Yes, you, random blog follower/internet Connoisseur.
Welcome to Austraaliens fantastical Wednesday blog post featuring your host (me) blunt, vertically challenged, Australian, do-gooder, and the ridiculous and often troublesome existence of my being.
Shall we begin?
Now, take off your pants and lie down on this slab of marble. The werewolf mechanic will be here shortly.
Oh no wait!
That’s the opening line to the second chapter of what is sure to be my new Erotic BestSeller, ‘Werewolf mechanic, howls at your moon’…
I’ve completely digressed from where I was going.
Let me just re-fill this pipe and we’ll begin again.
Now where was I.
Passive Aggressive Torontonians.
Now, I’m a fairly mild-mannered person when it comes to most things. If I’m angry, you’ll know – because I will punch you. If I’m sad, you’ll see because my face will look like this:
My emotions are fairly close to the surface.
That, and I’m blunt. Maybe too blunt. But the great thing about bluntness is, it saves time and avoids confusion.
I find that Canadians in general, are not very blunt.
This has caused a fair amount of cultural-lost-in-translation moments since I first arrived here six months ago. (Oh you Canucks and your polite-ish ways. How do you stand your maple syrup selves?)
But the thing that most gets to me, is the way people get angry here. No one gets REALLY shouty angry. It’s more quiet, snarky, commenty angry. And quiet angry frightens me. Quiet angry is from childhood, the moment before your parents would EXPLODE with rage.
Side story: When I was a (spoilt) child and my brothers and I were all under the age of ten, my mother made and painted for us the most INCREDIBLE child-sized table and chairs. The four chairs, (if I remember correctly) were shaped and painted like Jasmine, Peter Rabbit, The little mermaid and Winnie the Pooh. The table was painted beautifully and had corresponding character friends in the corners of the table (Flipper was one I can remember…the others not so much). Despite being somewhat of an underrated artist, my mother was also working as a radio announcer on a breakfast show, raising us three scally wags, looking after the house, 2 dogs, cat, 2 birds and being married to my lovely father who was going through somewhat of a midlife crisis (pretty much every 3-5 years) (dyeing hair blonde, buying motorcycles). I now realize that my mother would have only been a few years older than I am now, having gotten the babies popped out nice and early.
Side story continued: My Mum was/(is) a yeller. When she is ANGRY.YOU.FUCKING.KNOW.IT. She wasn’t really a smacker, but getting shouted at on the occasions we were naughty, was like a smack to the eardrums. Fine. So I can deal with shouting, and while those times were scary, they were hot air and tears and then kisses and forgiveness. It was the quiet, simmering anger, the kind that only came out rarely in my mother, that terrified the living shit out of me. When my Mum was REALLY angry, back in the day, and we’d be sitting at our awesome table, bickering and being little pricks, my Mum would calmly and quietly go to the kitchen drawer, take out the wooden spoon (a symbol of smack-time) and put it on the table in front of us.
No yelling. Just a quiet danger.
Our instant reaction would be to sit up amazingly straight, stop whatever nonsense or tom-foolery we had previously been about, and resume dainty, quiet table manners, like the ladies we would all become.
That is how I feel in Toronto sometimes. Not like a lady with impeccable table manners, but rather as a child at a Disney table who has been presented with a calm quiet fortune of wooden doom.
Today for example, taking the crowded subway downtown because it’s wet and cold, everyone is squished into the car. I flatten myself so people can get past me that want to get out and a women with a bad hair-cut says passive-aggressively “Good job not moving!” as she shoulder charges me out the door.
I never bother to reply, but today I stared at her pallid gross face and said with all the haughtiness I could muster “There’s no need to be rude.” Did I feel good? Not especially. I’ll never see that woman again. Okay maybe I felt a little good. Bitch, that’s right I got the last word in.
There really IS no need to be rude.
She could have said “excuse me” or “could you move please” or “If I could just get by..”
She could have been angry, own that anger, go for it and say “MOVE FOR GOD’S SAKE” or “FUCKING MOVE” or “EXCUSE ME WALRUS YOU’RE IN THE WAY.” I mean I would have gotten it. It’s Wednesday, number one, it’s cold outside but SWELTERING in the subway, and in general if you’re a middle-aged woman with a terrible sense of style, well I mean…you’re just generally going to be mad.
Grow a pair and say what you mean. That, or don’t take the f-ing subway!
Now excuse me while I sip brandy beside my TV which is set on the log fire channel.