Sunday, November 16, 2014

Twee for the Tillerman


adjective \ˈtwē\
: sweet or cute in a way that is silly or sentimental

Full Definition of TWEE

chiefly British
:  affectedly or excessively dainty, delicate, cute, or quaint, {such a theme might sound twee or corny} — Times Literary Supplement;
Twee.   Things that are cute and sentimental.   In Britain, the tradition of tea and cakes is particularly twee.  As Bill Bryson noted in his Notes From a Small Island, if you hand a Britisher a cup of warm tea, and small, utterly flavorless cookie, they will smile and say, "oooh, lovely!" as if you just handed them a martini with a side of caviar.

And there is something to this.   Sometimes less is more.   Wretched excess is rarely enjoyable or pleasurable - at least for the long run.   Sometimes there is more satisfaction in a cup of warm tea, and small, utterly flavorless cookie than there is in an "all you can eat" buffet. 

Sadly, here in America, we favor the latter.  Which is why we are never happy with anything, and why we fear the socialist policies our European (and Canadian) friends practice.   We want a monster big-gulp with a "pounder" bag of potato chips, not some tea-and-toast.

But it is a funny thing, the more we consume, the less happy we seem to be.   We consume more and more, and yet are left wanting more.   The monster truck isn't enough, we have to have a monster, monster truck.  And even that leaves us unsatisfied.

Maybe less is more.  Maybe there is more satisfaction in really enjoying the small things in life, rather than the sensory overload of the modern plugged-in world.   Perhaps a quiet walk with a friend is better than the water-slide at the amusement park.   Maybe a day at the beach is nicer that the noisiest ride at Disneyworld.

Maybe.  I dunno.   Twee is certainly less expensive than loud and obnoxious....

A man who tillers a boat, probably in this context, a twee canal boat in Cheshire....

On the Llangollen canal, Wrenbury, Cheshire, UK