Going to have to admit something today. I’m a snob; not about money or possessions but about manners. Things like not talking with your mouth full because I really don’t want to see it all going around in there like washing in a tumble dryer and I honestly can’t understand what you are saying through a mouthful of grub.
I could probably list two whole blog entries with things I dislike and many of you would agree with me but one that I know drives some of my friends up the wall is “being talked over”. You know the situation. You are sitting with people and in the middle of saying something, an interesting anecdote or stating an opinion when someone driving a verbal steamroller just barges in with their own contribution.
It puts the rest of the assembly in a pickle. Do they carry on listening to you or do they (out of politeness) listen to the bargee? That would mean ignoring you which is pretty rude too. I will often stop what I am saying and fix the butter-in with an interested expression, wait til they have finished and smile sweetly. “As I was saying…” before continuing exactly where I left off as if nothing had happened.
“How very interesting! Well worth cutting me off to hear.” That is when I’m getting a bit testy.
“Really?” (icy tone) I am now getting close to the point of physical violence if it’s the same person for the third time.
After this I just sit. I do not take my eyes off the bargee. I do not open my mouth. I listen to the other people talking and may invite the bargee’s comments with a lifted eyebrow but I do not say one word. It gradually sinks in to even the thickest, most ill-mannered git that they have gaffed.
I’m not very proud of this but one of the worst offenders is in my family and the record is the silent watchfulness is over an hour before someone remarked with false joviality “You’re very quiet, Ailsa.” I was finally able to say “Yes. Well as Mr. Blobby here seems to find himself much more interesting than me and has no wish to listen, I thought I’d just leave him to it.”
I must stress that I have to be pushed to the limits for this last exercise to be put into action. It is much preferable to the high-decibel, air-turning blue request to “STF up” which I am tempted to employ.