The Very British Chit-Chat

We all have to do it sometimes when we are at the hairdressers or when we are having the ‘Big Shop’ scanned through at the supermarket, but who really wants to? No-one.

I can handle the chit-chat to a certain extent especially when they have that great, bubbly personality that makes you want to break them out of work and go on an all-day drinking session with you. Yet there are some people that you can feel just don’t want to be doing it either, the ones who never crack a smile even when you are breaking out your best jokes. Nothing.

The last time I had my hair cut my hairdresser was on holiday so I happily went along with the replacement as I had always had great banter with my regular one and bizarrely my mind immediately assumed that all of the staff would be the same. Incorrect.

When I had finished having my hair washed by the unimpressed young apprentice (she really did act as if she was going to have to gnaw ticks out of a dog’s fur coat with her teeth rather than wash hair) I was led away in the obligatory ugly inducing headdress and mental institution issue jacket to my seat. You already have a feel of unease as soon as you sit down in front of the well-lit and gigantic mirror that reveals every single pore, wrinkle and the horrific outfit they have kitted you out in. Then the unease became unbearable as soon as I realised that she didn’t talk and quite literally never moved a face muscle, she had either just had Botox or was trying her hardest to make sure that she would never need it. Shit.

The thing is, I really don’t like chit-chat unless it’s on my term. Yes, I am selfish, but I also know what people I can have a good laugh with and which I can’t. I am also extremely British, so as much as I whine and moan I also can’t be impolite or silent it seems. Tit.

For the entire forty-five minutes that this poor woman was doing my hair, I forced her into every single hairdressing cliché in the book. ‘Have you been anywhere nice this year?’ ‘Are you planning anything for the weekend?’ ‘What did you do last weekend?’ ‘How long have you known that you wanted to be a hairdresser?’ It was all terrible and for once when I looked in their mirror I had the frown lines of inquisitiveness and she had the face of an exhausted hostage. How ridiculous can you get? I should have been in my prime with this woman, but instead of shutting my mouth and looking away if I ever caught her eye in the mirror I did nothing but interrogate her until we were both drained. Madness.

In all fairness, that isn’t too bad at all seeing as the great British people were made to deal with awkward situations as well as make them. However, there really are certain places where it just isn’t acceptable like in a nurse’s office during a smear test. Seriously.

The first smear test I had made me dread the next one and I had three years to wait. This wasn’t due to the unpleasant nature of the intrusive examination, but because of the ever so hyper personality of my nurse. She began by gleefully announcing that it was time to, ‘Whip my panties off!’ Which I was immediately mortified by, surely this was a situation for modesty and professionalism, not for jovial comments? No, no, no.

As I laid on the bed all akimbo with my modesty being covered by the thinnest bit of tissue which was aided by the wonderful spotlight that she shone straight into my nether regions, she began what I can only describe as her act. Jesus.

Have you ever seen those funny clips whenever someone is about to have an examination and the doctor/nurse pulls their glove on high in the air with a snap while looking at their patient dead in the eye with the creepiest smiles you have ever seen? That was her. Except she didn’t have the face of a mass murder or attacker, she had the facial expression of someone who was about to give a circus performance. So, as she was snapping the gloves in place she was humming away happily while I quite literally quivered beneath the sheet (there should never be quivering under the sheets unless it results in mind-blowing sex and not a partner with more bristles that a toilet brush).

After preparing she decided to explain all of the instruments to me in the manner of a TV shop channel host, ‘As you can see the instrument we will be using to collect the sample is quite ridged and contains a number of bristles to ensure that the job is done correctly.’ (I can imagine the ooo’s and ah’s of previous patients) At this point she stood with a grin the Cheshire cat would be jealous of while holding the vagina brush high enough to cast a shadow on me from the spotlight which gave the impression of a long, jagged sword. FUCK.

It wasn’t half as bad as I thought it was going to be and I have always had a great story to tell from the ordeal, but I must have only spoken ten words the entire time I was with her. Do you know why? Because it is the wrong fucking place to be acting so damn enthusiastic and conversing! I’m sorry if you disagree, but you will probably be the only one. Doctor’s offices are for nodding with a serious face and handing over every single bit of information of yourself and you should only ever leave with a small part of your dignity gone and not a new best mate. Wrong, just wrong.

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