am from. I tell him. He says "cool". We go into the specifics a bit since one parent is from one country and another one from another hence my accent is not what you'd expect. But not much is said. We talk more about video games and music and the sort.

Yet at the beginning of the second date, while we are on the way to the mall, he asks one too many questions about when I moved here, about which parent was what, and had a bit of trouble getting everything straight. But he asked a bit too much about it- as if it were no longer "cool" and as if he may have had an issue with it. This was the second and last date :(

It is not the easiest pill to swallow due to reputation- hence I wonder if being secretive may have been better. If it added mystery and mystique and thus allure. But I see this is not the case.


What I'd conclude is that you had dates with a couple of jerks - nothing more.

But really, asking where someone is from is a perfectly normal getting-acquainted question - and if someone was very secretive about it I'd wonder whether he or she grew up in the Witness Protection program or something.  I'd think that mentioning the place and tacking on an addendum such as "but I really prefer it here and hardly ever go back" would be fine.

Wendy Moira Angela Pan

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2009, 08:47:02 PM »
Actually I think that mentioning where you're from is a good way to weed out idiots who make assumptions about you based on where you're from. So if some dude tells you that he's well aware that all Lavendar women are fiery, you know he's a doofus. I definitely wouldn't try to defer revealing your hometown. It's a pretty standard getting to know you type question.

If I asked some one where they were from, and they bean-dipped me, I'd be confused and weirded out.  You don't want people to think it's a big deal, but you're actually making a pretty big deal out of it. It kinda seems like you're expecting people to be jerks about it without giving them a chance not to be.

I know what you mean about people jumping to conclusions about you. I'm from Los Angeles, and even in CA, when I tell people where I'm from, they sometimes say, "Ohhhhh LAAAAA (in a hoity toity voice). Do you know any famous people?" I just raise my eyebrows and say, "Nope," and they knock it off. Or if they can't, I avoid them.

whiterose

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2009, 08:28:55 AM »
It's not just prospective romantic partners. It's friends, customers, and random people who make interesting assumptions...

I told a friend that I did not like summer, that I preferred autumn and winter. She replied "you should be a summer girl because you are from Lavenderland" (which has a tropical climate). I was not happy in the tropics- including, but not limited to, allergies and the scorching sun. Nice attempt to put a square peg in a round hole.

Another customer at the library upon hearing where I was from said "Lavender women tend to be very bossy" (???)

And people who sway their hips in the stereotypical Purple way upon hearing. I wonder if people are surprised that I power-walk rather than swaying the lower half of my body.

Unfortunately, it seems like once I mention my hometown/ethnic background, some people can see absolutely nothing else about me. It's not like I am at my job where they need someone who speaks a particular language and thus it is relevant.
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jillybean

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Re: Deflecting hometown questions...
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2009, 08:50:46 AM »
Maybe a variation of a slogan I see on Texas souvenier t-shirts: "I wasn't born in Florida, but I got here as soon as I could."
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