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The Icemaiden Goeth

6 October 2011 by superlative

They’ve gone! Finally. What a fucking draining few days that was… It was nice in many ways, but some of it was horrific and more than once I thought “God, what have I done??”

They came down on Sunday afternoon as planned but had quite a hard time getting into Brighton as it was so sunny and busy, so in the end it took more than three hours to get here. That completely wiped Mum out, so she arrived in a foul and very exasperated mood. So what did she do as soon as she arrived and the minute I turned my back? She snapped at Chris, or said something rude to him, that was only fairly minor I think, but given she was in our house and he’s not that fond of her at the best of times, he got really cross. He bit his tongue, bless him, but said to me later “I nearly threw that fucking woman straight out of here!”

So that was a nice start.

Then on Monday I had my own little episode when I tried to take them to the pub round the corner for lunch. Mum, who has M.E., has a very particular set of requirements when it comes to… oh, everything really. And they’re completely inflexible (because she’s ill) but she also doesn’t really help herself with the way she behaves and the way she communicates.

She likes/requires: effectively no noise; lunch at 12.15am with very little margin for error; food that she ‘fancies’ or she can’t/won’t eat it; a precise temperature that varies and is impossible to predict.

So, although she wants to go out for lunch because she never gets out much, it makes it SO hard. There is MUSIC in pubs, for a start.

“Why do they always have to have music?” Mum said. “Do people like music?”

What?? YES! Yes people like music! And it’s not even loud!

And then the kitchen wasn’t going to be open until 12.30pm (note earlier time requirement), and THEN when we finally got a menu it only had things like confit of duck on it which was really expensive and wasn’t what I was expecting at all!

“It’s too loud and it’s too expensive!” Mum proclaimed loudly, in full earshot of the woman behind the bar (we were the only ones in there). “Why don’t they do things like sandwiches and jacket potatoes? This sort of food doesn’t even suit this sort of pub! It’s only a crummy little place!” And she went on and on and on.

I was so embarrassed.

“Do you want any of this?” she asked me, gesturing in disgust at the menu.

“No, I don’t want any of it now,” I said. “I’m going home because this has been a FUCKING DISASTER. I’ll see you there, I don’t want to walk with you.” And I stormed off.

How old am I?? A bit old to be storming off! But it wasn’t because of her needs that I was cross, it was her behaviour, which was awful. So childish and so rude. I never tell her off, and I never swear in anger in front of her, and so actually it turned out to be quite powerful. She was very meek for the rest of the afternoon, and then Tuesday and Wednesday went much better and the rest of the trip was pretty much OK.

I was probably the most stressed during the evening meals when Chris was there, because I was anxious for them to get on OK, but they were only a couple of hours each night and then they left us alone for the rest of the evening.

Even Mum’s birthday on Wednesday went OK and she didn’t freak out too much about being 60. We opened her cards, and we had a nice lunch up on Devil’s Dyke, and she said it was really nice to do something different and be somewhere away from home and to see me.  So that was the highlight I suppose.

They said they’d like to come again some time, which I suppose would be OK as they could be a bit more self-sufficient now they know where they’re going.  It WAS fine, but it was really tiring, and it’s really nice to have the flat to ourselves again now.

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