Finns in public
A Finn is walking down the street and notices someone they know coming towards them. What does the Finn do? Panic. First, you’re not sure if the person is the person you think they are. Might be because all the hats and scarves and big warm coats, or might be because we don’t look at each other ever so we don’t really know what everyone looks like. Second, if the person is the person you think they are, do you know them well enough so you should greet them? And if you do greet them, what if they don’t recognize you and then you will just look like a fool greeting random people. Even worse, what if the person stops and wants to talk to you? Better just to pretend that you don’t notice them, and hope for them to enough common courtesy to pretend to not notice you too.
A Finn is at a restaurant with their friends, everyone has ordered and the waiter has brought the food out and everyone is enjoying their food. Except they are not. The food doesn’t really taste that good. Meat is overcooked, there’s not enough salt in the mash potatoes and the salad dressing has separated. And that’s just one of the dishes. A Finn can point this out to their closest friends, but when the waiter comes back and asks you if you enjoyed your food, the Finn will always answer with “yes, it was delicious”. Even if it’s inedible. Even if there dish has onions on it and you’re allergic to onions. No one has the balls to tell the waiter that the food was not to their liking. Putting it mildly. Only thing the Finn will do, is never come to that restaurant again, unless their friends insist. Maybe the food got better in the last few weeks…
There’s A Finn at the grocery store. (Look how sneaky I was, I didn’t want to start this chapter with “A Finn.”, so I mixed it up, brilliant!) So a Finn at the store. They need to get milk but a lady with a shopping cart full of kids,buying milk to last for a month for the entire extended family, is blocking the Finns way. Can’t go around them either, because the other side has a grumpy old person being very slow. And you can’t reach the low fat low lactose milk from the other side of the lady with the kids and the cart and the milks. So the Finn waits, trying to will the person to move, by looking at the exact opposite direction. Finns do not ask for the other person to move. If the silent waiting doesn’t work, the Finn might cough a bit and take a step towards the milk that is blocked. If there’s still no reaction from the lady who is now feeding a banana to her cart-babies, the Finn will have to leave and try to come back for the milk later.
A Finn in a bus? Don’t get me started… oh I just did, okay. You can see a bus full of Finns (one person at each row of two seats) get really nervous when there bus is about to pick up a few more passengers. I thoughts were visible like bubbles in comics, you’d see “please don’t let the stranger sit next to me” and “no no no no no”. I can’t really come up with other ones, since I’m not in a bus right now, but there’s a lot more like those. And if no one sits next to the Finn, you can see them instantly get worried that it’s because of them. Do they look funny, do they smell funny, why aren’t they good enough to sit next to? A real horror can be witnessed when a stranger does sit next to a Finn, and the Finn wants to get off at the next stop. Do they press the stop-button in an exaggerated motion? Do they just sift around nervously? Do they stand up and try to climb over the stranger? Or do they just sit there, miss their stop and hope that their girlfriend isn’t gonna be too mad because they are late for dinner.
But why? It’s engraved in our spine. Don’t make a scene, don’t get noticed, the polar bears will hear you if you make a comment to a stranger. And eat you.
The writer of this story is a member of the Mom of Finland community.
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