My Mother, who is blissfully unburdened by either tact or sensitivity, has started to deliver daily nuggets of advice. Here are some that I have received in the last week:
1. When you go to a restaurant, you can order whatever you want. But do not order the most expensive thing if someone else is paying. Though equally, do not order too cheaply, or they will think that you are not ordering what you want. CAVEAT: If my Mother is paying, feel free to order tap water and bread.
2. When you are in public, it is best to wear make-up. CAVEAT: My flat, on a Sunday morning, when I am unexpectedly boycotted by my Mother, is ‘public’.
3. It is Summer, so do not wear a coat. CAVEAT: The actual temperature matters not at at all. The weather is set, naturally, by clothing.
4. In a restaurant, boring people are pleased to be able to hear your own, much more interesting conversation. CAVEAT: 2013 has seen my Mother asked to be quiet by no less than 5, hugely embarrassed, restaurant staff, at the behest of other diners.
5. When meeting people you have already met several times, it is best to keep them on their toes by re-introducing yourself. CAVEAT: My Mother is unable to remember who anyone is. If she could get away with it, she’d re-introduce herself to her children.