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Wednesday, 14 March 2007


What an eventful start to the day I had this morning!

At 7.20 am, my mother in law - Grandma Elizabeth telephoned me. It is just the busiest time of the day, trying to get myself dressed and groomed, and the children dressed and brought downstairs for breakfast. I can just about cope with a bullet point type urgent chat, but please ... no drawn out or mind game type conversations, they just cause too much stress.

Grandma Elizabeth opened the dialogue with the misleading phrase (and complete lie):

'Just a quick few words, I know how busy you are at this time of the morning',

and then proceeded to take forty minutes over an absolute epic of a conversation, causing me to miss breakfast, and arrive late for work with one half of my hair in cork screw type sausage curls, and the other half poker straight (never disturb a lady with her GHD).

Basically, Grandma Elizabeth phoned to gloat that once again she had 'saved the day' by remembering a relatives birthday and sending them a card from us! (I grind my teeth when she does this, as I hate the idea of anyone sending letters or cards in my name).

James' Great Aunt Alice was ninety years old today, and Grandma Elizabeth had sent a card from myself, James and the children - even carefully (she admitted) forging the children's signatures with her left hand, as she knew we would forget!........ Grrrrrrr. She sounded so proud of herself.

'You shouldn't have', I said.

'Well somebody had to remember', she replied, and continued;

'you have shown in the past that you cannot be trusted to remember'.


'No', I replied,

'you shouldn't have, we sent cards. James has all the significant dates programmed into his Blackberry' (snigger, snigger).

'Now I shall be exposed, Great Aunt Alice will think I am interfering again', she cried,'and you always forget!' she continued accusingly.

'I am sure Great Aunt Alice will see the funny side', I lied. 'James is collecting her from Bath this morning and taking her to Cheltenham for the races as a special birthday treat, I shall ask him to explain.' I said.

Grandma Elizabeth sounded sick! Oh, the joy.

'Why does Great Aunt Alice get to go with my son to a corporate race do? He never brings me!' she said petulantly.

'Well Grandma Elizabeth (she just hates it when I call her that name), Great Aunt Alice is having a special birthday, and although this type of do is usually just for the wives and partners, James made a special exception'.

Hurrah! I have waited for this moment. I have been so exhausted for the last five years with the children and breastfeeding and work and endless hours at the hairdressers. Now, thanks to advances in technology, I shall never forget a birthday or significant anniversary again.


Heidi said...

You showed remarkable composure. Every time my mother in law calls I break out in hives and develop a strange urge to play chicken with the number 185 bus.

Ah, birthdays. We have requested, politely, my mother-in-law to limit the childrens' presents (=plastic tat) to one per child. So, each child gets one present. From her. Then one from grandpa. And one from their dog. And one from their cat. And one from Auntie Jean. And one from Uncle Graham. And the mountain of plastic tat grows and grows as I grit my teeth...

dulwichmum said...

My dear Heidi,

Clearly, our husbands are brothers and share the same mother!

Heidi said...

if not, then our mother-in-laws graduated from the same university
with a BA Passive Aggressiveness
mine did double honours in Guilt Trips

East of Dulwich said...

Can you programme a blackberry to choose a random present and then text the relevant shop and have them wrap and deliver it?

Now that would be a technological advance for busy lives.

dulwichmum said...

Dear East Dulwich,

I want one of those! How very clever.