On nosiness

Hello, friends. I’m very sorry I forgot to blog last week! There was definitely something missing from my week and I couldn’t figure out what it was, but when I logged in to WordPress this morning, it hit me. I’m a dolt. A dolt without an excuse. But I’m here now, and I want to talk to you about being nosy.

My name is Y. S. Lee and I am a Nosy Parker. This pure, unadulterated nosiness was one of the many things my mother used to scold me for, as a kid (I wonder what she word she was substituting when she said “Parker”? Probably something quite different.) And I haven’t really changed.

I want to know everything. I want to know how much money supply teachers at my son’s school are paid, what an acquaintance’s surgery (discussed by 2 people as I passed by) was for, how many people are involved in digging up the main intersections downtown, why the man in front of me at the grocery store bought 60 chocolate bars (I counted: KitKats, Mars Bars, and Coffee Crisps. Twenty each), what that couple in the car parked outside my house is arguing about (it’s intense), how much it actually costs the City of Kingston to issue a parking ticket (which costs something like $16, so what do they actually make after all the admin?), and a couple of dozen other things. And that’s in the time it took me to drop off my kids at school/daycare, buy some vegetables, and come home.

It’s exhausting, being this nosy. Socially inhibiting, too: I live in fear of the day that my internal sensor/censor starts to fail on a regular basis and I begin asking entirely inappropriate questions of better-mannered strangers. I’m going to be That Crazy Lady, the one who makes everyone cringe when she walks into a room.

Put another way, I’m going to turn into a four-year-old. My son entered his “why?” phase on the day he turned two, pretty much, and it’s never actually let up. Every day, he barrages us with hundreds of questions about people, animals, the natural world, social conventions, and anything else that skips through his brain. A friend of ours came over one day, I left the room for a few minutes, and when I came back, this friend’s eyes were bulging out of his head. And really, the only difference between my son and me is that I’ve learned to repress my instincts.

The main side effect of unbridled nosiness? I think it’s why I’m a writer. I’d love to hammer out this theory with you, please: if you’re a writer, are you impossibly nosy? And if you’re a fellow Nosy Parker and not a writer, how does your nosiness work itself out?

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6 Responses to “On nosiness”

  1. Jillian Murphy says:

    You always seem so composed and not at all nosy…..although I tens to talk a lot and tell people everything, even when they aren’t interested, so you likely never have to ask me very many questions:)

  2. Dear Y.S.Lee

    This is very off topic, but I was just wondering if you know when we’ll have some news on Rivals in the City.(cover, release date, blurb, etc)
    Can’t wait to read your next book!! LOVE The Agency Series!! <3333333


    Natalia ^.^

  3. Ying says:

    It’s a facade, Jill! (And you don’t tell me things when I’m not interested. You just do a lot of interesting things.) And Natalia, I’m sorry for the slow reply: I’m still writing the book – I know, I know, it’s taking forever – so it won’t be for at least 6 to 9 months, sad to say. I hope you find it worth the wait!

  4. Oh thanks so much for replying!
    No worries, take your time :) Every wait have been totally worth the wait with The Agency series. Im sure the next one will pay off greatly too! =DDDDDDDD
    Have a wonderful week!! ^__________^ yay!

  5. Chris says:

    I have a very curious nature as well. My dad was a great source of information until he passed. So I started reading voraciously. I have come to discover that if you stop learning new things you begin to die socially (because you are boring) emotionally and physically because you need to experience new things to grow.

    Most people will forgive your curiousity anyway because they are flattered by the attention. For example, the man you mentioned at the grocery store, I would ask him if he was decorating a fancy cake with all that candy. He was probably in trouble at home and was taking lots of chocolate for a peace offering. But if you do not want to ask, you could always make up a story about it! Fodder for the grist, a wonderful trait for a writer, being curious and observant.

    I also enjoyed reading your book Traitor in the Tunnel, which I have read out of order, oh well, I’ll just read backwards. Oh and it is spring here in Texas, sometimes nippy but alas no snow this winter.

  6. Ying says:

    Hi Chris, and thanks for your comments! I agree about the need to keep learning, and can’t imagine ever wanting to stop. I think you must be more outgoing than I, though: I probably wouldn’t ever question a stranger in the grocery store! Glad to hear you enjoyed Traitor, and hope you enjoy the others as we drift unpredictably towards summer.

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