Stupid questions and why do we ask them?

questionsI gave my husband fair warning that I was going to write this post.  The other night I’m not sure who would have won the “stupidest question” award.

I’d said something about my bedroom and he asked me “your bedroom upstairs” and I said “no, my other bedroom in the other house I own!”  He called me a smart a** and okay, I did have it coming but I do only have one bedroom.  Then I was watching him pour a bottle of water and I said “what are you doing? HELLO, I could see what he was doing!!!!

Why do we do this?  We all do it.  We ask a question like “is that what your wearing?” You can see what the person is wearing so why would you ask that?  I’ve done this before too.  I’ve watched someone get out of a car and I’ll say “that’s a nice car, I love it, is it yours?”  No, they just got in someone else’s car and got out of it when they saw me coming.

I’ve been asked at the grocery store by the cashier if that was all I needed after they’d scanned all my stuff and I’m waiting to pay. What do they think I’m going to do? Leave all that stuff laying there and go get more groceries?  Or she’ll say “cash, check or card” when I’m standing there waiting to scan my card.

I often wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that some people are uncomfortable with silence so they just make up conversation.  I’m okay with the quiet so I don’t need to hear mindless chatter but I think my husband is a little uncomfortable with it so he’ll just ask me a question to make conversation.

How many times in your life have you been thisclose to saying to someone “NO SHIT SHERLOCK”.  “I can tell your the brightest light bulb in the box!!!!!!”  Of course most of us would never say anything like that but would love to just once.

So what are some of the dumbest questions you’ve ever asked someone?  Do any of the lame brain ones you’ve been asked come to mind?  Let’s share.

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25 Responses to Stupid questions and why do we ask them?

  1. carpcatcher says:

    Good read. I’ve seen the cashier question from another stupid question angle. When I worked as a clerk I would always ask the questomer, “Is this everything?”. A good number would look me in the eye and say, “yes” and then ask me for something else. Muh! In the case of clerks and customers I’d say it was just an automatic response. now your spouse, I have no idea….

  2. SKL says:

    I can be a really lame brain at times. I can’t think of too many meaningless questions, but I have had some dumb question-answer exchanges.

    I recall meeting an old acquaintance at the store one day. I asked how her daughter was doing. “Well, she was going to college, but then she got pregnant out of wedlock.” Me: “Oh, that’s nice.”

    At my brother’s wedding reception, meeting up with our neighbor whose teen daughter was about to have a shotgun wedding: “Are you excited about M’s wedding?” “No, I’m not feeling real festive about how it came about.”

    I’m sure there are thousands of better examples of how stupid I can be if I set my mind to it. But in my old age, I’ve been blessed with the ability to forget most of them.

    Despite my failings, I can be a little intolerant of people asking me certain standard dumb questions:

    “You’re here?” / “You’re not here yet?”
    “Are you awake?”
    “Do you have your phone with you?” (asked during a phone conversation)

    I probably said this before, but my favorite recurring question is, after learning that my kids are 3 mos apart in age, “are they [biological] sisters”? Usually the person asking realizes pretty quickly that the question makes no sense at all. Then again, there have been some people who couldn’t fathom how they could be close in age but not twins. Hey, it takes all kinds.

    By the way, “no shit, Sherlock” is one of my favorite phrases.

  3. A.C. Katzopolis says:

    Two reasons, in my opinion…

    1. Our society places great emphasis on the interactions between people– subconsciously, we all think it just a little bit rude of us to just walk by someone we know even on a very casual basis without saying anything at all. It’s the same reason that when you run into someone on the street who you knew from a long time ago, even if you were never all that close with the person, your affect would be friendly to an extreme because you’d want the person to know you actually recognised him. A question like “what are you doing?” even if it’s quite obvious is an easy way to seem interested and let the person know that you noticed him.

    and 2. People are social creatures…we naturally gravitate towards being in the company of others….Sometimes you just want that chance to talk to another person, even if it’s just asking a stupid and obvious question…

  4. Joy says:

    Thanks for stopping by carpcatcher.

    I love “No shit Sherlock.” It’s one of my favorites but I don’t say it much anymore. I try REALLY hard not to say things like that in front of the grandkids. Every now and then my tongue is bleeding.

  5. thislove25 says:

    this blog is HILARIOUS! i really enjoyed reading it!
    Yea i definetly agree people just ask stupid questions..
    i think the most stupid question people ask is when they see you sleeping and they ask you “are you sleeping?” LOL

  6. DM says:

    I filled up with gas @ my regular filling station…walk up to the counter to pay Karen the owner. She knows me, This is small town Iowa remember…knows why I’m there, anyway, she says to me… “Do you have gas?”

    I looked @ her for a moment, thought about it and said,”I think that’s a personal question.” she laughed.

  7. kwoneshe2 says:

    Guilty. I’ve asked stupid questions. LOL

    When someone asks me one, and then seem to realize they have, I say “Here’s your sign”. (Bill Engvall)

  8. Laura (LS) says:

    “Do you want the light on?” – to my blind husband. That one was last night, and I’m still rolling my eyes over it. Some habits die hard, I guess.

  9. Sue says:

    Oh, I ask stupid questions all the time, but at this moment I can’t think of a good example! I think we say “what are you doing” not because we can’t see what they’re doing but to ask why they are doing it. Did that even make sense??!!!

