Rules (who makes them?) are a landmine you stand on at your peril.
Sometimes I wish I owned ‘Debrett’. Then I would RE-write the rules. Obviously I’d keep the chapter in about how to address people with titles. Mainly because I don’t have a clue and have to look it up myself. Dear Sir doesn’t cut the mustard. Funny about the English: On one hand they are informal, on the other they are so formal as to amounting to ‘anal’. I myself blame boarding schools so popular here. If you send your child away at age eight don’t be surprised at the outcome.
Take names. The English think nothing of addressing you by your first name . You only met them a minute ago. They don’t even ask. There are hoards of English people if you asked me what their surname is I’d draw a blank. Haven’t got a clue. I don’t particularly mind. Mainly because I really don’t care what anyone calls me. Call me Ingrid if you must. As did the head of an airline company I did a short stint at. To him I was Ingrid. Fine. Whatever. To my mother-in-law I was Marlene Dietrich. And before any of you start calling me Ingrid (in an attempt to be mischievous) don’t: It’s one of my middle names so it won’t needle me. What’s the other one? HA! Let’s just say it’s not Gertrude.
This is the point in this post where I have to decide which way to go. It’s the trouble with free style writing. Or what GG (who called me rather sweetly ‘Urse’) would refer to as Urse’s ‘river of consciousness’. May the damn burst.
It’s why I love the discipline of essay writing. You can’t just be all over the place. Well, you can. But it would make crappy reading. Some of you, not least Renee, know how important it is to structure any piece of formal writing. Like a general you need a plan. No good to just invade Poland nilly willy. Same with architects. They even have ‘plan chests’. I am no architect. But I’d love to have a plan chest. Found a beauty, a few years ago, just at the moment when my bank manager was forced to withdraw his favours because computers now override a personal decision. I felt for him. Talk about being emasculated.
Yes, some people look at a Mink coat, I look at a plan chest with longing in my heart. Though, admittedly, I once did look at a white Mink coat too (Koenigs Allee, Duesseldorf). It wasn’t the price tag which was stirring. It was the sheer beauty of it. Still remember the moment. That it was at night only added to dramatic effect. It’s one of the reasons I love the film “Pretty Woman”. When Richard Gere gives Julia Roberts free rein on his credit cards it’s nothing to do with money at all. It’s that most delicious feeling of being taken care of. The last sentence will go down well with feminists. But it’s not about feminism, it’s about chemistry, order of nature. Says the woman you’ll have to hold down to accept so much as a compliment – graciously.
So, Sweethearts, the above is a fine example how to be all over the place, not stick to one subject, but imitate the gushing of a steep mountain waterfall in Bavaria.
It was 0303 hrs GMT when I wrote the above. Then I forgot. And yes, thanks for asking: I had slept and was as good as new. Now the day has worn on.