How to deal with Questions during CNY

Chinese New Year family gatherings with unfortunately nosy relatives just mean a ton of unwanted attention and questions. You know the drill: the door opens and your house is flooded with people you see once or twice a year. They find the need to fill the silence with personal questions so they can hand forth unsolicited advice.

The fast ones greet and dash into their bedrooms.

The not-so-fast ones (read: most of us) get stuck outside, wondering if the red packet they’ve just handed is really worth the uncomfortable talk to come.

This year, thankfully, I’ve come up with some answers beforehand.

Print the list below and you’re good to go too!

X,

Liz

Why are you still single?

You could lie:

1. I’m seeing someone but he’s in… Yemen… for business…

2. It’s to see how many dogs I’ll adopt out of desperation.

3. Nobody on Tinder has swiped right on me in 8 months.

You could be honest:

1. I just haven’t found the right one and I refuse to settle for anything less than that.

2. I want to focus on my career at this point in time.

3. Your marriage scares me.

4. I am my best lover.

You could redirect the attention:

1. Probably the same reasons as my brother. Ask him!

2. Why are you still single?

3. Single and ready to mingle! Know anyone suitable?

4. Have you tried these cookies?

Or you could just start crying.

What’s your salary now?

You could lie:

1. I get paid exposure. It’s supposed to be really good.

2. It’s peanuts. Literally - I get a bag of peanuts every month.

3. (Laugh) I don’t want to brag but I’m just about the most severely overworked and underpaid employee you’ll ever meet.

4. Wait. I’m supposed to get paid?

You could be honest:

1. I’d love to tell you but it’s confidential.

2. Enough for me to save a little, spend a little and give mum a little.

You could redirect the attention:

1. Probably the same as my brother. Ask him!

2. What’s your salary now?

3. Have you tried these love letters?

Or you could just start crying.

How’re you doing in school?

You could lie:

1. Fantastic! I go for every class and I score straight As.

2. No need for classssssssss when I’ve got swaggggggg.

You could be honest:

1. I skip most of my classes and do the bare minimum to pass.

2. Not too bad but what matters is that I do my best.

You could redirect the attention:

1. Probably the same as my brother. Ask him!

2. How are you doing in school/at work?

3. Have you tried this cake?

Or you could just start crying.

Did you gain weight?

You could lie:

1. No I’ve lost weight actually. Do you have me confused with someone else?

2. Must be the pregnancy. (Works for both guys and girls)

3. I’m on a seafood diet this year. When I see food, I eat it.

You could be honest:

1. Yes! So did you!

2. I am more than the numbers on a scale. I am more than the pineapple tarts I’ve eaten today.

You could redirect the attention:

1. Probably the same as my brother. Ask him!

2. Did you gain weight?

3. Have you tried the bakwa?

Or you could just start crying.

When are you getting married?

You could lie:

1. I don’t believe in the institution of marriage.

2. I’m already married.

3. I have to wait for my boyfriend to come back from Yemen…

You could be honest:

1. When? When I actually get a boyfriend.

2. When? When we’ve saved up enough… Unless you’d like to sponsor the wedding…

You could redirect the attention:

1. Probably after my brother. Ask him!

2. When are you getting married?

3. Have you tried the kueh lapis?

Or you could just start crying.