‘On The Couch’ With Jasminda


Dear Jasminda,

Our friend’s new girlfriend gesticulates so much when she talks that she keeps knocking over our wine glasses and breaking them. What should we do?

Mrs Petra K.

Dear Petra,

The art of reading body language is an important skill. You can often tell more about what a person is saying by the way their body is positioned or the way their eyes light up than you can by their words. Hand movements are integral to this analysis, as you’ve discovered. Unfortunately, Cecilia (I’m going to call her Cecilia because when I hear that name, I picture someone who wildly gesticulates at dinner parties) has taken this to a whole new level and you now have odd numbers of hollow-stemmed champagne glasses, red wine goblets and shot glasses as well as pinot noir and port stains all over your white linen tablecloths.

Cecilia may be anxious. Her hands may be darting around because she is so full of nervous tension it is flying out of her fingers like a superpower.

May I suggest that you wait until the weather warms up a bit and start having outdoor barbecues. It would then be perfectly acceptable to position Cecilia next to the esky full of Bundy Rum cans floating around in icy water and she can simply help herself. If she still manages to spill her drink, it’s only going to go on the lawn or all over her outfit and there will be no breakages. You’ll also be able to take the used cans to be recycled (make sure Cecilia and her nervous little hands don’t crush them or she’ll render them useless and the machine will spit them back out at you).

If you do this often enough, one of two things will happen. Your friend will have found himself a new girlfriend because Cecilia hates Bundy Rum and/or her frantic hand gestures made him jumpy, or you will have earned enough recycling money to purchase some new wine glasses.

Carpe diem, Jasminda.

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