The Boffin hears this quite a bit, being the British part of This British-American Life. It’s mostly from women and non-American men. It conjures visions of tea and crumpets, Downton Abbey, high class, elegance, and intelligence. Huzzah! I know this because I would be saying the same thing had I not lived in Old Blighty myself.
When I was living in England and travelled around the rest of the UK, when I opened my mouth and people figured out I was American, many said complimentary things to me. They talked about the vacations they had, their American friends and relatives, and the things they liked about my culture. Some even dreamed about emigrating to the States. However, not one person said a thing about my accent. Fair enough. I grew up in a town sandwiched between Philadelphia and New York. People from my area don’t speak so much as honk. I am also sure many Britons wanted me to come with volume and mute buttons, but that is a separate post entirely.
Back to the Boffin and his tendency to make drive-thru workers swoon just by saying, “May I have large Diet Coke, please?”. Of course, what these people don’t see is that he is a human being, not a fictional character. He is an engineer who exhibits some of the stereotypes associated with those within that profession.
His default attitude toward his personal appearance is, “I don’t have to look at me.” But since he is a loving, caring husband, he will fix any issues that bother me in a timely fashion. (“You have yak breath.” “I love you too. I’ll go brush.”)
This is the guy who came home to tell me the following:
“The Bing Maps camera van was out while I was driving home, and I think they caught me with my finger in my nose.”
Needless to say (but I will say it anyway), he is an endless source of entertainment and makes me laugh every day.
The Boffin has basically turned our backyard into a fruit and vegetable farm with the use of spreadsheets, higher level maths, and automated irrigation systems. Even though this is a massive project that is mostly his own, he has never railroaded me and includes me in every major decision all along the way because we are equals in our marriage. And we love each other to bits.
This is not Fitzwilliam Darcy, nor do I want him to be.
In other words, I don’t have a gentleman. I have a gentle man, which is even better.