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Another difficult day of being british

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Another difficult day of being british

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I had a conversation with my mother yesterday*, in which we discussed the fact that she had recently told a family friend what she thought about them (short version: nothing good).  And why the friend had not appreciated this - and by extension, why my mother should perhaps stop telling people what she thinks because that is radically reducing my parents' small pool of viable friends.

My mother maintains this is unhelpful british repression and that people need to express themselves.  And other people will ultimately appreciate the truth.  I'm not sure about this.

And then my best friend sent me this - http://www.tickld.com/x/30-things-british-people-say-vs-what-we-actually-mean-9-is-perfect - with that equally complimentary and damning phrase I saw this and thought of you.

So, some of my recent adventures in britishness:

1. On being given the wrong meal in a restaurant (Cote, where I go all the time.  All the time.  It doesn't matter): thank you, that's perfect. Inner monologue: this is the worst thing you could have given me on a plate, but I won't complain, I will just come back here month after month and stare at you with reproachful eyes until one day you dive headfirst off Richmond bridge without really knowing why.

2. Getting onto a bus at the end of a long queue of people, all of whom have tried and failed to use their oyster card on a clearly broken oyster reader: *presses card repeatedly against clearly broken card reader, saying sorry at regular intervals*  *driver waves me on*  sorry, is it broken?  Sorry.  Has that worked?  Is this okay?  Sorry. Curse you and your broken machine of social embarrassment and your stupid big red bus and your stupider big red face.

3. Caught in an infinite no-please-after-you cycle in a shop doorway: *sees shop is still open, thanks the gods of retail, dashes towards shop with uncustomary hope in eyes, prepares to go through door - pause - confronted with another human, equally eager to go through the entry portal into shop - holds door open, half in, half out of shop - we both say no-please-thankyou-after-you-please until I am 96.  I give up and leave.* I hate you, fellow ten-minutes-before-closing shopper, I hate you wish a passion that will burn in my soul until I am withered and dead, and into the next world.  You are all that stood between me and delicious macaroni cheese with leeks, and I swear on Nigella I will be between you and every whimsical not-just-comfort-food-it's-M&S-comfort-food meal that you try and use to fill the gaping void in your meaningless life until we both expire.

So, basically, I suspect my mother is right.  But will not tell her this. Except quietly in my own head, in blue font to demark the difference from my outward social-convention-dictated speech.

* This is not the story.  I have on average 2-3 conversations with my mother a day.  Most of them are roughly like this: hello.  hello.  what are you doing?  trying to have an independent adult life.  that's not going to work out.  okey dokey.  so, the cat did a thing, it was funny, let me describe it to you in great detail and possibly email you some pictures of it..... 
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