Goodbye airs and graces. Goodbye British-ness

14 Sep

I have seen three couples arguing in the streets today. Three! Not just having tense conversation in stage whispered tones. But arguing, really arguing. Picture the girl crying, tears and snot streaming. Ranting passionately, angrily, whilst the bloke is standing there (in one case) arms outstretched in confusion as to why his girlfriend feels it appropriate for such a display of emotion in a such a public place.

Why couldn’t she wait until we got home? Or at least drag me down a side street for some privacy. Where are these tissues all girls are meant to carry around in their ridiculously large bags. This is embarrassing.

And it made me think.

What is it about arguing outdoors, in clear view of people? Us Brits who blush at the thought of a wardrobe malfunction or a huge, angry, red spot. Who would, on a normal day, do everything in our power to avert glares and chatter from passers-by. Passion, that’s what it is! Despair and anger that seem to override social awareness and the ability to go red in the cheeks.

But there’s something about the vulnerability of a girl’s tears and shouts being displayed so publicly. And the thing is, it was never meant to happen that way! I imagine they set out for an enjoyable day of sightseeing, until hormones or late busses, downpours of rain and tired feet turn words into accusations and ‘final straws’.

I don’t know why I’m siding with the men on this one! Maybe it’s because these blokes seemed so unsure and surprised by this display. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, and yes I’ve been there. That sense of urgency and despair, the lack of brief questioning as to whether this is really the time or place (albeit neither), the poor guy trying to satiate me whilst I make an unabridged public display. The tissues? I didn’t even bother looking.

Once the sobs subside and the post bawl headache kicks in. So do the red cheeks and the fear that someone you know may have seen you. The British-ness returns and you promise yourself that you will never ever do that again.

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One Response to “Goodbye airs and graces. Goodbye British-ness”

  1. Expressmom September 28, 2010 at 8:56 pm #

    Oooh noooo….. I was once that girl. All hysterical & inappropriate. But, worse, I was living in England, but I am American. So, here we had a lovely, quiet, stiff-upper lipped Englishman being shouted at in public by a loud lunatic with a nasally accent.

    It wasn’t pretty.
    But, I was young and full of passion!
    Now I am old & can’t be bothered to drag up all that drama! 😉

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