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Tricky table conversations…


Yesterday we hosted a family get together at ours using Mother’s Day as the perfect excuse to drop everything else and finally fix a date for a good old catch up. Not that we don’t want to get together as a family but each of us has their own busy agenda, work, family commitments, social life and all the rest that makes our lives so busy and get togethers so scarce.

Add the fact that we are scattered across the South East and mum now up North miiiles away (It’s not north darling, it’s only a 2 hour drive) Whatever, you’re not exactly within a cup of tea distance are you?

Anyway, we now have to make arrangements to get all of us together, dates in the calendar and will someone remind Dom a few days beforehand? (That’s my job.) Surely we all have a little brother who’s useless with dates and birthdays?

So apart from Nan still being down with laryngitis so pulling out at the last minute but sending her homemade desserts along anyway, our main course getting stuck in two traffic jams around the M25 and arriving late. We had a good time.

The wine and beer were flowing as was the conversation as dessert plates were finally laid to rest once everyone had managed a taste of all three.

Then it was time to converse…

Chit chat, chit chat and grandad mistook the word ‘game’ for ‘gay’ in a sentence and jokingly said. ‘You can’t say that!’ meaning it wasn’t politically correct to use the word ‘gay’ when referring to same sex liaisons.

My sister in law came back with  ‘I have loads of gay friends and it’s perfectly ok to use this term with them whatever you do don’t use homosexual.’ She was sitting next to my uncle who is gay and very happily ensconced in a relationship that has lasted over 10 years now but still tiptoed around by us all when it comes to talking about and using the word gay.

So the conversation stumbled on and we moved onto other words that are politically correct, like black. This was my attempt at salvation.

Where once it was deemed incredibly rude to call someone black in reference to their skin tone now it’s fine. In fact if you were to use the word ‘coloured’ as was the case in the 80’s you’d probably be shot at dawn and stripped of any human right you had. I mentioned this and was laughed at raucously but I’m tough and can take it.

Dom, who incidentally did make it as I text him at 11.45am to make sure he was at least out of his bed, brought his girlfriend along much to the excitement of us all as she is ‘new’. Well, she is descendant of a Chinese mother and a Welsh father.

So her attempt to move the conversation back to a comfortable zone was ‘I’m from asian descent, which is also known as Mongoloid.

And there you have it, another word that time and ignorance has changed the meaning and used it when refering to anyone with a birth syndrome.

I did mention this but my sister in law, quickly put it to bed and the whole conversation was dumped in the trash can as far too uncomfortable. Talk about dig a hole and then dig deeper.

By the way, grandad took all the rap for starting it off! (He always does!)

But my point is, no one wanted to be offensive, we were merely chatting and yet without wanting to we leapt onto a minefield. Sirens were going off all around the table, lights were flashing and on we went steadily towards carnage. Digging deeper and deeper.

I just got some more wine and beer on the table after that and we went back to talking about the usual humdrum and glad to be back on familiar terrain.

They all read my blog, even Dom’s new bird who was one of my first readers so it’ll be interesting to see what they made of it all.

Do you and yours manage to make as many blunders in the space of a family meal?

Photo of me and my cherubs over a year ago 🙂

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jean permalink
    15/03/2010 9:59 pm

    I thought it was hilarious. I’ve never seen so many feet stepping in out of mouths in such a short period of time 😉

    I don’t usually even think about nomenclature, probably because I’m fortunate to have an eclectic group of friends so I’m immersed in varied cultures. I think it’s probably more about being aware of how people term themselves as opposed to what’s deemed ‘politically correct’ which often just ends up being a complete farce! With the two examples we discussed we just need to look at ‘Black History Month’ and ‘Gay Pride’ to know what the preference is. Nowadays anyone straying into the old classifications of mongoloid, negroid and caucasoid would be set straight, as would anyone straying into any outdated terms for sexual preference.

    I think what was important though was the fact it was all up for discussion and everyone was concerned about not making a faux pas, even if the consequences had me in stitches 😉

    Right, I’m off for a cup of tea and some ‘strawberry blonde’ nut biscuits …

    ‘Doms New Bird’ x

    • 16/03/2010 1:30 pm

      ..or everyone was trying to help everyone else out Just In Case?
      Glad you had fun, was really good to see you again.
      Here’s to the next one x

  2. 15/03/2010 10:56 pm

    Ahh.. the ‘political correctness’ debate.

    I’m one of those who, no matter how hard I try, still manages to put my foot in my mouth when trying very hard not to. Then find myself trying to explain myself and managing to just dig my hole deeper.

    • 16/03/2010 1:31 pm

      yup, that was it..Still trying to figure out who you are ‘itsmygoodlife’ 🙂

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