The C word

The S&H the DIL and the GD (granddaughter) came on Saturday and joined us a bit late in a restaurant because of traffic.  I was glad it was a restaurant and not me doing the cooking because of the journey time.  Numerous visits to my parents started badly because we were late.  Grown up people without rugrats underfoot forget what an effort of will it takes to get the Other Half out of bed on a not-work day and get the infant fed, watered, washed. dressed, changed when they’ve suddenly got filthy, and all in the car at once in time for the half hour of fetching stuff that got forgotten.  When we visited my parents, unless we turned up bandbox fresh in new clothes there were words and disapproval if we were late but always in time for half an hour of ‘What it takes to keep a dinner hot when people who only have to get here don’t even have the courtesy to be on time when you were told three weeks ago what time the lunch would be on the table, it is simply manners when people have been slaving over a hot stove..I have had to have three sherries while I’ve been waiting and now I’ve got a headache and it hurts my eyes to look at what on earth it is you’re wearing……….’

I decided I would never do that, so I either do cold food, or a casserole you can turn down the heat upon or, frequently, a restaurant.  This time the DIL ordered pasta for the GD, which turned out to be first-time ever spaghetti,  I fork fed the GD with the spag and she was brilliant.  Duck to water, child of probably Italian ancestry to spaghetti, natural order of the universe etc.  We were even sitting near the ladies so I could go and have a quick hose down before the next course.

Apart from the cats, which I still have after a chat with the S&H who still wants them both back, all two of them, oh dear, a strong topic of conversation and worry was the C word.  Yes Christmas is looming, potentially the fifth time I’ve had to arrange to spend the festivities with the insane and make numerous alternative arrangements in case it all goes wrong at the last minute as it did last year.  Last year relatives with a guilty conscience who hadn’t been near for months arrived and stayed for four hours, several others arrived in the days following until my mother was so hysterical with exhaustion the doctor cancelled Christmas on Christmas eve.  We removed all the food, presents and decorations and my mother retired to bed only sitting up once an hour to phone and swear at me.  We eventually had the celebrations a week later when she’d calmed down.

Some idiot suggested I don’t tell her it’s Christmas this year.  In a retirement home with 12 foot ceilings and Christmas trees to match?  Carols and bands and specially laid tables and staff dressed up as reindeers?  Are you kidding?

The generation down are planning Christmas day with the other grandma and generously offered, as they will be nearish, to meet us for half an hour at the home my mother is in, during the afternoon.  Which still leaves us having our lunch in an old folks home on Christmas Day.  If it does come to that, which I hope with every ounce of sincerity I possess, it does not, but if it does, I shall get my apron on and be a waitress. Yes I know there are homeless people all over the world who will be having nothing in a gutter and I am an ungrateful brat but I so do not fancy a festive lunch of dead animal seated between someone ostentatiously drinking water who can’t wait to get back to the pub opened specially for him and someone popping sprouts up their nose and complaining about how poorly the oxygen machine is working today.

What have I done to deserve this and why do we, as a planet, have the extreme stupidity to insist that everyone on the surface is happy for a day?  And the folly to imagine that can be achieved by killing a lot of animals and giving people socks?  And we’re supposed to be the intelligent life form?  I worry, I really do and when I’ve finished doing that I’m going to embroider ‘waitress’ on an apron.


No answers. just questions.

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