There is likely a version of this in every country and culture, as is my style I prefer to describe a situation or scenario, so you can best imagine to which that I refer.
I had scheduled a time to call a friend, we are both busy. I often do this as it’s how I make sure things happen and my life works.
While I’m busy with my appointments, my ‘not-working’ and the voluntary stuff and the friend with her family and being a mum.
So, I rang her and after the bold statement that she felt ‘people didn’t call her because they think she’s OK, because she has a husband’.
Um, can you feel my eye rolls?
You all know I don’t have a husband?
The painful conversation continued and she was telling me about a toy they had purchased for their second child, said child was clearly in the background and correcting mum for calling said toy by its wrong name.
Can you feel my disinterest in said conversation?
This story come from about five years ago and I can’t believe how vividly I recall it. There seemed to be more conversation between mother and daughter than mother and Helen, so I cut the call short because it was giving me a migraine.
The following day I had a conversation with a friend in actual person. Said person comes from a Greek background and is as ‘Aussie’ as I am. She threw me a look of horror and surprise. I couldn’t help it, I smiled because we both know what she was going to say.
She said “Oh no! My daughter come up to me when I’m on the phone and they know not to bother me.” She went on to say the closer her children insisted on her attention the sterner the “look” would get.
My mum, who is not European, is from good Aussie/English/Irish stock, yet not first fleet.
Did not do European stare.
As a youngster, my mum spent a lot of time on the phone. No really, so long, if there is a world record for mum’s spending time on the phone it would have my mum’s name on it.
She did something different after stomping our feet and grumbling, doing the little grumpy dance (You know the one, lie you need to go to the bathroom and are waiting for permission) Didn’t need to, just painting a picture. I was young.
Mum can say to whomever she was speaking to “Can you just hang on a second?” as she put her hand over the mouth piece and said to you. “Can you go peel the potatoes” or maybe “Pick some carrots” or you know “feed the cat.” You knew, it was always something, seemed like busy work to me.
So, you either learned to leave her be and find something close to distract yourself, but you know she could talk. Now I use the European stare on her. It’s good for every time you need to communicate simple things and easy to add tone.