An inner conversation

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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.