An American friend sent me an email last week, that I read with some disbelief before responding along the lines of "you're not serious are you"?! A little while later she replied saying "uh no, that was sarcasm actually"!
Well once I got over the appalling shock that an American had fooled me with their irony, especially as we say in the UK that Americans don't do sarcasm. I was truly horrified that my life has changed so much I am losing a well-known trait of the British.....the ability to recognise sarcasm, or be sarcastic at the drop of a hat!
I was a 'Queen' of sarcasm back home, it was just part of my daily conversation at work, out and about and at home. Usually it wasn't used in a spiteful way but just to jest with one of my colleagues/aquaintances or keep them on their toes. And I would receive just as much as I dished out; us Brit's may be aware that sarcasm is considered the lowest form of humour, but it's still the most entertaining and a national pastime.
I would utilise it the most when dealing with statements associated with 'the bleeding obvious' as we fondly refer to it. Examples might have included "Did you get a new car" - "No I stole this one in my lunch hour, what d'ya think!?" or "Did you get your hair cut" - "No I think it just shrunk when I dried it last night" or "Did you give that report to the boss" - "Nah I shredded it instead".....oh I could go on and on endlessly battering the recipient into submission with my smart Alec remarks.
When I first got here I quickly found those same remarks would either just make the Hubster mad, or result in a blank look from some unsuspecting American. So I just quit with the sarcasm, after all part of the fun was duelling with another expert proponent of the sport and I haven't found any here yet! In my experience I have found that it's generally not used and can be viewed as very rude, so wanting to make a good impression I gave up my addiction.
So last weeks email event was like a sharp slap being administered and has made me wonder whether I will be able to keep up with my friends the next time I am home. Or are they going to view me as this once driven ambitious woman, always ready with quick wit and a smart rejoinder; who returned happier, calmer but also a totally different and quieter personality type?
Some change is good and I needed to calm down certainly. But I don't want to lose my British character traits. And so lookout, I am going to be exercising my sarcasm back into existence and am getting my radar retuned ;-)
Feel free to test my progress or challenge me to a duel in comments!