The Perils of Being Polite

I am as quiet at home as I am vivacious outside it.

I am especially unobtrusive when I’m ill: silent, sleepy, and always in my room.

I’m finding it very difficult, therefore, to stay home with the ill great-aunt, who feels compelled to keep up a sociable chatter whenever I’m in the same room (which is all the time, since she’s on my bed). I wish there was a polite way of telling her she needn’t exert herself so, because I find this scattered, stilted conversation as intrusive as she probably finds it tiring. But there isn’t.

Politeness, my good friend Kaichu frequently predicts, will be the death of me, someday.

(But at least I shall be civil about it.)



  1. This is precisely my modus operandi as well. Well, depending on context I might correct people — or inform them of my differing opinion on the subject — more than once, but I cut off determinedly stupid or malicious people fairly quickly. I fight things out only with people I like and want around, because I don’t want bottled-up annoyance getting in the way of my relationship with them. The malicious fools can go hang.

  2. Being polite is so excruciating. It’s this awful pressure inside one’s skull, and right behind the nose. Know what I mean?

  3. Actually, Tara, being polite comes naturally to me most of the time, but in instances like this, where I really want to say, “How about some peace and quiet now?” but can’t, that it feels like a terrible burden. With me, it’s a tightening of the jaw 😦


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