I had lunch with my aged parents today. They’re in their early-mid 80’s now and pretty much set in their ways. They are active n their church and consequently meet many people. They are very polite and this politeness can create awkward situations.
They related a tale today of a widow, whom I shall call ‘M’. She’s a Singaporean Chinese lady in her 70’s and has lived in New Zealand for over twenty-five years.
Anyway, my parents were complaining that ‘M’ has latched on to them. She keeps wanting to spend time with them and she keeps giving them things.
During this week, M took my parents to a local cafe for morning tea. Firstly, this isn’t a great environment because my Dad is quite deaf, and the ambient noise of a barista and busy room is imposing. “All that bang bang bang and whooshing – I couldn’t hear a thing”!
Mum was therefore left to talk with M, but told me she couldn’t understand a word she was saying. The heavily-accented English (“she’s been here for 25 years and it hasn’t improved”) was just too hard. Dad told me that just sat there trying to look intelligent. He wasn’t sure if he succeeded.
M had ordered a slice of quiche, and when it arrived the first thing she did was transfer it to Dad’s plate. Dad already had a slice of carrot cake there and wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do – so he cut it in half and returned it to her.
Shortly thereafter, M signaled the waiter to collect her plate. Dad thinks she said she’d finished, but noticed that she hadn’t actually eaten anything. More quiche confusion.
Mum chimed in: “We’ve found out she doesn’t cook. We think she eats only meusli bars. And she keeps trying to give us some”.
They then looked at me and said somewhat plaintively “We actually try to avoid her because she’s a bit clingy. We just don’t know what to do.”
I laughed. I’m going to have so much fun as an octogenerian!