Years ago, in a function at the British Consul-General’s house in Sydney, I had an interesting conversation with an English middle aged couple about where I lived in London.
When I named my place of abode, the husband nodded approvingly and said “Perfectly respectable people live there…!”
I agreed with him, saying “Like myself, of course!” This led to a moment of embarrassment and face saving. That sort of dialogue was normal in those days. I wonder if attitudes might have moved on a little.
The subtext of that chat could be perceived from several angles. Was my response to the comment rooted in having a “chippy” mindset? Or did I receive the back handed compliment in the spirit that it was offered?
A lot of folks might display more urbane social skills now than before. The current disruption of social interaction offers everyone a chance to reflect on the significance of holding one’s personal space.