How English Ms. Mulligan, How English

\”I\’m more the sort of person who doesn\’t like hugging strangers because we don\’t know each other, so we shouldn\’t.\”

Some would call this sort of behaviour emotional repression. Others would call it being English.

14 comments on “How English Ms. Mulligan, How English

  1. I don’t like to think of the English as emotionally repressed. I prefer to think of everyone else[*] as emotionally incontinent.

    [*]for some definitions of everyone else excluding, obviously, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Thais and pretty much everyone except southern Europe.

  2. It’s what pissed me off about working with the French. I’m expected to waste half my time any function or party cheek-kissing people I don’t know. Can a firm handshake not suffice?

  3. I fondly remember the time when some metrosexual wanker I had never previously met attempted to embrace me, and got shoved away with an incredulous “what the fuck..?” from me.

  4. Tim: this is occasionally useful.

    http://bigthink.com/ideas/21262

    Sadly, after living a decade in London with (more or less) middle class friends, kissing a woman on the cheek (usually just once) has become fairly natural to me. Then I go home to Australia and they look at me oddly when I try it. The custom does not appear to have reached Brisbane yet.

  5. God, I hate the obligatory cheek smooching that’s a feature of Latin social greeting. Be a help if I could sort out the protocols between the various cultures. Is it two or three passes? Only opposite sex or are we all supposed to be doing it?
    Not too bad if ones correspondent is a pneumatic little nymphet but less enjoyable if you’re being greeted by an overweight matron, face glistening with trowelled on sweaty slap complete with day-glo carmine lipstick. Horror of horrors, I almost fell for the buss treatment from a very obvious transvestite not so long ago. Tosspot hadn’t even had a proper shave.

  6. One of the few concrete positives of living in the midwestern United States is that folks around here aren’t really into touching strangers all that much. What you get out here is a handshake at most, which is good… it’s about all I can take.

    If the Frogs ever start immigrating to Ohio in any numbers, they’ll have to learn quick or they’ll be subjected to varying degrees of violence.

  7. The odd Mwah with someone known, and preffereably continental is fine.

    What I cannot abide the extended peace during mass. I want to hunker down sitting on my hands.

  8. The custom does not appear to have reached Brisbane yet.

    Has the 20th Century reached darker Queensland yet?

  9. “darker queensland” eh?
    Already there are Sudanese ‘communities’ in Victoria – does that count?

  10. I was thinking more of Kingaroy (of J B-P infame.) Of course, with both native Aboriginals and the Torres Straight Islanders, Queensland doesn’t really need to import “people of colour” – it’s got its own.

    And, of course, the Paddington reference …

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