I spent a fun 4th of July with my brother Chris and his family picnicking and watching fireworks. In their backyard at lunch, my adorable 8 year-old niece sat next to me at the picnic table and asked matter-of-factly, “So, Uncle Jonathan, how old are you now?”
I paused a long moment, then mumbled into my veggieburger, “Thirty-ish.” Fully expecting her to be agog at my ancientness (and near falsehood), I was a bit surprised when she calmly continued her line of questioning.
“Thirty-ish.” She pondered my answer. “And are you dating anyone?”
“Um, no. Not right now.” Was my mom paying her for this?
“Why aren’t you dating anyone?” She continued professionally, as if she was interviewing me for a job or psychoanalyzing her couched patient.
“Umm, I dunno. It’s…it’s complicated.” I knew it was a terrible answer, but she’s only 8, so…
“Well, any girl would be lucky to have you.”
“Oh, thank-you, sweety.” What a sweet child. Smart, too. She probably gets that from spending time with me.
“Of course, you’re NOT getting any younger.” And THERE it was. The niece giveth. The niece taketh away.
The secret word is inquisition
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