that's awfully personal
ere are my answers to this week’s That’s Awfully Personal questions:

Q: Your home is aflame and burning out of control. All living creatures have been safely evacuated. You have time to go back in quickly and save one possession from the flames. What would it be, and why?

A: Anything in my house that can be captured digitally — music, photos, written documents — is on my PC, and the monthly backup is offsite, so my PC would not be the first thing I’d save. That digital record includes an itemized list and photos of valuables for insurance purposes. Almost all our collectibles are replaceable. I’m not terribly attached to things, including heirlooms or clothing. So I guess I’d rescue one of the very few original works of art we have in the house. I’d be far more concerned about the fire spreading to the hundreds of trees and the wilderness area of our property, and that of our neighbours.

Q: The very attractive spouse of your good friend comes on to you, gently but persistently, at a garden party. How do you deal with the spouse, and what, if anything, do you tell your good friend, who gets jealous easily, about the incident?

A: I’m very old-fashioned when it comes to total honesty in relationships. With two important exceptions, I would immediately, tactfully reproach the spouse and tell her that her husband was a good friend, and that ‘this behaviour’ is inappropriate. I would do so even if it were some other guy she was coming on to, if I witnessed it — I think that responsibility comes with close friendship. Exception One: If alcohol was a significant factor, I’d get my good friend to take care of his wife before she did something she’d regret later, rather than saying something to her directly. Exception Two: In some (but not all) cultures, flirtation is a harmless activity, not intended to in any way diminish or dishonour a loving relationship, or to lead to infidelity. Provided my good friend and his spouse (and I and my spouse) all understood this for what it was, what it meant and didn’t mean, and the rules and limits of behaviour, I’d play the game, and enjoy it. Alas, it’s a dying art, a social skill and a form of dance we Anglophones especially would be wise to relearn.

If you’re interested in playing That’s Awfully Personal each week, the questions, and a complete explanation, can be found here.

This entry was posted in Using Weblogs and Technology. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Rob Paterson says:

    My roomate’s father, Sir Ian Moncrieffe of that ilk, was perhaps the UK’s leading eccentric. He approached Mrs Thatcher at a party and suggested that they go upstairs for a quick one.Her truly brilliant reply?”Ian – if I was ever to be unfaithful to Bill it would be with you – but not tonight Dear”

  2. James says:

    Ahhhhhh, flirtation. It is an art and a skill, one that I practice at every opportunity. I’ve been accused of it quite often and I always reply, “Why thank you.”

Comments are closed.