Sunday, 1st November 2020

The middle-class guide to never quite saying what you actually mean

ARE you able to express yourself naturally and directly with no hint of apology? How dreadful. Here’s how to politely fail to say anything in a middle-class way instead: 

If you want something

Under no circumstances admit it. If offered a second helping of lasagne at dinner when you’d like nothing more than to plunge your face into the dish, try a casual ‘Only if there’s enough for everybody!’ Then apologise profusely while receiving it, while eating it and for an hour after.

If you’re angry

It’s unhealthy to keep anger pent up inside you, so release the pressure valve with biting phrases such as: ‘Don’t worry, that’s absolutely fine’ or ‘It’s so easy to eat somebody else’s lunch by accident, isn’t it? I know I’ve done it!’

If you dislike someone

Don’t like someone? Express it by being overtly thoughtful towards them. Nothing tells Mel from accounts you can’t bear her like saying ‘It’s such a shame Mel couldn’t be on this call’ or ‘Shall we plan surprise birthday drinks for Melanie?’ Oh, she’ll know.

If you want to know something

Only low-lives gossip. You merely have an interest, so find out what’s happening with Brian and his flash new Audi and dedicated parking space with non-questions like ‘Aren’t you pleased for Brian? I am’ or ‘Brian, eh!’ followed by peals of unexplained laughter.

If you hate something

Hate is a strong opinion and should not be expressed under any circumstances. So if faced with an activity you abhor like bowling, first agree enthusiastically then add ‘Though I am a teensy concerned about my torn rotator cuff’ or ‘You can take your own shoes, can’t you? No? Oh, what a shame I can’t come.”

If you fancy someone

Burning with desire and desperate to f**k? You’ve no choice but to keep them guessing.  Even when alone in a bedroom, confuse them by saying ‘So what happens now?’ or ‘Mmm, I’m just thinking about that lovely roulade from yesterday.’ That should avoid any gauche implication that you want a good, hard boning.