I have this really great friend. Her name is Andrea. When we were first getting to know one another, we quickly discovered our mutual affinity for all (or at least I thought) things English: The BBC, tea and biscuits, the various delightful accents.
I was visiting her at her home recently, and we were discussing one of our favo(u)rite BBC productions, Are You Being Served? It ran from 1972 until 1985 and centered (or is it “centred?”) around the workplace hijinks of a group of London department store employees. Andrea told me about the time she had the opportunity to meet John Inman, the actor who played our favorite character, Mr. Humphries. She proudly pulled a glossy-paged book about the show from a bookcase, opened the front cover and showed me his autograph. As a fellow fan, I was duly impressed, and indicated as such by saying something along the lines of, “Wow! That’s really cool, Andrea!”
Which probably isn’t a very English thing to say, but then I’m not English. I’m American.
She returned the book to its home, and we moved on to discuss other topics as she worked on a baby blanket she was crocheting for a friend who was expecting soon. Meanwhile, I worked on untangling the impossibly snarled mass of yarn into which her neatly-wound skein had wound itself.
At some point, the discussion returned to fabulous BBC productions, and I mentioned the one that’s pretty much at the pinnacle: Dr. Who. I expected something along the lines of an enthusiastic, “Oh, yeah! I love that show!” Or some variation, thereof.
What I got, however, was quite different. What I got was a clear and unmistakable look of pursed-lip disapproval, followed quickly by a look of disgust as she turned her head away from me.
She continued to crochet in silence.
I was shocked. It took a few seconds for me to regain my composure and realize that my friend did not share my love of the time travel(l)ing Gallifreyan.
I stared at Andrea, then blinked in disbelief. Just to be absolutely certain, I asked, “You don’t like Dr. Who?”
“No,” she replied. I’ve tried watching it with Ken [her husband], but I just couldn’t get into it.”
“Are you kidding me?”
“Nope. Not into it. Sorry.”
At which point I took a few additional moments to absorb this new, unexpected and wholly unwelcome information.
After a few moments, I replied, “I don’t know, Andrea. This new revelation makes me think I may need to reconsider our friendship.”
Andrea looked at me, shrugged and continued to crochet.
We’re still friends. Sisters before Gallifreyan misters – or, in this case, doctors – I guess.