I am inflicted with Britishness, and I think it might be terminal. It will be my undoing one day. I'm convinced that if I don't die by tripping over something electrical or accidentally setting myself on fire, I will die as a direct result of my overcompensatory politeness.
"No, you go in front of me, I'm in no hurry at all, haw haw....aaaaagh!" *taking a step back, plummets off the edge of a cliff*. Okay, I'm not too sure what I'd be queuing for on a cliff edge (ice cream?), but that's beside the point!
I'm calling it Britishness, because it sounds much more twee and adorable than "doormat" or "people pleaser." I can't help it. If I feel in any way that I am the cause of someone's bad day, no matter how indirectly, my mood plummets to my pasty Wenglish (Welsh/English - I'm a mutt) toes. So I guess you can say that my knee-jerk selflessness is selfishness, because it keeps me happy. No such thing as a selfless act, people!
It's nice to be friendly. People like it when you're polite. In fact, institutionalised politeness is what makes me love being able to say that I, sir, am a Brit! That and the tea. God, we have good tea. Oh, and Matt Smith. We have Matt Smith too.
Here are some lovely things about British behaviour:
* We spontaneously form queues everywhere, and are sweetness and light to anyone who sticks to the laws of the queue. Off with anyone's heads who dare cut in, though. Prepare to be tutted at viciously, lawless heathens!
* Tea is the answer to everything. Had a bad day? Aww. Have some tea. Been fired? Tea will make you feel better. Lost all your limbs and one eye in a freak queuing accident? There's a tea for that....hang on, let me get a straw...
* That jiggy little dance we do when two people are walking towards each other and oops! We both went the same way to get past each other! Oops, we seem to have done it again! Look at us two sillies. Oops! Tell you what, you go first. No, no, after you! Oops! People have starved to actual death this way.
These things can be quite sweet in isolation. Trouble is, I take it too far. It's innate. I know how un-sassy it sounds, and how narked off High Priestess Beyonce would be to see me allowing myself to be walked all over in the way that I do, but it's so deeply ingrained in me that if my self deprecating, clunking martyrdom was taken from me, I would be nothing but a cake-eating, brainless drone (shut up, I'm not quite there yet!). I am motivated by the desire to please (And by cake). Here's how I can sometimes take the politeness thing a step or twelve too far:
- Kiss matching. My sister recently pointed out that I am a shameless kiss matcher. If someone sends me kisses at the end of a text, I have to match the number of kisses in my reply exactly. This stems from a fear of looking either too cold or too needy. For this reason, sister dearest now sends me kissless texts, followed by messages with streams of xxx's, purely to fuck with my head because I don't know what's coming next. It's driving me insane.
- I'm a Yes Man. A knows this. And while he doesn't push it too far by going down the chauvinist twatbag route of "Make me a sandwich, wench maiden!" (I draw the line at wench. *eye twitch*), he take the slyer route of unsubtly talking about tea a lot.
A: "You know what I fancy? Some tea."
*silence as A and I continue what we were doing (generally: A shouting "cunts!!" at people who aren't playing nice on Call Of Duty, me staring into the Abyss...otherwise known as the iPad), knowing full well what my internal monologue is saying to me underneath my fringe*
Internal monologue: He's not asked for tea, so it doesn't count as him asking you to do something. And he makes all the food because we pretend to be allergic to cooking. It'd be a nice thing to do...
Becky: No, internal monologue, I always make the tea! It's high time he makes the tea. And he knows that if he says "tea" I'll end up making some. He already thinks he's Derren Brown. Crafty git! Not this time!
Internal monologue: What's that feeling? Is that a craving? You want tea now that he's mentioned it, don't you? Tea is like crack to you, isn't it?
Becky: No. I could quit any time. It's not a craving.
Internal monologue: I think it is, you know...
Becky: Ahh, for fuck's sake!
Becky out loud: I'm fancy some tea. Do you want some?
A: What a great idea. Thanks! *hands me mug* Cunts!! Stop camping, I can see you hiding behind that wall!!! *rapid gunfire*
- I apologise to people who walk into, shoulder barge or run over me (latter not happened in reality, but I'm confident that "sorreee!" would be my immediate reaction).
- I will agree to any request made by work, especially if it's done in a nice way. Beck, will you would six days for us this week? Sure! Beck, will you stay a bit later to help finish off this paperwork? Yeah, why not! Beck, will you sign over your soul and all your belongings to the company for nothing in return bar eternal damnation and a regular ritualistic bumming by the dark lord himself? Of course, I will! Where do I sign?
I don't really have a conclusion to this post... Can anyone tell me what I need to write to sum it up? I await further instruction.
On a serious note, I'd love suggestions for topics from any readers out there in the big wide blogosphere! Leave me a comment and let me be your verbal puppet! Dance puppet, dance! *dances like a Thunderbird*
p.s if you are old enough to know what a Thunderbird is, you are awesome.