Friendships · How to be British · Language

Stroppy

Thursday, July 6, 2017. Daily Brit Wit. 

Stroppy: 

Adjective, informal 

Bad-tempered and argumentative.

"His attitude leaves absolutely nothing to be desired, cold and aloof and bordering on cruel. She's fuming, not silently, but she's also not allowing him to walk all over her. She knows how to handle him. When he gets in these moods, she'd rather wait him out to give her the cold shoulder and awkward, stroppy silences; those instances resulted… easier. Now, her fingers twitch to smack some sense into him. 

When he opens his mouth and makes a snide comment about their breakfast, she's had enough. 

And she also throws a spoon in his general direction. 

'What is wrong with you today?' She questions, inflection soprano-high and bewildered.

He crosses his arms over his chest, posh and petulant, pose screaming "naughty toddler!" and his silence pushes her further. 

'Answer me, damn you!' That's when she chucks the spoon at him. Nails him in the temple, in fact. He startles, but doesn't speak. She continues, 'As your best friend, you know, I don't have to let you stay with me.'

He mumbles something. 

She leans across her kitchen table. 'Excuse me? What was that? I didn't quite hear you,' she drawls. 

He exhales a great gust, glares at her, and matches her posture of leaning across the furniture. 'I said,' he stresses, 'yes, you do.' 

She raises a brow at his audacity. 

'Mum and Aunt Carmen would be quite cross with you otherwise,' he continues, chest puffed up and smirk settling over bow-shaped lips.

She blinks. 

He falters. 

And silence envelopes them.

She swears she will not be the first to break. Not today. She can deal with silence. He's the one putting his foot in his mouth. He's gotta break. Plus, he loathes quietitude. Not her. 

His fidgeting appears to play in her favour. Especially once his twitching eclipses toward avoiding her eye contact. He's had the same tell since they were seven and he stole then broke her brand-new video game. 

So she waits.

'Lulu?' His voice croaks,  a tiny wobble on the end. 

She's groaning because she knows that tone. She can't say "no" to it–never has–and he bloody well knows it! Oh, that sly man.

'Lulu,' he babbles, using the moniker he gave her once they started speaking because Louisa was a bit of a mouthful even for a precocious twelve-month-old. 'Tell me?' 

Her shoulders sag. 'Just–ugh, Johnny, just tell me what's bothering you. We'll go from there, okay?' 

John's upper body deflates and he purses his lips in thought. She's curious, yet allows him to begin on his own time. 'I didn't sleep well last night,' he starts, almost as if answering a question than giving an explanation. 'Slept maybe three hours.' His eyes widen comically at her aggravated sigh. 'I'm telling you, Lulu, that's what you wanted!' 

'All right,' she waves dismissively and urges him to continue. 

'So when I finally decided to give up on sleep…I reconciled a shower was in order.' His sapphire orbs meet hers and quickly flit away. 'After–'

'Wait!' Louisa calls out. 

Oh, she's definitely stumbled upon the issue now! His neck is flush as if running a low-grade fever. 

'Tell me!' She crows. 

'I may have gotten shampoo in my eyes,' he rushes out and not as articulately as Louisa would have liked. 

It takes her three blinks to decipher his inarticulate gibberish, and two more to comprehend.

Her eyes are probably comical to look at now. Because Johnny looks like he wants to take to his heels. 

'You're telling me,' she speaks slowly, still weighing the realisation against his earlier behaviour. 'You are in such a spectacular strop because you got a little bit of shampoo in your eyes?'

'Yes?'

'How old are you?'

'Old enough to know better, I assume?'

She twitches for another spoon. He must sense it because he scoots out of his chair as if someone zapped him with a taser. 

'I'm so sorry!' He wails.

'I don't believe you.' She crosses her arms and remains sitting. 

She knows when he realises his theatrics won't work on her the second before he trudges toward the sink to start washing up."

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