There really are loads things that irk me about being a parent, but seriously, one of my pet hates has to be when people get preachy. And one of my pet preachy words that I love to hate is the word “inappropriate”. Preachy parents in particular over-use it like a Navy man’s wanking hand. They seem to forget that the word “appropriate”, by it’s very nature, has an elastic quality to it.
For instance, I think it’s wildly inappropriate to wear stilettos in a nightclub. Why? Because if I did I would wipeout within about 10 seconds. However, for someone more accustomed to these high hells, it would be deemed essential. Depending, of course on their urgency to look hot and bag some fresh meat. (Apropos stilettos: made more for lying down then for walking around and dare I say dancing, if you feel me.)
Here’s another example. In South Africa, it’s considered “inappropriate” (aaargh, even writing the word just bores me to tears) to greet your dinner guests in your slippers, and even more inappropriate to ask them to remove their shoes. However, in some parts of Europe (maybe all parts, who the hell knows) and in places like Japan, it’s not only appropriate to receive guests in your “house shoes” (a.k.a. slippers), but you are also perfectly within your rights to ask them to take off their “outside” shoes before you’ll allow them in. See what I mean?
I’m hoping (for your sake) that you’re not closely acquainted with anyone who uses the word “inappropriate”. But if a friend of yours does let is slip (for real, out in the open, not under their breath) here’s how you might handle it. Pretend you didn’t hear them or sniff loudly and look away. Letting out an exasperated sounding sigh or mumbling something under your breath (“eejit” normally works well) can sometimes stop their preachy train of thought. Watch out for the “lemon lips” look though. Preachy people are very, very good at pulling sour faces. Apparently flipping the middle finger is considered excessive so save this for when you really need it (e.g. shopping centers, road rage, parking lots).
In a nutshell, unless you find me or my offspring doing something truly, universally inappropriate (batting off in public, reading porn on the train, eating boogers) then save your energy. If you don’t, you’re just going to come across as poncy. Trust me.