Not Conversing 101

We visited an elderly aunt (in her 80s, I assume) of ours last weekend. Just like talking to kids, talking to people quite advanced in age is different as you never quite know what to expect. Having come this far, in life, I suppose, they aren't as guarded with what they say or how they say it.

Our tita (aunt) talked about this really bright kid who was requested to recite a poem for her. The little girl refused though and kept quiet. Our tita then talked to the kid and said:

"When you are being spoken to and you do not reply, that means only one of two things: either you are rude or you are stupid." (pronounced by their generation as ischewpid)

Our tita even translated what she said in Tagalog and it gets more brutal as you can read:

Kapag ika'y kinakausap at ikaw ay hindi sumagot, alin sa dalawang bagay lang ang ibig sabihin: ikaw ay bastos o ikaw ay tanga.

Anyway, the kid didn't recite the poem still. But the next time she saw our tita, she held our tita's hand and smiled at her sweetly as if to say: "Let's be friends."

So the next time you don't feel like replying or responding to someone when spoken to, think again. Then again, if you really don't feel like it - does it matter what the other person thinks?

[By Angelica Viloria | Wednesday, December 11, 2002]

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