Unreasonable on my behalf, not anyone else’s. And only figurative ones, this time.
At the end of this week, I’m going to London for the second time in the space of a year, and this time is actually scaring me more than the hospital trip; Me and Best Friend are going for a jaunt around the museums and the fabric shops, which will be all kinds of fun, but in the process I am going to meet his extended family, since we’re staying at their house.
I have been reassured that they’re wonderful, the most accepting and leftie and normal and well-bred and pleasant people I could ever wish to meet.
And thus I am terrified, because I am a horrible Geordie shite who has a knack for upsetting people and ramming my hobnailed boots into my proverbially foul mouth. Not to mention that I now look like the bastard child of Andrew Eldritch and Johnny Rotten, if said child had been starved for a month then fed nothing but laudanum and chip fat. Oh, and had a close encounter with a razorwire fence that left their forearms and hands looking like a textbook example of tabular crossbedding. I also have literally no appropriate clothing that covers all the positions of “Comfortable to sit around in”, “Suitable for going to a restaurant”, “Able to wear for long periods out of doors”, “Good for whatever climate there is”, “Mandatory long sleeves and high neck”, “suitable for the London museums” and “not covered in band logos, literally eaten by moths, and worn until grey”. The other end of my wardrobe (Collared shirts, waistcoats, breeches, usually worn with a nice silver pocketwatch and a flat cap) I worry will make me look like a completely uppity and anachronistic tit.
Plus there is the Unspeakable Axis – I will get there travelsick, need to sleep immediately, and then continue to be a big crippled embarrassment and drama-queen in a way that Best Friend notably isn’t (despite also being notably crippled, he’s not a whiny bitch about it.)
I do not deal well with nice people who only want me to be happy. I feel like a pointless ingrate, because I assume them to have sinister motives, my attempts at small-talk come out wrong (Again, the thing about working-class vs middle-class discourse), I get cagey about subjects that nobody else would be rattled by, and if there’s a silence I usually have nothing to fill it with. It used to be proverbial that people’s families liked me, because I kept the egos of their children in-check. It’s increasingly also proverbial that the word “family” brings me out in a cold sweat and makes me start working out how many of my own bones I have to dislocate to be able to make a swift exit through a bathroom window the size of a postage stamp.
But, we shall see. For safety’s sake, I’m staying at his house on Wednesday night (To prevent the predictable Thursday-morning “No, go without me, bugger everything did I mention how fascinating the inside of this quilt is I’m staying here and observing it closely”)
I also have two pairs of trousers to hem.