Saturday, 30 June 2012

Bowing out of the conversation

Last weekend I was enjoying a bit of bodice-ripping drama in the form of a re-discovered DVD of the BBC production ‘Charles II’. Amongst the betrayals, the beheading and the superfluousness of sex I noticed one thing in particular.

It was in one conversation that really brought it home to me. History buffs may know that King Charles was married to the Portuguese Princess Catherine of Braganza. Unfortunately, despite siring dozens of children with his harem of mistresses, their marriage remained childless.

Charles and Catherine, played by Rufus Sewell and Shirley Henderson.

There was for many years debate within the British parliament and cabinet as to whether Charles should divorce his barren Queen. In the TV series, Catherine quietly confronts Charles about the possibility of their divorce. Charles says nothing, but once Catherine has had her say there is an awkward silence, he bows to her and leaves. (Spoiler alert: they didn’t divorce.)

It got me thinking.

How much easier would awkward conversations be if, to get out of them, you would just have to bow your head and depart? Those arguments with partners, those party chats with people you don’t know, those discussions with work colleague when you have no idea what to say next? Bow, leave. Polite, acceptable, easy.

Bring back the exit-bow I say. 

 Now just walk away...

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