27 October 2011
How To Clear a Room in 20 Seconds!
Not my kids, you understand. I mean my mother, mainly.
It was a big day and one that could have been avoided for a while yet, had we all not been in the area (100 miles away from here) for the party of a friend that was important enough to warrant the travelling. Plus taking along the new partner.
We hadn't banked on the meeting the relatives palaver yet. It's very early days. However, we were there. It had to be done. The children would want to see their Nan and their cousins, wouldn't they?
Mistake number one was being manipulated into accepting the invitation proffered to dinner.
Mistake number two was giving any credence to the idea that it might not be an ordeal.
Mistake number three was on my family's part of never asking me anything about my new boyfriend before they were to meet him. If they had bothered to, perhaps we wouldn't have cleared the room.
He caught one of my sisters out lying about having read my blog, when she clearly had not, but who cares about that anyway? She didn't want to show her face or hang around, shame on her, despite the jovial (and superb) way it had been handled. Her husband immersed himself in the washing up and my mother never returned to the table for her pudding, choosing to eat it in another room (!), leaving only us both alone at the table for a sufficiently indecent time, to wonder what on earth had happened.
It can't be easy for people to adjust to a new man when they've been used to a different one for 13 years, but it isn't necessary to insult him. My mum might have already taken the view that 'he would be ok while it lasts,' which is what she said over the 'phone, on the only occasion he was ever mentioned - as though this were my view, yet it isn't. This is certainly the light under which he seemed to be 'welcomed.'
But the bombshell that seemed to bring our dinner to an early end came when he answered the innocent enquiry as to whether he has any children: Yes, four, grown up, girls. But there had been five, a boy who died last year, from a drugs overdose, aged 25.
He wasn't emotional - no eyes welling up in the telling or anything. They never found out that he was a son he had taken on and not naturally his and they didn't even get on because the subject was so swifly changed, piles on plates practically hoovered up and the room virtually evacuated.
He may as well have proudly let rip a great fat load of wind.
Is there such a thing as a metaphoric fart?
That'll teach them. Guess where we're NOT going for Christmas this year!