Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Pass the Polite

I LOVE all things British and, yes, as is the case with everything you love there is a word for that:  Anglophile. (Please disregard your kneejerk reaction to any word that ends in –phile.)
As someone who occasionally entertains the public with roles that require a British dialect I simply cannot help myself when launching into a British accent at the slightest provocation.  Simply asking me if I would like some chips will bloody well do it.  (Not British style chips, but chip-chips. You know what I mean.)

I was shocked to learn that other parents do not require their children to show up at the dinner table with clean hands AND a British accent.  (We also work on the odd Scottish, Irish, Australian, and German accents.  I’m equal opportunity in that way.)

Thus, I’m nothing if not trite – occasionally contrite – because it is true that it has been a life-long dream of mine to visit the UK.  And you know what?  We finally did it, my man and Jove.  Just recently, as a matter of fact, as my one thousand uploaded pictures on Facebook will attest to. 

Everything Brit works for me and nothing worked for me as amusingly as seeing those Virgin Airlines flight attendants all dolled up as though they just stepped off of an “Austin Powers” set with their bumped up hair.  (It also worked for my Manchester seatmate who unapologetically told me that he enjoys flying Virgin Airlines for the scenery inside the plane as well as the scenery he will enjoy when he lands.)  Who can blame him?  They’re lovely! I fondly call them the “fetching virgins.”

I am STILL bumping up my hair and I get looks as though people can’t figure out whether I’m just THAT far behind the hair design curve or just THAT ahead of it.  Who knows?  It’s luscious! 
And you know what?  Dependent upon where they hail from – Cornwall, Bristol, Yorkshire – I may not even be able to understand them and I don’t even care!  It’s just another slice of delicious.

Almost as delicious as that Mark’s and Spencer Victoria Sponge cake I horked down so fast it appeared I had escaped from Weight Watcher’s camp. I actually growled at my husband yelling, “Sod off!” when he came near me, appearing as though he wished to share my treat. 
Lest you think too horribly of me I did share my macaroons, which he ended up not liking, so that made me look good with the end result being my end game.  All for me. 

Where was I?  Right.  Virgin.

So, even though I may not understand all of the dialects of my beloved English citizens who prefer to spell words oh-so-slightly-differently than Americans I love hearing them, watching them, and interacting with them.  Until our return trip, that is, when we were in the midst of recovering from the sticky wicket that was a cancelled flight out of Rome and into the UK with no visible means of return within the 24-hour period needed to make our return flight home.

Soooo…after our own version of “trains, planes, automobiles” -- add cabs and fast walking into the mix – we made it on time from Rome to Bristol to London, albeit totally knackered, whereupon we were met at the airport entrance by a fetching Virgin Airlines employee. 

Her greeting was an inquiry.  What were our plans were for the day?  

I thought maybe it was one of those bloody surveys from which you can’t ever seem to escape.  She did have a clipboard. It was all I could do not to show her that Americans have their own brand of sarcastic wit that is a real hoot.  Only, I was afraid it would be more sarcasm than hoot.

I will provide you with an actual transcript of the interaction:
ME:  What am I doing today?  (Husband and wife exchange disbelieving looks). Oh, I don’t know.  I thought we’d fly somewhere.  Home.  You know, I’m at the airport, so… I’m flying out of here…on Virgin…
FETCHING VIRGIN: Ah, very good.  And you’re flying out today?
ME:  Yes, we think so.  (Husband and wife exchange disbelieving looks). Are we not?
FETCHNG VIRGIN:  (No response as she soldiers on.)  Are your plans certain, then?
ME:  Are they certain?  (Husband and wife exchange disbelieving looks).  Well, they were until about 24 hours ago, but we seem to be on the right track now. I believe we just went over how important flying out today is to us.  Is there a reason you’re asking?
(My gawd, is this woman clairvoyant?  Or maybe there was some sort of counseling request from Easy Jet made on our behalf to Virgin Airlines in an effort to return us to our “We love Brits” frame of mind again?)
FETCHING VIRGIN: We’re quite booked today and if you’re flexible we thought we’d see if you would change your plans.
ME:  (Husband and wife exchange disbelieving looks.)  If there is anything we’ve proven in the last 24 hours it’s how inflexible we are with regard to not flying home today. No, thanks, we’re fine.

We could have cut out about four husband and wife disbelieving look exchanges and five minutes with less chin wag about our plans and more directness. 

A suggestion for directness in future would be to greet us with:  Are you willing to bump it?  Only when it has to do with hair.