September 9, 2012

Page 235

She told me many other things as well. "It's all right to show boredom," she said. "Just never show fear. They'll smell it on you, like sharks, and come in for the kill. You can look at the edge of the table - it lowers your eyelids - but never look at the floor, it makes your neck look weak. Don't stand up straight, you're not a soldier. Never cringe. If someone makes a remark that's insulting to you, say Excuse me? as if you haven't heard; nine times out of ten they won't have the face to repeat it. Never raise your voice to a waiter, it's vulgar. Make them bend down, it's what they're for. Don't fidget with your gloves or your hair. Always look as if you have something better to do, but never show impatience. When in doubt, go to the power room, but go slowly. Grace comes from indifference." Such were her sermons. I have to admit, despite my loathing of her, that they have proved to be of considerable value in my life. 

- The Blind Assassin, by Margaret Atwood

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