Card shopping in the UK is not for the faint of heart. Let’s just say I doubt there is anyone in this country with the job title “Greeting Card Censor”. After blushing in the card section of many English shops, the shock factor has finally worn off. I have simply learned to steer clear of the postcard section at seaside resorts when I’m with the boys, unless, of course, I am looking for a segue from sand castles to sex education.
I’ve been trying to lighten up. It’s just part of the English sense of humor (wink wink, nod nod), right? When in Rome and all that.
So, last week I decided to just march right into the local grocery store and face whatever the cartoonists could throw at me. I just needed a couple of thank you cards, what could go wrong?
In the American South, they have a phrase used by locals just prior to engaging in highly reckless behavior that typically results in disaster, usually coupled with a heap of embarrassment. It goes like this, “Hey, y’all, watch this!” I should have just said that.
After my face returned to it’s normal color, I was left to ponder whether the Brits are pushing sarcasm to a new level, or they really believe that canine reproductive organs are indicative of positive qualities in a human being. It took me a week to finally ask a local if this indeed constituted a compliment. I could tell by the way her face immediately lit up that it was true–they definitely consider ‘dog’s dangly bits’ a good thing. Apparently, humor based on private parts does not stop at cartoon cleavage.
I know I resolved to lighten up, but it’s just so hard. I have to agree with my 8-year-old who called this card “inappropriate” (note to self: steer clear of card aisles everywhere). Maybe some day I’ll get used to it. But in the mean time, if I find myself in need an animal analogy to express my gratitude, I’ll be sticking with “You are just the bees knees!”, thank you very much.