So there I was last night shopping at Woolworths, late, cause there’s no-one there. Except for a daughter (in her late 30’s; possibly a mother herself) shopping with her mother (aged 60’s; migrant)
We did the cross paths on every aisle dance for almost the entire shop so I was dropping in and out of their conversation every few minutes.
Mother (broken English, high pitched, soft, vulnerable sounding voice)
“What about these rice crackers with the flavour?”
Daughter (perfect English, loud, direct, condescending tone)
“It’s plain crackers you need with dip, Mum. Not flavoured”
Mum: “Buy this coffee?” (hopeful)
Daughter: “That coffee’s disgusting.” (disdain)
And so on and so forth…for every single aisle I overhear the daughter being rude to her mother. Her mother seems defeated. Even a little embarrassed when she and I exchange looks.
But the mother doesn’t bite back; she doesn’t demand respect. She just lets her daughter speak to her in that tone.
Now I don’t know anything about these people. The daughter may very well be justified in speaking to her mother like that. Or maybe she is just a bitch.
And even though the mother sounds vulnerable when she speaks English, in her native tongue she may very well give as good as she gets. I know my mother can certainly give it to me in Greek if she thinks I need a telling off. But when my mother speaks English, she sounds so sweet and lovely.
But if I had to categorise these people based on that conversation the daughter would be a rude, selfish woman that is acting more like a child than an adult.
The mother trying to be helpful but not knowing how.