Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Uncultivated Thoughts

If today did not bring any surprises in the blooming shape of rose bunches, then at least two small dramas evolved in my ever-so-increasingly-complex existence:

The first thing that happened, is this: I wasn’t named after a rose, but was referred to as: “A Rose from a Distant Land." And if this sounds odd to you, then I beg not to make it my problem as we all know how sharp a rose's thorns can get.

- You see, that part of me who had missed promotion to sainthood had sent a gift to an overseas friend. I had certain reservations about it arriving merrily and happily AND (very important) in one piece on the other side of this hemisphere, but there... Keeping it secret was a tough thing for me to do and I lived in silent agony for a few days. If some information leaked through my words, then I refuse to remember them because the recipient seemed really pleased with it.

Maybe not a bad idea if one tries occasionally to indulge friends and family with small acts of love – as we only live once.

The second big bang was this: I came to the shocking discovery that I live in an uncultured state of mind when someone asked incredulously how I could not possibly know about a literature-giant who lives literally on my doorstep. The Giant’s brother was in my class at school too.


It did send my mind flying to the time when I went out with The Git or Goat as he is known in the area where it seems all MacDougall clans originated from. I am referring to the ex-Scottish boyfriend, a perfectly lovely bloke but not the kind to talk about how to neglect his buddies or to share the same pen or den of livelihood with.

Balking once again at one of The Goat's familiar snobby remarks, I stuck my frostbitten nose into the cloudless air and talking down the length of it, said very indignantly:

“Well, where I come from we are cultivated...”

Right now, I don't see any reason to drone on about the effect those words had...

But I do see now that a minor error in the choice of words can make a huge difference. Just think how it could lead uninformed outsiders to the wrong conclusion that South Africans are all cultivated in special tubes these days. My word, it would send the scientific world into fritters whereas it leaves normal commoners like me and you maybe only in stitches...

Cultured or uncultivated; it does seem like some of us need a few lessons in certain matters and to take care how we say the very same things that are so important to ourselves...

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