I met a woman a couple of months ago – she was charming and friendly but quite the biggest fact-dropper I’ve ever met. In a few minutes, and quite irrelevantly to our conversation, she had let me know the origin of her surname (far posher and more ancient than it sounded), that she was not only a Doctor but a retired hospital consultant and that she found it ‘psychologically interesting’ when people she knew came across her serving coffee (in her capacity as a volunteer) as they were so startled to see her out of her social milieu and working in a servile capacity.
I met her again a few days ago and this time she showed me her late husband’s medals (she just happened to have them on her) and told me that he had spoken six languages, dropped into the conversation that her car had a 3.2 litre engine and referred to another friend as Dr *John Smith* … PHD she added.
The harder she tried, the more I became fond of her, in fact, because she seemed really quite needy, though she would be horrified to know that. The first time, I’d been amused – and marked down that she may have been a consultant, but she was not a surgeon or she would have dropped the title “Dr” – surgeons are rather too grand to need such a handle to their name. This time, I wondered why. She is attractive, well-spoken, obviously a ‘lady’ but maybe, now that she doesn’t live in London and doesn’t have the status of her job, feels she has something to prove?
Friendly and charming as she was, she showed no sign of recognising me, however. Now, whoever would forget me?