This is a picture of me and my dear pal, Jo, at the Apothecary in Hindley Street. Truly an excellent Adelaide spot to go for virtually anything. They do a great afternoon tea. And vodka tonic. it has nothing to do with this blog, really, she just sent it to me last week and I figured it deserved a spot. Actually, I can justify it by saying I set a scene in my latest book, THE LADY SPLASH there, so it's sort of earned it's place in this blog, and in my heart. Wonderful cosy Parisian style spot (although having never been to Paris this is merely a guess).
So I over-waxed my eyebrows (again) and somehow my leftie is now two thin rows of white hairs. I guess I could pretend I have a scar - all bad guys with a heart of gold have an eyebrow scar. Only I'm not a guy, although I can be bad, but not in a cool way, and the heart of gold thing just got to heavy to lug around.
Hence - grumpiness.
I'm been thinking about my last little rant about bad breath, friendship, people who tell you the truth. I try to tell the truth, but I realised the other day I tell lies ALL THE TIME. Yes, not just in my work life - writing fiction a while bunch of lies, obviously - but just to explain things, make things go smoother, make life simpler, or just easier for those around me. I've been editing my life since an early age so i wouldn't get into quite so much trouble when I was 12 but it's sort of stuck. But I have a couple of people who tell me the truth, sometimes quite painfully.
Mu mum is a good one for that. she's excellent at hurting my feelings and me, hers, but also she's taught me a hell of a lot of things I needed to know. Table manners for one thing. A lot of people I see have crap table manners. I'm not talking knowing your fish fork, but just not scraping your cutlery together like fingernails on a chalk board. Not licking your knife. Not shovelling your food in, This might sound like a weird conversation coming from someone who prefers to eat sandwiches and/or ice-cream for most meals, usually over the sink to save mess/washing up.
But I do go to a lot of fancy dinners and things, both for work and pleasure, and I notice this shit. I'm nosy and it drives me mad that I can't ask people really impertinient questions as to why parents didn't teach kids not to lick the knife. I'm still learning my manners of course. I am pretty bad at things, but I'm keen to learn. I just learned recently the whole 'leave your serviette on the chair' thing when you go to the loo. didn't know that one. Or that ladies should face the restaurant.
There's a lot to be said for politeness, but if you are so polite you won't tell your kids, or friends, when they're doing something that might really make them look foolish in front of others, when then I think you're doing them a disservice.
So some people, familes, friends, don't tell someone when they have bad breath, or bad table manners, or a big witchy poo hair growing out of their chin, or say the word superfluous as if it was like Superman, not one running on word that emphasises the 'fluous' buit. I used to say it like Superman and my pal Gavin told me off, and I've not forgotten it. He's excellent for that sort of thing because he's great with words and conversation in general. you should go to his bookshop - that he runs with his wife Jo, called Matilda's in Stirling, Adelaide Hills. Go now.
But I know that there's been a lot of crap press since Shakespeare wrote about shooting the messenger, but there are ways of telling people things in a nice way, making it not so much a joke, but including your own mistakes in there too, so that it's clear you don't think you're superior to them for knowing how to pronounce nonchalent' (i used to think it was NotCHAlent'. My pal from school, Louise, taught me that one...)
So the humiliations never end, but it's SO much better to have those moments with people you know and trust, than with a stranger, work colleague, potential hot date, your boss, etc.
Be a good friend, sister, mother, colleague, and tell someone, sweetly, subtely, kindly, with a little anecdote of when you last embarrassed yourself, if they turn up to work with loo paper stuck to their shoes/or trousers., or have curry breath, or just mispronounced the company name, or just didn't know lifting your bowl of soup to your mouth to get the last bit out is just a bit crap.
Be a good friends, and hopefully they'll help you out the next time. And I swear, if I have a bleeding zit on my chin , or my scarf got caught in my undies, please do tell me (don't shout it across the room, just just whisper it with a smile). I really will love you for it eventually (after the instinctive knee-jerk humilation reaction).
kb Gloomy monday but feeling cheery.
Listening to: Classic FM - I played it one day when feeling blue and my birds love it so much they sing all day to it. I turn it off - they stop. It's kind of weird and annoying, but nice if i want to learn more about the violin - which I don't.
However, I really love the interviews with Margaret Throsby (there was an excellent interview with her daughter in the weekend paper) where you get to choose the music. Last week Shaun Tan was on, and I was so jealous. he's a genius but I'd love to be able to choose the music one day.
Thinking about: How crap it is that people still think it's okay to litter.
Eating: Left over apple pie
Watching: 21 Jump Street on DVD
Wearing: jumper and socks. My wooly warms are still in storage - and until my bookcase get put in, they'll stay there. I kind of dread unpacking forty boxes of books, but at least I'll have my books back, and something warm to wear on my white white legs.
Reading: The weekend papers (i.e interstate ones...) Especially The Sunday Age - truly wonderful. I still find it extraordinary that people still read the Sunday Mail here in Adelaide. There;s just nothing in it, except some local model in scanties pretending to be a news story.
Hey, there's a p.s here. I was driving home the other night and the guy in the car next to me had a stocking over his head. Was that a Chaser style prank or a dude on his way to a burglary? I followed him for a while but I was busting for the loo and never got close enough to take down his licence plates. What would you have done?
Labels: and truth telling vs politeness