Aunt Angela is dismayed

Anmaru: So, Aunt Angela, you look more than usually disapproving. What’s up?

Aunt AngelaAunt Angela: Well, dear, I overheard a perfectly pleasant person yesterday asking a most personal question of a former colleague. “So, when’s the honeymoon?” she asked in a jocular fashion. The former colleague indicated that there had as yet been no discussion of a wedding and that therefore notions of a honeymoon were decidedly premature.

Now, I don’t know about you, dear, but I was brought up with a clear understanding that one does not ask personal questions pertaining to health, relationships, family planning, or salary. (Asking “What do you do?” was felt to be in poor taste. Certainly, such a question can put the independently wealthy and the temporarily unemployed alike at a disadvantage. I always advise people to stick to interests and hobbies rather than paid occupation when making light conversation. And let us always remember that when someone asks “How are you?” they are normally hoping for a short, positive response—only truly close friends want more detail.)

But now back to the interpersonal issues. Of course, dear, one should never assume (a) heterosexuality; (b) if single, a desire to be married; (c) if married or cohabiting, a desire to have children. Such behaviour is insensitive at best.

Anmaru: Aunt Angela, I am so pleased to have you straighten me out once again. Allow me to freshen your drink.

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2 thoughts on “Aunt Angela is dismayed

  1. We are pleased to have such a reliable guide through the labyrinth of proper social behaviour. Why only the other day we found ourselves in the company of a friend who had recently been proposed to. Naturally we offered to help plan the wedding; a subtle tightening of this friend’s upper lip prompted us to segue rather clumsily to other matters (“Oh look! A robin! Did you know that…”). If only you had been there, Aunt Angela, to save us from ourselves.

  2. Dear collective:

    Aunt Angela has asked me to convey to you her thanks for your kind comments, and her congratulations on your social sensitivities. It would be a kinder, gentler world if everyone were to pick up on cues such as a tightening of the upper lip. In fact, she thinks teaching the tightening of the upper lip, the raising of a single eyebrow, and — that essential facial expression — a moue of distaste ought to be part of the elementary curriculum.

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