Michele got this rant started. First, definition of cocktail party is in order. In this case, I am speaking of a group of people who are not all in the same "inner circle". They may have shared friends, but not everyone has buried a body for everyone else. It's the old fashioned kind of get together they used to have in those black and white movies, pre-reality television.
In such cases, I believe a person should observe the following rule-Nothing more personal is to be discussed than ANYONE would feel comfortable discussing with the least known person in the crowd. While YOU may be bosom buddies with everyone, person A and person B may have just met. Another good rule is to ask yourself this: "would I feel comfortable addressing this question to everyone in the group?"...
Case in Point-
Question 1-If you wouldn't say "did everyone have sex last night?" then for the love all that is holy, don't ask me if "I got lucky". I had a lady boss get mad at me one time when she asked me that over the water cooler and I replied "how many orgasms did you have last night?"
Question 2-How much weight have you lost? If there are more than two people in the room, chances are the person who is now on the spot does not want to say. Losing weight is often thought of as a cause for celebration-but socially it is a tight rope over the fiery pit of hell. The more weight you've lost, the harder people who didn't know you when you were heavier will try to imagine what you did look like. If it's a big crowd, chances are there is someone who looks like you used to look who is now wanting to crawl under the carpet and die and you know, without a doubt, exactly how that feels.
Question 3-Do you want/are you going to have children/more children? There is no way to answer this question that isn't going tick someone off or hurt someone's feelings. If you don't know the person well enough to already know the answer, you shouldn't be asking the question. RUDE RUDE RUDE
Question 4-Did that tattoo hurt? That is the dumbest fucking question on the face of the earth, and I am still asked that at least once a week.
Question 5-What kind of deal did you get on that.......whatever. Car, house, job offer. People who know you'd tell them to get stuffed in private tend to ask that in social situations because they think you won't tell them to get stuffed in public. I say, tell them to get stuffed.
Question 6-Would you donate to.....Good grief, talk about putting someone on the spot.
Question 7-Why aren't you eating/drinking? There is no good answer for this one, maybe you don't like the cake, maybe you are on a diet, maybe you ate before you came to the party. I loathe the food police. Everyone loathes the food police. Why don't they just shut up?
Question 8-Do you really like .......? I am often asked if I "really like snakes." and I always say "yes, I do." I can give you a summary of the things I like about them, but that won't change your mind, I don't want to change your mind and somehow I feel put out by the entire exercise. So, if you really don't like......., then don't ask someone you know does if they do. It's silly and the REAL point of the question is for you, the asker, to go on on and on about what you don't like about......I am often tempted to respond with "do you really like anal sex?"
Question 9-Age. Uh uh. If you are over 8 years old, don't ask.
Question 10-Location-as in, what part of town do you live in, etc. Oklahoma City is really awful about that-Northside, Southside, Norman, Edmond, East, West.
Question 11-Any medical procedure question.
Question 12-Any bodily function question. Although, in my fantasy, someone asks a rude medical procedure question and I belch loudly on command and say "why do you ask?" Alas, I lack the talent, but so help me, if the right moment ever presents itself......
Question 13-Are you wearing panties? (I think this a perfectly acceptable counter-question to any of the questions above)