Monday, 2 July 2012

Manners Maketh Mad

If you are of a certain vintage and nationality, the words "I want doesn't get" are probably hardwired into your brain, along with the theme tune to the Avengers.  It was the standard response of working-class parents when their children said for the seventeenth time that day "I want..." whatever.

In fairness, I think it was a tilt at poor manners rather than a reluctance to grant our many, many wishes.  It was an attempt to nudge us into "Please may I have...", in which case the answer might still be no, if it was a Horse-riding Sindy Doll.

I wonder if "I want doesn't get" still holds when you are an adult.  I joked about Cosmic Ordering but many people are of the belief that if you want something badly enough you can get it.  Most of them queue up to be on the X Factor.  Tuneless, deluded folk aside, the idea of visualising an idea or a goal is commonly believed to be the start of its actually happening.  Whether this is because it's a spiritual Post-it to the Universe or because it reminds you to keep taking action towards realising the goal, who knows.  Noel Edmonds, probably.

I know what I want.  I know it so well that I can lick the edges of it.  Yet it's not mine, and I wonder if I'm asking in the wrong way.  Perhaps the Universe likes polite children and I should be saying "Please may I have a nice job with nice people a walkable distance from home; and while you're at it please may I have a kind man with nice biceps who thinks I'm wonderful, please thank you. P.S., loving your work so far."

Of course there is always the possibility that getting what you want is not a good thing at all, although we have been led to believe it is.  The Queen of England has spent most of her life dedicated to duty, and probably will until she goes tits up.  She probably didn't want that.  She probably wanted to breed corgis and collect headscarves.  But she seems to have done all right.

When The Universe (and by this I mean whatever higher power you may or may not refer to in your life) doesn't deliver, various faiths and religions interpret this as a test of your faith, or your not being ready, or your need for this particular circumstance to challenge some aspect of your life.  Which could just be a sop to deal with the disappointment.  Oh God, I'm going to become one of those people on the train intoning with horrible sincerity to her friend "Things happen for a reason..."

In the meantime I'm going to carry on wanting, and hope that the sheer strength of the want will permeate the Universe and trigger some weird spiritual internet delivery.


  1. I desperately wanted a 'Walking Sindy' for Christmas when I was a kid, kept on about it for months on end and my wish was granted.

    Her legs fell off on Christmas afternoon.

    I think my point is that you should be careful what you wish for...

  2. There is something very very tragic about that...

    By the way I actually did have the horseriding Sindy. Her legs didn't fall off but she didn't strike me as a great horsewoman.

  3. Somewhere in a box in the attic I have that Sindy, and the bridle & saddle aren't there, but that horse lives in Hebden Bridge. J.

  4. But what happened to Sindy? Did she set up a lesbian commune in Hebden Bridge?

    1. I have a feeling she and several Barbies did exactly that, based in the Oxfam shop on the main street.

  5. I reckon there was a "Sensible Shoes Sindy" but it didn't sell very well.