Yesterday I inadvertently found myself drinking a cup of fairy liquid. I’d treated myself to a massage and as she finished she asked if I wanted a glass of water. Yes please, I’d love one! She disappeared and when she came back, as she handed me the glass a flicker of horror crossed both our faces as we realised there was a foamy head on it similar to that of a badly poured pint of lager. In that moment 2 things happened, I saw her thinking “Sh*t what have I just given her? Surely she’ll say something?” at exactly the same time as I was thinking “What the hell is that? Surely she’ll say something..?!” Amidst the perfect storm of embarrassment and politeness, neither of us said anything other than the one simple word uttered by me, “Thanks!” as I graciously accepted it and proceeded to drink…

It got me thinking, what would that drink need to have looked like for me refuse it? Where does my boundary between polite and ridiculous lie?

Maybe if it had been served up a shade of cloudy brown? But again, would it depend on exactly how brown? Murky rust? Deep chocolate? Black and fetid? What if she’d told me it was laced with nerve agent and I would die a hideously painful death within 12 hours of drinking it? I wouldn’t want to offend her after all…

I was bought up with exceptional manners, so it’s not the first time I’ve been too polite to excuse bad behaviour or prevent embarrassment;

  • Ah hey, don’t worry about it! You only burnt one side of my face with those straighteners! The 3 inch long red raw mark on my cheek is barely noticeable! It really doesn’t hurt a bit and I’m sure it won’t scar!
  • It’s fine, honestly! You only drew a little bit of blood running over my ankle with your trolley! I don’t use it much anyway, and besides I’ve got 2!
  • Oh, don’t worry about it! She only buried my phone in the garden! I didn’t need it anyway, I barely use it!
  • Oh my god! I’m so sorry you barged into me and spilt your entire pint down my top! I thought as I’d been stationary for 10 minutes you might have seen me! Maybe it’s because I’m so short – my fault! Here, let me buy you another one!
  • Oh it’s fine, really! You were only a partial cause of my nervous breakdown, but as you’re there let me hold that door open for you! And hello by the way, how are you?!
  • Oh don’t worry, honestly! It was only a tiny bit of sick, not even a full mouthful! And besides, it could have been worse, it was only your regurgitated breast milk, it could have come from the other end of your darling baby! I honestly didn’t swallow too much. and the taste’s nearly gone…
  • Sorry lamppost! I genuinely didn’t see you there!

I realise I’m sounding like a complete pushover, so let me balance this back out. There have been times (usually involving injustice) where I’ve been known to loosen my rules slightly. Shaun can attest to this, when after spending at least an hour queuing in a very hot, very small, very crowded and slightly smelly airport in Egypt, a family of about 15 bodybuilders decided to split themselves across 4 queues and all jump to the front of ours when the first one made it to the check in desk… Despite Shaun giving me the death stare (he was on the verge of dying from food poisoning and not in peak physical fitness for a mass brawl) I took on the biggest guy (who up close was a lot bigger than expected) and told him in my finest British accent to please remove himself and his family to the back of the line… Of course they moved nowhere but apologised profusely for the inconvenience (at least I think that’s what they were saying, I couldn’t understand a word). Any one of them could have squashed me with a thumb… Turns out I was right to be annoyed, we were the last to check in and ended up with the worst seats in the house – back row, next to the loos. Put it this way, Shaun definitely wasn’t the only one with food poisoning on that flight and it’s the only time I’ve actually prayed for the oxygen masks to fall from the overhead compartment…

I like to think I’m doing my bit for society by being polite. Imagine the chaos if everyone was rude – it would be a messy free for all, tempers fraying all over the place, situations being blown completely out of proportion – all that unnecessary stress! A diffuser of potentially awkward or aggressive situations is one way I would like to be remembered, someone who was polite to people not because they’re nice, but because I am. I’d hate to intentionally or otherwise hurt anyones feelings (including those of inanimate lampposts), and besides the fairy liquid didn’t taste so bad after all. Baby sick on the other hand…

5 thoughts on “It’s ok, really…

  1. Oooooh.,,…def agenda item numero uno next weekend! My ridiculously compliant self lost her shit unexpectantly this week. I want you to firmly put me in my place! 😘

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s ok to lose your shit occasionally. You don’t want it to build into a shit storm lol. You can lose your shit politely of course with an “I’m extremely cross” tone….or not lol


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