The meaning of some words can deceptive over here. Before I draw any conclusions as to what somebody really means, I have to take a step back and analyse how things were said, what wasn’t said, what the timing was, etc…And, despite my best efforts, sometimes I still don’t get it. I shamefully admit it: I have given up more than once. Sad but true.
Let me give you an example. A friend of mine has just had a baby and she is a bit overweight. She is not bothered by it at all and was even telling me the other day: “People are so nice! They all say I look well”.
That’s when it dawned on me. Over here, when you are told that you look “well”, it means, more often than not, that you are fat, or that you have put on weight. That’s what I was told after my pregnancies too. “Oh! You look well!” I did indeed look well. Really fluffy, to be honnest. It all makes sense now. How come I hadn’t noticed before? Why hadn’t anyone told me?
If you look really well (as in, not fat), then people will tell you that you look great or even “amazing”. Or they won’t say anything at all because they might be a bit jealous. How am I supposed to learn these things? I sometimes wish that there were a dictionary to spell out, in no uncertain terms, what some words mean, under each possible circumstance.
I have now established that “well” means “fat”, most of the time. That said, if you don’t know what to say to someone you haven’t seen for a long time, you can always say “Hi! You look well.” It doesn’t mean much and is supposed to make the other person happy. In short, you are just being polite.
I wonder what more I will discover, over time. It is a steep learning curve. I am becoming less and less spontaneous because I know that I have to be careful with what I say over here. This also makes me question everything I am told. Nightmare. I especially hate it when I am told that what I did was “great, but…”and then the critics start.
Oh, and as I am looking well too, apparently, I went for a 5 k run today. I might be looking well, but I am feeling good now. Really good.
Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London