Afternoon Away

Left the office early, for a job interview, and am home a lot sooner that I might otherwise be, so I’ve got time to do a pointless meme.

1. How can I tell if you are angry?
3 dead giveaways: If I am making tactless remarks without a smile on my face, that’s an indicator that I’m wound up to nine bells, and if I’m going to be much easier to make annoyed than usual. If I am screaming at you, then you’ve managed to flip something in me without warning, and I’ll apologise later. Lastly, and generally the most common: If I leave the room without a word. I have serious issues with my temper, and prefer not to be around people when I’m angry.

2. How should I behave around you if you are angry?
Stay the fuck away. If that’s not possible, then don’t say anything manifestly fucking stupid/that you think I’ll disagree with.

3. How do you want me to behave when you are hurting emotionally? How is it best to comfort you?
Let me talk if it seems like I want to, don’t push me if I don’t, and generally cut me a little slack if I’m out of sorts. Same as everyone, really.

4. Are there things we should not discuss?
Many, many things. I have no wish to hear about your sex life, for example. I don’t want to know who you find attractive, unless they’re an actual human being who I know, because then it’s amusing gossip, but in general, I am uninterested in people’s sexual habits, unless they involve me in some way. Presbyterian childhood, you understand. Related: I have no wish to hear about Jesus. Or Maragret Thatcher, at least until she’s dead. If you don’t like one of my close friends, then for fuck’s sake don’t tell me, because I’ll nod and smile, and spend less time around you, on the basis that if you don’t like the people who I consider close friends, you probably aren’t worth listening to. Don’t talk to me about sport, soap operas, or your kids, either. I could go on. (This is a little uncharacterisic, but I’m pretty wound up lately, and become annoyed more easily that usual.) With all of these, though, there are people who are free to break those rules, because I know them, and have suspended my normal “don’t give a shit” rules.

5. How should I treat you if you are physically ill?
Tea and sympathy. Actually, they’re good at any time, now I think of it.

6. What makes you happy, that’s in my power to grant as a friend?
Strong drink. (I jest, but if you’ve a interesting whisky lying about, I won’t say no.) Company, and willingness to talk, or at least to pretend that what I’m saying is interesting enough for you to keep quiet and listen. Art. New things. Bring me stuff!

7. How would you like us to recognize your birthday?
Parades, and fine drink. Possibly some kind of religious celebration.

8. Are there any standing categories of presents that would be appropriate or unwelcome?
Strong drink is always good, or interesting food. Cultural artefacts. Porn is unwelcome. Anything that looks like you haven’t put any fucking thought into it: I’d prefer you got me nothing than got me something generic.

9. Are there times of the year that are difficult for you?
There’re a few anniversaries of deaths and the like that I don’t enjoy, but for the most part, the past is the past, and one day is much like the next.

10. Who are the most important people in your life to whom we should defer when making plans on your behalf?
My housemates. My family. A few others who, if you know me well enough to make plans on my behalf, you can probably guess who they are.

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