Being polite is very British, would you agree? I have to blame something on my inherent need to say sorry all of the time. I apologise for things constantly and for things that aren’t actually my fault. Recent examples of this are:
- When the lady in her massive 4 x 4 came and parked far too close to my car. Then proceeded to whack her door into the side of my car as her children got out. What did I do? Did I reprimand her for slamming the door into my car? Perhaps I told her that really she should leave a gap bigger than a matchstick next time she parks. No, I apologised for being in the way. I said it was my fault. When actually I meant – “it’s your fault that you have no spatial awareness and can’t park your car.” I was immediately full of self-loathing for being so gutless.
- In MacDonald’s (sssh don’t tell anyone, the yummy mummies will be appalled) one of the assistants started to make a fuss of Youngest. This was ok at first. It started with talking to her, which Youngest was ok with. But then he proceeded to get her a balloon. Again Youngest was happy with this. What she wasn’t happy with was when he started rubbing the balloon over her head to make her hair stand-up. Youngest told him to go away. Who blames her, she had a stranger that was invading her private space. Did I explain this to him. No, I apologised for my daughter being rude.
The word sorry trips out of my mouth so frequently that it actually drives Mr C insane. I think that part of it comes from being overly polite and wanting to keep everyone happy. Which translates into ‘I am a walk over”. I worry about offending anyone so when in doubt I say ‘sorry.’ But actually that can make living with me and knowing me pretty tricky. So for Mr C and my friends I have come up with a translation dictionary that will help them in future.
- When Mr C asks me what I would like for my birthday and I politely reply ‘nothing’. What I really mean….”I would really like a present but I would like you to choose it and you to surprise me with it. You had better get me something, anything even”
- When Mr C asks if I would like to go out for a meal on my birthday and I reply “I’m not fussed”. What I really mean….”of course I want to go out man, it’s my birthday! But again I want you to organise it and you to surprise me with it”.
- When I have been on a playdate which has involved my two girls beating up the hosts children, valuables being broken and expensive furniture being used as a trampoline and I say “that was great, let’s do it again”. What I really mean is…..”that was so awful that I would rather gouge my eyes out then endure another hellish playdate like that ever again. Now if you will excuse me I’m going to hide under a rock. I may be gone 10 years”
- When you bump into someone that you haven’t seen in years because you aren’t sure if you even really like them, “So lovely to see you, let’s do dinner next week”. What I really mean is, “oh god this is awkward so awkward, just say anything to get away. ANYTHING. Not that you idiot, not dinner!”
- When you have spent ages baking a cake for a friend and you exclaim “oh this, it was nothing.” What I really mean is “this took forever, I have been up since 5am icing it and now I can’t bring myself to eat any of it as it has added years to my life. So you had better eat it. You had better enjoy it. You had better tell me that you love it!”
- When you make out that you aren’t that fussed by the Tots100 MAD awards, “oh it’s nothing. I’m not fussed, I guess the recognition would be nice”. What I actually mean is “I’m far too polite to actually beg you but I would LOVE a nomination for best new blog. It would mean the world to receive a nomination. I would LOVE you forever.”
See what I did there. I sneaked it in right at the end and now I am extremely embarrassed.
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