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Monday, 9 April 2007

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday proved to be the exact disaster I had anticipated, although at least I could drink alcohol to numb my senses and help me through the day. Hurrah, at last my Lenten fast was over and I could also eat chocolate! Calm has returned once more to Alleyn Road.

James was out working all day, but I had been aware that he would be unavoidably absent for the last two weeks. No, the big stress of the day was the fact that my mother was spending Easter Sunday at our home, as usual...

My three older sisters are all abroad and unmarried, all three free from obligations with regard to children and (as far as they are concerned) family. Our sweet mother spent the entire day either reminiscing about the tragic death of my darling father thirty years ago, or being nasty to me because she feels neglected by her ungrateful offspring. I am her captive audience - her abused youngest stay at home child (although not 'stay at home' in the family home - clearly).

My oldest sister Veronica is almost 48, and lives - well she lives all over the planet actually. She was a model and 'parts of her' were stunningly pretty when she was younger. She was 'the hands' of a major brand of nail polish for an age. Veronica is the picture of my mother, and can do no wrong as far as she is concerned. Veronica spent Easter at a spa in Antigua is a very clever lady and invested wisely in property when she was younger. Veronica didn't even bother to telephone to say hello - poor Mother.

Michelle is my next sister 46, and she works in IT and has a super hi-powered job for an enormous multi-national firm based outside Dublin in Ireland. She too was working all over the Easter holiday, and omitted to telephone our mother.

"Too bloomin important for her own good", according to Mother. "She never prioritised having children into her grand plan - so who will look after her now when she grows old, who will visit Michelle?"

Then my super sister Lisa, she is 41 and a dynamic foreign correspondent and journalist currently working in Iraq. Mother is worried sick about Lisa, and spent most of yesterday wearing the head phones from the "Skype" type thingumabob that James set up for her before he left for work this morning. We were hoping that Lisa would try to contact mum via the Internet as she had promised.

Before journalism, Lisa spent almost a decade living in a tipee commune type of arrangement in Wales. My mother despised this lifestyle choice back then, but on reflection, would prefer it to Lisa's current dynamic and dangerous incarnation. My three older sisters have always been terrified of falling in love, reluctant to comit, cautious of having their hearts broken.

I can understand why mum is upset, but I am always here, I don't let her down, yet I am the one who suffers the brunt of her anger and frustration. I am afterall, the only one of her daughters around to take it, and incidentally the only one who looks like my father!

I knew the afternoon was tipping into a downward spiral, when I noticed my mother in the kitchen with a bottle of James' cherished wine which she had pilfered from the cellar.

"Don't worry," she chirped, "it is just white Hungarian rubbish, James won't mind. Why can't he just get a bottle of chardonnay, and keep it for me at the back of the fridge?"

Did I tell her how expensive and worshiped this particular wine was? Insist it was returned to the cellar, and pop over to Tesco Metro to buy some plonk for her and end up suffering her scorn for the rest of the afternoon? No, I chose to suffer James' scorn instead. James is far more forgiving than my mother.

She poured a large amount into a tumbler, drowned it in 7up, and topped it off with ground ice from the dispenser on our brushed steel Miele American Fridge.

"Marriages come and go in this day and age" she often re-assures me, "but your mother will always be your mother - even if your husband runs off or dies or something"...

I suppose I could have offered her a Riedel glass to drink it from?

What's the point?


Scruffy Mummy said...

Oh poor you. I feel abit guilty now - as the sibling in my family who escaped and is living a un-fettered, no parental responsiblities existence in England why my poor brother is burdened by the responsiblities for aging parents - one of whom is going even madder with old age.

Then again, I read your blog also with a guilty sigh of relief.

I don't know what to suggest - other than barring you mum from your house at holiday times?

antarctichousehusband said...

Dearest DM, I hate playing Martha to other people's Mary's, and no doubt so do you. Your sisters sound very racy indeed, but I have no doubt that you are the pick of the bunch! Your mum is lucky to have you.

Nunhead Mum of One said...

It could have been worse - Grandma Elizabeth could have popped up for dinner! Always look on the bright side dear one....

Silvana said...

Some cod is farmed now and deep sea is in such short supply it is well worth paying the extra for the organic.

dulwichmum said...

Now this is why it is good to have my friend Silvana! Why would the fishmonger not explain that in his little sign? Too late for this week, but my nails look fab!

Babysteps said...

Families are hell. Pass the wine and chocolate.

(Now see,I feel angst now, because I'm sure my own little darlings will be blogging about how evil and dotty mummy is in a few years.)

Stevo said...

Love it. Just been put on to this by a mate who lives in Dulwich. Same old, same old in Clapham. Anyway, I have just started a blog. Brilliant fun. Check out 'brokenlegdiaries' to compare life with another 30 something...

dulwichmum said...

Poor you Stevo, blogging will make you feel better. It is my attempt to keep me from complete insanity!