English people speak softly, so when they speak loudly it freaks me out
Posted on December 31, 2009 by yankeebean
Gravy – such a simple thing.
So unassuming… so salty… so peaceful. Delivering flavour to dinners since… forever.
And yet gravy is at the centre of this particular conflict.
There we all were, Christmas Day, everyone except my lovely in-laws already parked around the table staring at the steaming stuffing like it was true love. We were chatting merrily and enjoying the prospect of eating until we were sick – I’d say the overall mood in the room was somewhere between “just listened to the Jurassic Park soundtrack” and “just won a pub quiz”.
All of a sudden, an almighty ruckus arose from the kitchen…
no no No NO NO NO NO!!! I’ve just boiled the kettle!!! Thekettlehadjustboiled! Whydidyoudothat!?! The food is all on the table GOING COLD!!
I won’t go into too much detail about the content of the ruckus, but suffice to say that it went on for about a minute and there was shouting and general shenanigans (and the unmade gravy was the primary point of conflict).
Mr Nice Guy was just grinning and shaking his head at this point – we do know that kitchen stress is all a part of the process with his family. He shot me a cheeky grin as I struggled to remain calm.
But English people yelling really freaks me out – it just seems SO out of character. My in-laws are always so chilled and quiet – no ripples on the pond, no glitches in the Matrix. So as soon as volume levels rise, I tense up like a human cramp.
If Americans yell, I just assume they’re asking something basic like “please pass the bread” or “two tickets to Avatar, please”. But when English people yell, I instantly assume the worst. Floods… fire… Brian Blessed… (although, I actually think Brian Blessed is HILARIOUS…)
I certainly don’t assume the ruckus is because the gravy hasn’t been made yet… bless ‘em. The incident was then mentioned jovially for the rest of the day, but neither my mom or dad in-law ever conceded defeat. They just cheekily passed the buck (quid?) back and forth until it was time to watch Poirot and forget all about it…
I’m sure I’ll get used to it one day… give me 10 more Christmases and maybe I’ll settle in.