July 1st, 2006

breaking bad

Mock-transgressive

A common way of social bonding is to say something transgressive that you don't really mean; I suppose that's because the subtext is 'I feel so assured of your affection that I know you won't believe me'. A simple example is call someone 'You old bastard'.

I was at a friend's house last night and she went into some long story about how mothers like us ought to have a practice child that we could bring up, and make all our parenting mistakes on, and then chuck them away. It was an elaborate skit that she just improvised, and her husband came into the garden and he took it up too, and I was laughing so hard. But the reason it worked so well was because they are the kindest parents you might meet.
Collapse )