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Wednesday, 6 May 2009


British people keep telling me I'm very polite. In fact, my girlfriend complained that I'm too polite. I keep thinking this would be a shocking revelation to people at home, who seem to have rather the opposite idea about me. I've come up with a few possible reasons for this change:

Dry humor. The British sense of humor involves a lot of sarcasm. Maybe they're all saying this because it's not true. Alas.

I've changed. Maybe with age I've gained a bit of tact and whatnot?

Cultural differences. Maybe Americans just have much higher standards than Brits. Also, I'm not exactly hanging out with the royal family. And, to be fair, it seems they would have even lower standards.

Gendered expectations. It's possible that people expect a lot less from men than women. Or perhaps what they expect is just different and I did not conform to the standard female model and my laxish manners are good enough for blokes? I find this explanation both likely and annoying. Casual sexism is bad, people!

Anyway, none of this pondering matters to those of you who remember the good old days when I used to run around in my underwear while belching as loudly as possible. Ah, good times. I miss them.


Crinis said...

a) ensure that they aren't "taking the piss" Since you are an American by birthright, you may (tactfully) threaten them with gun violence if they are (they love this, especially as they slip out the back door as fast as their lories can take them).
b) understand that any man (or frankly, any woman) who acts with a modicum of decency in the modern age (modicum referenced to about 1963), will be deemed polite in all company.
c) you hold doors, don't you?

Charles Céleste Hutchins said...

I'm not sure how they define decency, sine there are respectable institutions with names like "the hardon."

But I'm not a door holder, as a lot of people find it irritating. Unless the person behind me has their hands full.

steph said...

interesting point.