I/we just returned from a week spent at a cottage with several old friends. While I was there I ate, slept, swam and did a little writing in which I systematically slandered (well, my understanding is that if it’s written, it’s technically libel but I don’t much care) most of the people I was with. The cast of characters includes:
- Me: a cranky old guy
- Ms Rose: long-suffering
- MIP: a minor internet personality
- Ms MIP: yodels in supermarkets
- Underpants Boy: a young gentleman who appears to be channeling Keith Moon
- Seven of Nine: but without the cyberware
- EP: mentioned in ‘Breaking‘
- Ms. EP: also mentioned in ‘Breaking’ but has since recovered. Might need a name change to Ms. PB
It’s never really been relevant, but I think that I’ve implied in a couple of places that Ms. Rose and I are not married. Just to make it explicit — we’re not. We’re cohabitating. Living in sin. Shacked up. We’re POSSLQs. Ummers. (“This is our son and his umm, er…..”) Colleagues. Associates.
Over the years this has caused occasional… difficulties for some people.
It bugged Sir Rose, for example. Early on there was a proclamation that there would be NONE OF THAT under her roof. That ended, though, when we visited at a time when there was only one guest bed with clean sheets — if there’s anything Mom likes less than creeping immorality, it’s houseguests forced to sleep on dirty bedding.
That ended most objections, with the exception of the occasional pointed reminder that I/we haven’t delivered the required quota of grandchildren. (Well, that and the fact that it’s about damned time that I cut my hair.) Heck, a few years back she even asked my permission to propose to Ms. Rose.
Ms. Rose’s parents were less… overt with their objections — at least to me. (I’m still convinced, though, that her father has been kicking himself since 1987 for not flunking me in Chem 112.)
Last year, though, we discovered a new source of disapproval — a young lady of seven.
Suddenly, the pressure was on.
This year she’s (duh) a year older and the pressure — in remission for twelve months — is back. This is enough time for anyone — even a dimwit like me — to ask ‘why’. I mean, I sort of understand my Mom’s problems, but an eight year old? I didn’t get it.
Eventually I figured it out. Or, rather, I eventually asked the right questions — I’m not good at ‘Conversation’. (Especially with ladies. ESPECIALLY with young ladies.) Fortunately for me, a year is ‘enough’ time.
It turns out that at eight she’s old — practically the spinster aunt in a Victorian drama — and has never been the flower girl at a wedding. Apparently, we’re her final hope.
The moral of this story — if there is one — is that there can be unexpected… consequences when someone’s biological clock is ticking.
Good to know.