This is the first question strangers often ask me. This is the first question I often ask strangers. It's how we peg people, how we wrap our minds around them. Is it wrong? I don't think so. Is it sensitive? Maybe. Is it cultural? Definitely. In some cultures, the first question to ask is, "Who are your parents?" Perhaps this gives them an idea of what type of family they come from. In a tribe in Mexico, to ask where someone is from, the question is literally: "Where is your placenta buried?" Kind of weird, but hey. Here, we peg people by what their profession is.
Over the past year when I have met new people, the first thing I usually tell them is that I run a small business selling granola at farmers markets. Then I tell them that my ultimate goal is to open a bakery cafe and employ people transitioning out of homelessness. Then I tell them I have an infant daughter and she takes up the rest of my time. It was never, "I'm a mom, and I run a small business." It was always, "Oh yeah, and I have a little one."