  10. SanityFound says:

    My name just after saying it… parantly it is so unbelievable hmph there have been many, I tend to just ignore them, those from my mother however get under my skin

  11. nikki says:

    Yes Sue that makes since, it’s more of a rhetorical question. I think everyone does it to some point. The really stupid,”here’s your sign” questions….Oh people amaze me!!!

  12. nikki says:

    Just realized some people might not know what “here’s your sign” means. Comedian Bill Engvall gives “stupid signs” out to people who ask and do not so smart things. It’s called the Here’s your sign award!!

  13. Joy says:

    Another one. Last night I heard a “scratching” type sound come from Paul’s room when we were bowling and I looked in his room and Ashley (yellow lab) was un-making his bed to crawl in. I asked him why she did that? He looked at me and said “I don’t know, I’ve asked her but she never answers!!” Then he gave me a “your a dumb-ass” look!!! Yep, I deserved it. Especially after this post.

  14. SKL says:

    Yeah, I get questions about what my kids think about this or that. I say, I don’t know, since they haven’t figured out how to tell me yet.

    Also, “why is this product defective?” I don’t know, ask the manufacturer, not me. “Why did she do this wrong?” I don’t know! This happens a lot around here.

  15. Haha, Joy, awesome post about an awesome subject. I absolutely crack up over silly questions like these, though I tend to ask them a lot too.
    I’m pretty sure questions like these just sort of pour out of our mouths before we’ve thought them through properly – we’re still trying to catch up to one thought, but to cover up for our need to think we spew something silly out of our mouths.

  16. Just a Mom says:

    My husband always asks me, “Are you watching this?” while I am sitting on the couch looking at the TV. Well, DUH!

    I am guilty of using the No Shit Sherlock phrase!

  17. Tessa says:

    Funny Joy! I love stupid questions. The person is just asking for it LOL Eric and I have fun with asking each other stupid questions all the time. Eric is especially good at it because he likes to talk just to talk sometimes. I’ll be making dinner, “So, you’re making dinner?” I got a diaper in my hand, “you’re gonna change his diaper?” Here’s your sign…lol

    JustaMom, that is so true! everyone does that.

  18. holeycheese says:

    I have to say I love stupid questions!! What else should I use all the stupid answers popping up inside me for?

    I don’t remember many examples at the moment.. though my husband’s standard stupid question is “Is that the clock?” when it’s more than he thought..

    I have to admit I give stupid answers to the kids’ stupid questions too. Because that make them think – and telling the right answer themselves. I think that helps them to develop and they learn to put words on things instead of getting everything served on a silver plate.

  19. SKL says:

    I must admit I do use meaningless questions to cover my butt sometimes. Like when I’m thinking “oh crap, they’re here, I thought I had another hour to get this done” and I say “oh, your meeting ended early?” That gets them sidetracked on a discussion of why they are early instead of asking me how much work I got done.

  20. Amy Hunter says:

    The first time I met a friend’s roommates, who were identical twins, they looked slightly different from each other because of different hair styles. I said, “So are you two sisters, or twins?” They must have gotten that a lot, because they immediately answered, “Both.”

    Also, I was once at a store looking at computers. There were nothing but computers in the aisle, and when the salesman approached me, I was looking at the tag of a computer. He asked “So, are you looking at computers?” I replied “No, I’m looking at elephants.” He didn’t know quite how to respond to that one.

    Anyway, I think such questions often come either because the person was a little confused and just didn’t phrase things right (my question about the sisters vs. twins), or they’re just trying to initiate social interaction and they start with something easy and obvious, rather than making an assumption that might turn out to be wrong. I think that’s what the sales guy was doing–he wanted to make a sale, but he wanted to sound helpful and not like he was coming on too strong. It’s just a way to break the ice.

  21. Jupiter moonchild says:

    Your blog had me in fits of laughter. The replies are all funny too.
    I say No shit Sherlock as well. Also Good Going Einstein!!

    When I was 9 months pregnant, a friend who hadn’t seen me for ages said, “Good grief are you pregnant?”
    I said “No I took a fancy to eating cushions and now I’m banned from the furniture shops!”
    Also, another pal saw me a few days later, looked at my bump and said “Haven’t you had that baby yet?”
    My reply “Yeah I had it but got pregnant again really fast!”

  22. nikki says:

    Jupiter Moonchild~~~ that’s funny! It’s crazy what will come out of a mouth before thinking!! Thanks for stopping by…hope you come back!! We love new peeps and LOVE to laugh!!!!!

  23. Jupiter moonchild says:

    That’s brill I love to laugh too.
    Thank you for the welcome.
    As for stupid questions, my bump is now a teenager and he’s a bottomless pit of stupid questions.
    I was stood in the hallway, with my coat on, my furry winter boots and had my keys in my hand and he asks “Are you going out?”
    My reply, “No I thought I’d stand here for a while and stress test my outdoor clothes!”


  24. nikki says:

    LMAO!! Kids are great huh??? Too funny!

  25. Jupiter moonchild says:

    He walked into the kitchen last night, looked in the oven, saw I had chips and veggie sausages in there and asked “what’s for dinner?”
    I told him we were having soup!
    Serves him right! lol

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