A growing epidemic is affecting Britain: indecision. No-one knows what to do anymore. A friend of mine, A, doesn’t know what to do with her life. She has been living with the same guy for the last seven years but they don’t know whether to get married or not. She doesn’t know whether to have kids or a career. And when you don’t know here, you do nothing. You just carry on. They call it business as usual over here.
It means that you have to ignore the fact that you don’t know and you pretend that everything is fine. It feels a little bit like there is a pink elephant in the room and no-one is allowed to talk about it. Some people watch their lives passing by because of this disease.
And don’t even think about mentioning that you sort of feel that there is a problem. It is rude. People will stare at you and look completely surprised. I learned it when, at primary school, I dared to ask what the problem of the little boy with serious behavioural difficulties was. What behavioural difficulties? Well, he was chewing electrical cables. Oh really? It felt as if I was completely mad. That said, a couple of weeks later, I was taken aside by another mum and told (or rather whispered) that he had a mild version of autism. Well, that explain it. Maybe you just have to persevere to find out what is really happening and actually make a decision?
Pretending that everything if fine is an art here. It is all about acting as if you were happy, smiling, in the hope that it will come true eventually. When a rude customer assistant gives you a hard time because he is too lazy to fetch the carrier bags, you must pretend that he is friendly, even if you hesitate to make a formal complaint. No wonder customer service here is appalling.
It is all about not to make a fuss, even if you are boiling inside. If things get really bad, well, you always have the option to say “thanks for that”, but it is only to be used:
1. With the right tone,
2. If you are extremely angry,
3. And if you are still hesitating to make a complaint.
This disease is highly contagious. I know friends who have been renting the same house for more than 20 years because they couldn’t decide whether they should buy it.
I now need to do my grocery shopping for the week. I can’t decide whether to take the car or the Tube. I might be getting the disease too… To be or not to be?… That is the question!
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London