In one of my previous riveting posts, I mentioned that I have this problem with my accent, in that it causes people to pay me compliments on it. Nice, but strange.
So, I have discovered a way to avoid people saying anything about my accent. It was a bold and radical solution, but it involved the first ever routine use of a handbag by yours truly. Prior to the purchase of this particular handbag I was strictly a wallet in jeans type of person. And I was that type of person because I have engineered my entire career to be able to wear denim on a regular, daily, basis. (Much to my elder relatives surprise).
So, I got this handbag, but it serves as a diversion because it’s a plush monkey shaped bag. I think it’s meant for 8 year olds, but they are not having mine, and heck for the price it’s not clear to me that they can afford it. Anyhow, it turns out that the bag is a brilliant diversion, now people comment on the monkey. It actually receives a range of responses, from those who yell “monkey” all the way through to those who ask what precisely it is (to which I always respond a bag), and then those who grab it by the head and start making strange noises. Yeah, really. Of course if you either the former or the current President of the University I work for you have a more cautious approach to the bag. It’s more like the French response.
But, just recently I’ve discovered another diversion. So now my accent and bag go unnoticed. Knitting. Knitting in public in particular really attracts comments. I thought for a long time that it was going to be exclusively women who commented on my knitting. One night I had four conversations about the knitting, all while the monkey handbag was in plain sight, and all of which I believe I engaged in using my English accent… nothing about either topic.
But, most recently, I had a conversation with a nice barman about my knitting. It turns out that if you go to the same place with your knitting in different states people notice. Whoo hoo! That’s my type of bar, a place where people care about the state of one’s knitting. The place where you can get Abita on tap. The place where the red beans and rice take you back to NOLA. Thank you Fontaines.