Why is it that when someone walks into us we apologise? Why when someone pushes in front of us in a queue do we just tut, sigh and roll our eyes?
Because we’re British of course.
At the end of a very patriotic week it only seems fitting that I pick up on a few points about what really separates us as Brits.
In a week we have ‘celebrated’ the Queen’s birthday and St George’s Day (still not a national holiday, I don’t know why) and we still seem to have so many things that make us who we are.
The other day I was at dinner with J and her parents eating Mexican food. I asked everyone first if they wanted the last enchilada. This roughly translated to ‘please can I have it?’ Everyone said no, which roughly translates to ‘bugger, I wish I’d asked first.’
Then at work the other day. I asked everyone around me if they wanted a drink from the machine. Not expecting everyone to say yes of course.
The question isn’t ‘do you want one?’ but more ‘I’m going to get a drink and I don’t want to look like an arse if I don’t ask you. But please don’t say yes.’
Everybody does it. We hold doors and then sarcastically say ‘you’re welcome’ when people don’t say thank you. We tut and roll our eyes if someone is rude to us rather than speak up.
It seems we’d rather express our Britishness in a subtle way. If someone walks into us in the corridor at work it seems we’d rather wait until they’re out of earshot before saying’watch where you’re going.’ To ourselves of course.