The other day I went on a bit of a rant (you know, for something different), this time about how ridiculously enraged I get when someone asks me "So, are you ever moving back to the US?"
For reasons that I have yet to fully understand, that question is insanely annoying to me. My main gripe with it is that it's just a really, really dumb question. It's essentially the equivalent of asking a single person "So, are you ever getting married?"
People, come on. How on earth could I possibly know how the rest of my life is going to play out, unless you lend me your functioning crystal ball moments before asking me that question? I might move back to the US. I might stay in Australia. I might move to Paris. I might do some mix of all of those, plus a few others. I really have no idea, and I don't have some silly five or ten plan in place, considering anyone who has one of those and makes it public generally looks like a jackass in five to ten years unless their "plan" involved something painfully mundane like "getting married and having kids", which pretty much anyone can do as long as they throw all their other far more interesting life plans down the shitter.
Perhaps I'm assuming the worst when someone asks me that question, but I just find it incredibly presumptuous. A more carefully worded "Do you ever think you might want to move back to the US?" is possibly a little more acceptable, although just as hypothetical. I think a "So, how's Australia?" is general enough to seem like you have a more sincere interest in my life, while also standing a pretty good chance of giving you my view on if I'm thinking I might spend much more time here.
Overall, I agree it's likely that I'm being overly sensitive, and people are probably just making small talk and that's one of the more obvious things to ask me considering they haven't seen me in years and don't actually know anything about my life beyond the fact that I now live in Australia. And so, I have agreed that going forward anyone who asks me this question is simply going to get a response of "Next Tuesday" without any further explanation, and we'll see how that goes down. Dumbasses.