If you ask me, I probably won't tell you. It's not that I don't have opinions. It's just that I rarely proffer them these days. When I was young, I thought that if I said: "Nuclear weapons are bad" or "Women shouldn't be subservient to men", injustice would be wiped out and peace would reign over the earth. Then I grew up and decided I might as well keep my mouth shut. But once opinionated, always opinionated, and if you try to bury those deeply-held views they're just going to pop out elsewhere. It's usually over something trivial. My husband and I have very different tastes in music and force each other to listen to stuff we hate. What started in me as a vague indifference towards, say, Bob Dylan, has become an inability to be in the same room as that self-important, adenoidal keening. Once the children came along, I decided that that, too, was an area where opinions were best suppressed. I wanted them to develop their own tastes, and not have mine rammed down their throats (correct though they undoubtedly are). So imagine my pride, during a recent car journey, when I survived no fewer than five hours of Heart FM without saying, "Will someone turn this arse-achingly dreary cack off now?".
But irrational prejudice will out. A year or so ago I was talking to a colleague who said he was going to make pasta with pesto when he got home. What I meant to say was that the stuff you get from a jar isn't to my liking. What actually came out was a diatribe against shop-bought pesto in which the phrases "aberration against nature" and "work of Beelzebub" flowed in a torrent of bile. I even suggested a simple lemon sauce which my friend could make "in less time than it would take to remove the lid from a jarful of sawdust and vinegar". Eighteen months later, I worked with him again, and with the look of an inexperienced lion-tamer unsure whether to re-enter the cage, he said: "By the way, I still make that lemon pasta. It's very nice."
When I do give an opinion, it's plainly a terrifying spectacle. If you ask me, it's best not to ask me.
Rebecca Front is currently starring in 'Grandma's House' on BBC2.Reuse content