A very good Friday evening from the Lifestyle Support Guru! Once again, I am here to help you manoeuvre your way through the maze of troubles and difficulties that some people laughingly like to call ‘Life’, but which I prefer to refer to as a ‘maze of troubles and difficulties’.
In my Last Post (which also happens to be the name of a micropub in Derby!), I said that I would be taking about TRANSLATIONS. Do not worry – those of you who think you have very little linguistic ability will have little trouble with these, since they don’t really involve any foreign languages. Obviously, as the LSG, I have few difficulties picking up other languages, but I realise that not all of you have this facility (even my beloved Deputy LSGs, Debbie and Sue, who still have many stages to go before they can hope to achieve my level of near-perfection), but these TRANSLATIONS are to do with understanding what other people mean when they come out with what seems, at first sight (or, rather, hearing), a perfectly harmless statement in English.
Firstly, once again, as I have done so many times before, I must ask you to imagine that you have a sibling and, preferably, one whom you haven’t seen for a number of years (let’s say three and a half, for the sake of argument) because he has been in foreign parts (again for the sake of argument, we’ll say Australia). Now, you kindly agree to put this sibling up in your own home temporarily, expecting no recompense (the occasional meal out, perhaps) apart from an eternal expression of gratitude whenever he sees you. A little bowing and scraping and doffing of caps wouldn’t go amiss either.
Would you like me to do anything in the garden while I’m here and have some time on my hands before I start my new job?
Your garden looks incredibly untidy and overgrown, even for winter. And why have you still got the sun loungers out on the lawn?
I suppose the spiders in your house are quite large?
There are an awful lot of dead flies caught in the cobwebs in the fanlight above the front door; don’t you think you should get your feather duster out and get rid of them?
Second scenario – you have arranged to go out for lunch with a friend (let’s call her Karen, for the sake of argument) whom you have known for years but whom (‘whom’ is currently my favourite grammatical word) you haven’t seen for a few months. When she walks into the restaurant, your jaw drops when you see how much weight she has lost. (She CYCLED to your lunch date – CYCLED!!!!).
The first thing you say is:
Good God! You’re not going to lose any more, are you?
You absolute b**ch! You look stunningly slim!
Third scenario – and the MOST IMPORTANT! This applies to males and females alike, because we have all been guilty of it at some time or other. NEVER, NEVER, NEVER say to someone you haven’t seen for quite some time: “You’re looking well.” This phrase has several TRANSLATIONS, depending on whether the person saying it is male or female.
Lovely to see you. You’re looking well.
Good god, you’ve put on a whole load of weight since I last saw you three days/weeks/months/years/centuries ago.
Lovely to see you, daaahling! You’re looking REALLY well! (Note the addition of ‘really’, which makes the comment doubly barbed.)
Good god, you have REALLY turned into a blue whale since I last saw you three days/weeks/months/years/centuries ago!
Do NOT – I repeat ‘Do NOT’ – EVER say ‘You’re looking well’ to ANYONE. The TRANSLATION can only ever be misunderstood and you will go into a steep spiral of depression, resulting in you opening a bottle of wine with which to drown your sorrows and make sure that you look even more like a blue whale next time you see that person.
Enjoy the weekend, dear followers – you’re all looking REALLY WELL!!