Monday, 1 December 2008

Eye Eye Cap'n

I knew trouble was brewing the moment I laid eyes on My Mother's friend/critic/enemy Shirley-the-competition. She had new glasses. Not just any glasses, oh no, little gold, shiny, half moon ones, the kind your headmistress wore hanging on a bead necklace that you always imagined she tied her husband up with in bed. Thinking about it now though she probably doesn't anymore, not with the arrival of Ann Summers, and besides she must be about a hundred by now and operating bondage gear with arthriticky hands would probably put them off most nights. Maybe just special occasions and birthdays:
Do you fancy one tonight Bert? (or some other old person sounding name, you're welcome to use your imagination),
Why, what's the occasion Doris? (again, imagination-using invitation proffered),
Another one of those blasted telegrams from the Queen
Oh heck, best get your necklace out then
Shall I do your bunions first to stop them chaffing?
I'll get the sandpaper
Anyway, Shirley-the-competition stood there, half moon glasses perched Dame Edna-like upon her rather pointy and long nose (for sticking into things according to My Mother), staring at My Mother's carrot cake. And this is when it happened, Shirley -the-competition lifted her chin a little into the air (not too much you understand, just enough to let you know she'd practised this in the mirror at home) and peered down over her glasses at the cake.
Hmmm, she said, in her best Church Flower Arranger voice I think you may need to add a little more baking soda next time, it's a little flat this side.
My Mother glared upwards, no doubt spotting herself reflected in the new glasses and not liking what she saw (who does? it's like discovering you are really an upside down spoon shaped potato head), and observed Shirley-the-competition peering down at her. It was as good as saying excuse me little worm and flat carrot cake maker, I am older, wiser and significantly more important that you. In fact, forget my advice about the carrot cake, you're not worthy of it.
My Mother sniffed and moved away from the glare of the glasses and busied herself with a pot plant. I knew then, with a certainty as strong as my liking for chocolate, that trouble was a-brewing, and I scarpered.
The next day My Mother came calling, running the usual finger along the mantelpiece checking for dust, sniffing loudly at the milk before she used it and laying the clean tea towel she'd bought with her onto the chair before sitting down. She cut straight to the point: I've been noticing recently Darling that I'm not quite as observant as I once was, have you noticed anything? Because if you have you would tell me wouldn't you? I mean one isn't quite as young as one once was, and one does know that one's faculties may be fading just a tad (My Mother talks like she thinks the Queen would, personally I think the Queen would have a fit at the interpretation, or at least require a stiff whiskey and an early night with Prince Philip and the necklace). If she had paused for breath at all, just once, I would have taken the opportunity to break in and save her the trouble of the pretense. She wants some glasses. Half moon, shiny, gold ones (although heaven forbid I hope she doesn't want the necklace) just like Shirley-the-competition. How on earth can she be expected to keep Shirley in her rightful place (i.e. lower than her and last on the Church roster) if Shirley uses such a downright unfair prop? Once she had turned so blue that she was forced to pause and inhale, I suggested this to My Mother who looked at me as if I'd just stripped in front of the WI (she hasn't seen the calendar so doesn't realise it's de riguer now). What Shirley has she sniffed, means absolutely nothing to me, I'm simply concerned for my eyesight and was wondering if I may need some glasses. This from a woman who, when we were growing up, could spot a misdemeanor at one hundred paces, it was like being raised by an owl.
There was no point arguing, once My Mother wants something, she invariably gets it, so I've booked her into the optician tomorrow. Now I just have to work out how to slip a pair of half moon, gold, shiny spectacles into the optician's hands without My Mother's owl eyes alighting on them like some unfortunate rodent and guessing that the question of her getting some glasses (albeit ones with plain glass in them) is a foregone conclusion. That and how to explain that under no circumstances is she allowed to keep them on a beaded necklace.

20 comments:

Moannie said...

That was so funny, and very true to life. How about a lorgnette on a long ribbon, or better yet, with one of those stick things...she can hold it up to her eyes abd say, disdainfully 'Should have gone to specsavers'.

Tara@Sticky Fingers said...

Gaaaaah!
How do you remain sane when faced with this?

Seriously, kids are a walk in the park compared with some 'grown ups'!

http://reluctantmemsahib.wordpress.com said...

very funny. is shirly-the-competition for real?! In fact, is your mother for real! x

Mud in the City said...

Fabulous! My vote's for a monocle.

Nota Bene said...

I'm worried...first of all you talk about some fetish fantasy you have about tying up men, and then you move to a second fantasy with royalty and a necklace. It must be the cold weather.

As ever I'm on your mother's side...

A Confused Take That Fan said...

MH - I never imagined my head mistress doing that with her beads from her glasses! I didn't think anyone over 30 had sex. I was kind of right.
I like how your mother brings her own teatowel to sit on. Are you chairs/sofas filthy or covered in dog hair?

cheshire wife said...

My mother sounds very similar to yours in many ways, but likes to think that she does not need glasses, although she does have some, which she rarely wears.

cherish.photography said...

hehe...funny!

Millennium Housewife said...

Moannie, that really made me laugh!

Tara, I find walks in the park tricky too. Maybe it's me?

Memsahib, enormous amounts of artistic licence used here

Mud excellent

NB, she'll come round you know, I swear, be careful...and fetishes, nothing to worry your head about la la la


Confused, both


CW, shall I send her some of my mother's?


Cherish, thanks for stopping by, on my way over

Robert said...

I'm jealous. I can't write as funny as you. It's not fair!

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Shall we get them together with my mother in law?

My dear old mum used to have one pair of glasses to look for another pair.....and she could find neither!

Potty Mummy said...

Jokes...about... pearl... necklaces... struggling ... to ... escape...

Cannot compute!

Beeeeeeeeeeeeep.

(and so sorry, but I've tagged you - twice. I'm nothing if not efficient...)

Devoted said...

How funny! I have a drawer and a purse full of those tiny readers but prefer to search for them rather than dangle them around my neck. I might be a grandmother... but I refuse to submit to the "granny style." I'll keep my low rider jeans, died hair, and contact lenses...thank you very much! :-D

I wonder now...how did her appointment go? Glasses, yes or no?

Millennium Housewife said...

Robert, flattery will get you everywhere!

Nunhead, I think we'd have to warn the police if we do...

PM, oh go on, let it out!

Devoted, you stay with the jeans girl!

Susanna (A Modern Mother) said...

Great story.

I can related to the mother running the finger and sitting down on a tea towel!

Ernest de Cugnac said...

Sniffs the milk, loudly, before using it?? Hysterical (funny I mean, not your mother, though she might be).

Jolly Good Yarn Girl said...

Give me a ring! We need to do therapy!

Jolly Good Yarn Girl said...

Oh yes, by the way, my mother in law brings her own rubber gloves to my house - I mean I have some, but clearly I don't wash them and hang them inside out on the washing line...

Nunhead Mum of One said...

Have tagged you!

Frog in the Field said...

A brilliantly funny post, fantastic.
So sorry I haven't called in, I've been really occupied in the real world (boring!).