We all know the SOP: once a year, when the dong dong qiang music starts playing on loop in malls and when suddenly everyone die die must queue up for overpriced bak kwa, your next-of-kin gets really concerned about your single/dating/engaged/married/it’s complicated status or why you are still holed up in the BTO flat that you bought at 25.
Maybe they just want to embarrass you or maybe they just need white noise other than the muted background sounds from old ’90s Jackie Chan or Stephen Chow movie re-runs on free-to-air TV.
Here are your comeback lines, depending on whether you want to be naughty or nice… or Siri-ious.
1. Wah, why you so fat now?
What you say: It’s really hard to keep my weight down when you cook so well at our family dinners, Third Aunty.
What you really want to say: Seriously? Do you know what they do to people who body shame others in 2020?
What Siri would say: I don’t know what that means. If you like, I can search the web for “why do you look better now?”.
2. When are you bringing your boyfriend/girlfriend to show us?
What you say: I’m too busy with work to find one. Would you like to introduce me to anyone?
What you really want to say: When I am no longer ashamed of my relatives who ask too many questions.
What Siri would say: I’ve been told my artificial intelligence standards are too high.
3. You’ve been together for 10 years. Why still not married?
What you say: We are saving up money for our wedding.
What you really want to say: You are married and you look sad, Cousin Mui Kheng, and by the way, I saw your husband in a Geylang bar again last week.
What Siri would say: I don’t have an answer for that. Is there something else I can help with?
4. Why still no children?
What you say: We will let nature take its course.
What you really want to say: Because unlike you with your six kids, we can afford to fly business class, eat at Michelin-star restaurants and wear Chanel disposable underwear.
What Siri would say: Interesting question.
5. Why only one child?
What you say: We want to give him the best we can afford.
What you really want to say: And have six kids fight over the sale proceeds from our HDB flat 50 years later?
What Siri would say: I didn’t quite get that.
6. Why only two children?
What you say: Two is just nice – so when we go out as a family, the wifey looks after one and I look after the other one.
What you really want to say: We are already 48… can you even ask a more stoopid question than this?
What Siri would say: “How many children should you have?”.
7. Your child didn’t get into
What you say: I want her to learn at her own pace.
What you really want to say: Don’t have enough money to donate to the school and also not as free as you with time to volunteer at alumni events lor.
What Siri would say: “School is very oppressive… why home schooling is on the rise”.
8. How come you still haven’t got your own place?
What you say: We really like staying with our folks!
What you really want to say: We don’t have rich parents like yours who paid for your downpayment. Plus, who’s going to do our laundry or double-boil lotus root soup for us?
What Siri would say: “Can a millennial who earns $2,500 a month afford his own home?”
How come you haven’t upgraded to a condo like we have?
What you say: We love living near our parents in a mature public housing estate.
What you really want to say: What, and pay $500 in maintenance fees for a gym the size of a broom closet and a swimming pool the size of a long kang, like you do?
What Siri would say: “Condo moving rules in Singapore”.
Why are you an exec only? My son is six years younger than you and already a director.
What you say: He’s really talented! I’m not as capable, I guess, and I don’t enjoy the stress of being in a high-level position.
What you really want to say: Because I don’t believe in sleeping my way up.
What Siri would say: “16 Mistakes Employees Make When Trying To Get A Promotion”.
This article was first published in Wonderwall.sg.