[LMB] AKICOTL: OT: A Matter of Manners

Eric Oppen ravenclaweric at gmail.com
Sat Apr 4 17:47:45 BST 2020

This touches on an old pet peeve of mine.  I'm pretty straightforward
myself (being a guy, I'd say it goes with the territory) and disliked
guessing games even when I was a kid.  My take is: "if you want something
from me, for the gods' sake, ASK ME!"

My mother had the irritating habit of "suggesting" that I do something, and
taking instant offense if I didn't leap to do her bidding.  She would also
insist on using indirection and hints to get me to do things, not realizing
that I do not grok hints as a rule.  You would THINK that having literally
known me all my life, she would have figured this out, but oh, no, not
her!  Having had a father, a brother to whom she was very close, many
boyfriends, a husband of many years, two sons, and

This also hindered me in other areas.  Some years ago, a woman I'd been in
junior high and high school was gently ribbing me about girls we'd known
who'd have been very interested in me.  I told her that I hadn't had any
idea they'd felt that way.  She allowed as how girls that age tend to think
guys should be able to read their minds.  I just  stopped...and gave her a
LOOK.  Then I quietly asked her how she'd have liked it, then or later,
knowing that she had absolutely NO privacy from me...that every last
intimate detail of her life was mine to know at my whim, as easily as
picking up a newspaper.  She went pale and said that I had a very good
point.  Looking back on those years, I can see that one girl, in
particular, was sending what she probably believed to be very clear signals
that she was interested.  I do regret not picking up on them, but she'd
have been much better just cornering me somewhere and telling me that she
was in plain English.

On Sat, Apr 4, 2020 at 10:30 AM Marc Wilson <marc.wilson at gmx.co.uk> wrote:

> On Sat, 4 Apr 2020 08:45:05 +0000 (UTC), Raye Johnsen via Lois-Bujold
> <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk> wrote:
> >This is something my mum and I are arguing about, and I wanted to ask if
> this is just my family, or if it really is standard.
> My mother was the same. :)
> >My mother never outright asks for anything.  Mum is a Boomer (I'm on the
> borderline between Gen X and Gen Y) and she says that she was taught by her
> mother (who went through the Depression) that it was rude to straight-up
> ask for something - that you mention something like, "Oh, a cup of coffee
> would be nice," and then go on with
> the conversation, and wait to be offered a cup. This is apparently so that
> if a person doesn't actually have whatever is asked for, they don't have to
> be embarrassed by admitting, "No, I don't actually have any of that."
> >I'm on the autism spectrum, and if I'm not directly focused on the coffee
> part of the conversation, I don't perceive it as a request.  So when she
> suddenly says, "Hey, I asked for a cup of coffee ten minutes ago, where is
> it?", I'm all, "What? You didn't ask for a cup of coffee!"  And she didn't
> - she implied, with higher or lower
> levels of broadness.  She does concede that the younger members of the
> family don't perceive it as rude to outright ask or be asked for something.
> >The question is, is this just how my own family manners are, or is this
> an expression of general manners for a particular age group?
> It's not purely an age thing. It's also to an extent a *female* thing,
> because boys were raised to demand what they're entitled to, and girls
> to wheedle Daddy.  It's slowly dying out, I think, but women who come
> straight out and ask for what they want are still judged more harshly
> than men, especially by people in the previous generation and on the
> political right.
> I have this battle somewhat, as my BestBeloved finds it hard to shake
> this off (she jokes, in a "ha-ha only serious" way) that I'm a better
> feminist than she is.  I keep trying to persuade her not to hint, but to
> ask.  But it's an uphill struggle.
> See also that sneaky little word "Just".   "Just" is a slave word.
> --
> "Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to
> prayer." -  Mark Twain
> --
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