The Test of Good Manners is Being Patient With Bad Ones….


Cheese and chalk.

Sandals and socks.

Blonde highlights with black roots.

An 80 year-old woman driving a sports car.

Some things just do not go together.

And the perfect case?

Us Maltese and manners.

Good manners.

First case in point:

I am having coffee with my mother and aunt in a cafe’ in Victoria. We are minding our own business, enjoying our drinks, and mum goes to the bathroom. Two women come in, one of whom knows my mother and aunt. In sprint-like movement, because it seemed like seconds, they came over to our table, one of the women put her face in mine and asked me whether I was pregnant (erm, duh?!?). She then touched my bump – something I just hate, hate, hate, especially from strangers who have no business in doing so. And the cherry on top the icing was when the other woman asked her companion who my mother was – she confused my mother with my aunt, to which the first woman replied, in an embarrassingly loud voice which could be heard all throughout the whole cafe’ – “She’s the one whose father died”.

And just like that, they left. It happened in what seemed like seconds, so much so that I only realized afterwards that one of them had touched me.

Case Number Two:

Went to church this morning with mum. Met my cousin after mass and since I had not seen her yet, I stopped to talk to her for a bit. A ‘lady’ passes us by, a woman I have only seen at times, someone I have never talked to or been introduced to, do not know and now have no wish of knowing, ever, stops next to us, congratulates me, and then asks me “Are you going to name the baby after your father?”

Talk about being gobsmacked and caught unawares.

Totally unbelievable.

I guess that’s Welcome to Gozo for me!!

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4 thoughts on “The Test of Good Manners is Being Patient With Bad Ones….

  1. An island mentality..

    A cross-cultural study about gossip was carried out a year ago and results indicated that individuals living on an island have a higher rate of gossip (or ‘godsipp’). This is typical of individuals with an ‘island mentality’ who feel generally superior to others, only as a result of running down or highlighting others’ ‘misfortunes’ or ‘mistakes’. They do this, in my opinion only to mask their own insecurity.

    Another trait of this island mentality is ‘self-pity’ where people who have done a lot of wrong still feel like victims and expect people to feel sorry for them.

    Others just highlight their ailments according to the severity: If person A has a headache; person B has a migraine; If person C has a tummy-ache, person D has ?appendicitis’, It’s always my ailment is more severe than yours.

    Unfortunately we are a nation of people who are too busy to think of what we are going to say next to bother listening to what the other person has to say, making us terrible listeners.

    You’ve probably had a break from this mentality so it gets to you even more when you experience these poor manners first hand.

    Excuse my rant though over the past couple of years I have been become quite cynical.

  2. Sounds like you are making a deal about nothing. These people are just being friendly in a way that you are not used to. Let it go, smile, be friendly back to them and stop complaining about unimportant things like whether a woman you didn’t know touched your bump. (That’s been happening to pregnant women since time immemorial, but it has recently become a PC no-no. It’s a pity, as it is a recognition of our connectedness as human beings and women.)
    P.S. I know about having my bump patted – I have five lovely children, and suddenly, when I was pregnant, every other mother in the world was connected to me and smiled on my state. 🙂

    • Unfortunately it had nothing to do with them being friendly and I say this because I now know this. I had nothing against people I know touching my bump because I find myself doing the same nowadays, but having strangers do that? Nope, not for me! Also the thing which really made me angry at that time were the comments made via-a-vis my late father. If you live on a small tiny island you will definitely understand what I’m talking about here. Also, I was a huge 35 week pregnant hippo at that time so I was not the most sensible one out there!

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