Thursday, 16 June 2011

The Perils of Living with Parents, Part 3 million.

My weekday mornings run like clockwork.

Get up. Shower. Deodorant. Contact lenses, then moisturise face (v. important, or you get moisturiser in your eyes). Hair. Get dressed. Make up. Greet dogs. Breakfast. Brush teeth. Check mirror. Leave house.

Usually, this is only part of the day that can be planned. You can't control the traffic, and London Transport is a law unto itself. Things can be factored in to the morning routine; a dog walk, 10 extra minutes in bed, or 5 minutes lying on the bathroom floor wondering when tequila on a school night became a good idea. But to get my day off to a good start, I generally like to know about these things in advance. This, in various degrees of OCD, probably applies to most people.

Unless you're retired.

A shout came up the stairs this morning, and I poked my head around my door.
"What time are you leaving for work?" My mother stood, coat on, near the front door.
"Around quarter past nine."

A pause.

"So, normal time? Nine? Just after?" she prompted, as if my last sentence never happened.

"Well, like I said. About quarter past. Probably nearer 20 past, because I've got pilates this evening so I'll be leaving work later to go straight there."

"Oh. Are you not leaving at nine then?"

"Probably not. As I said, it's quarter to nine now...and I'm standing here in my bra. I've still got to eat breakfast. So I'll be leaving in about half an hour."

There followed an audible huff.

Apparently, mum had plans too. Places to go, people to see. Expecting to be able to catch a lift to our local central line station with me, she was now faced with a problem. A problem that - in my view - could be solved by her waiting an extra 10 minutes, walking to a closer station, or using her own car to get where she needed to be.

"Well can't I at least get a lift to The Closer Station? IT'S POURING WITH RAIN!"
"At least? Mum, you didn't really give me notice. Plus you've got a car! It's like £2 for the carpark...just drive!"

Stomping. More huffing.

Feeling guilty, I admitted defeat. Shoving on a t-shirt, I grabbed my car keys and went downstairs. "Oh, fa gods sake. Come on then. Let's go"

But the lady who, just two minutes earlier had been stood at the door, coat on, handbag on shoulder ready to go, had now put everything down. She was searching for something. I stood by the door. "Ready?"

" find my glasses. Now where are they? Have you seen them?"

(At this point, I should explain that this is a fairly regular occurrence in my house. Despite having no less than five pairs between them, my parents seem to spend a sizeable chunk of their day searching for their specs. And when you find a pair, you get "Not those ones, no. My other ones".)

Five minutes of patting, rummaging and tutting, we eventually made it out the door. It's now ticking past 9am. Two roads away from the station, we hit rush-minute traffic. Sensibly, my mother gets out and walks the rest of the way.

I'm back at the house and continuing to get ready. As I brush my teeth I can hear the house phone ringing. I go into my room and check my mobile. One missed call: Mum. I call back.

"We've stopped, but there's been a power cut. There's no trains from the next station."


"So if I get a taxi back to the house, will you still be there to take me to the other station?"

This logic dumbfounded me.

"Mum, by the time you get a taxi back here, and I take us BOTH to the other station, you might as well just get it to take you straight there. Or somewhere else closer to where you need to be."

This she laughed off, as if I'd just suggested renting a spaceship and flying there.

"So you won't be at home if I get a taxi back?" she continued.

"No, mum. I'm leaving - hoping to leave - in a few minutes. Just got to put my shoes on and I'm out."

"Well there is one thing you can do, if you've got time...that is..."

"I don't really, but what is it...?"

"I'm going to be late for my meeting can you get the number of the place I'm going and..."

"Mum. You have an iPhone. Google the name. Instead of waiting for me to do exactly that and text you, or fire up my laptop, just type it in Google on your phone and ring them straight from that."

"Right. Fine."


"No, it's fine. Don't worry about it. Bye."

Eventually, I left for work. Late. Annoyed. Routine disrupted. Wondering at what age common sense starts it's ascent towards the window.

And marvelling at the fact that while my mother might have lost her work routine, she has not lost the knack of giving the perfectly formed guilt-trip.


Anonymous said...

Oh I feel your pain. I live at home too and am DYING to get out!

modelofa said...

I refuse to stay with my parents for more than 48 hours.

I feel your pain.

j said...

Ha! My parents have the same logic at is getting worse as they age.

Nimpipi said...

Post after my own heart! They're universally crazy. The specs and the keys and the where are you going and the what time will you be back and the who is a gprs. Oh my god. And YET I don't move out. Wrists a slittin!

jman said...

I feel a book coming on - Parents are from Mars and Children from Venus or something to that effect. Somewhere on the internet is a parental type blog telling exasperating offspring stories!

Grump said...

Jman you have it in one. The parents and grandparents are pulling their collective hair/teeth out, trying to get you youngsters to move out. I left home at 16 and never looked back. I know it was different then. Well vive la difference.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that this will be you in a decade or so.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

A decade?

How old do you think I am?!!

If I'm like this at 36 there's something wrong with the world...


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