vendredi 27 mars 2009

Auntie Mick

Older people like to talk about people even older than themselves.  A lot.  Often these people are dead.

This is my main observation from three evenings with my Mom and her sister.

Sometimes this can be tedious as you try and keep track of names (who was Doris again?) and try not to fall asleep because you've been at work since 7am.  Sometimes, however, this can lead to some real gems.

"Do you remember Auntie Ethel?" said my Mother to the gathered crowd (i.e. me, Aunt and Cousin).

"Yes, I do," said Aunt.  "She was a hard woman.  Always difficult to please.  But she was nicer when Bette was alive."

"Who was Bette?" - this is me asking.  I knew Auntie Ethel from my very early years as a child - she scared the bejeesus out of me.

"She was Ethel's friend," said Aunt.  "They shared a house until Bette died.  They used to go everywhere together.  They had that lovely ironmongery stall in the market."

"Were they lesbians?" - me again, asking the un-askable question, as per usual.

"No," said Mother.  "They just shared a house."

"Although, they did share a bedroom too," said Aunt.

"Yes, but times were hard, and neither of them ever married," said Mother.

"Wasn't it funny how Bette used to call Ethel 'Mick' ?"

At this point me and Cousin fall about giggling.  They used to go everywhere together, sold ironmongery, shared a bedroom, they never married and one gave the other one a man's name - I mean really, how were these women not lesbians?  

Plus, I distinctly remember sensible shoes being part of Ethel's get up.

My Mother looked at my Aunt and you could see that the pieces were falling into place.

"Oh my ..." said Mother.

"... sweet Lord" said Aunt.

"Sweet Jesus," said I, "how did you never work that one out?"

"We don't all have your 'gaydar radar' thing, darling" said my Mother, acidly...

16 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

Classic lol, we had the same with my Uncle Bobby who I adored.
Not married, dressed so differently to most of the men around me.Was gentle and had a lovely friend who I adored as well,Rhys. both were nurses at a time when it was unusal for men to take on that role.
It was many years after he died that my dad, his younger brother,said to me during a conversation about Uncle Bob, do you know we think he may have been more interested in men.
How sad that he couldnt have had more freedom in his life, he died at 40 from an overdose.

Daryl a dit…

I must remember NOT to eat OR drink while reading posts about your mother .. her gaydar quip totally caused me to choke on the tea I was stupidly sipping ... I really want to adopt her ... please please ...

The Hangar Queen a dit…

Ok....I was holding it together until we got to 'ironmongery'.

Madder than a sack of badgers!

Love it!

aims a dit…

What the hell is ironmongery?

Am ya - what is it with the older people? Why do they never see these things?

Let Daryl adopt your mom - I think that would be great fun!

A Lewis a dit…

I'm afraid that every family, including mine, has had similar men or women duos. Hard to place. Difficult to put a finger on. Confusing to try and figure out. Nowadays, they wouldn't be...but back then, it was just the way it was.

Victor a dit…

Older people like to talk about people even older than themselves.

Mmmmm, I better watch my tongue.

Anonyme a dit…

i love your mum! 'gaydar radar'! that cracks me up bigstyle.

you could tell as soon she said 'shared a bedroom' that they were together. how could they have not figured it out at the time? ah, that is jokes. i'll be laughing for ages now!

aww, i've got my coke and southern comfort all over me!

Ben a dit…

And don't think we didn't notice, Miss Gatsby and Miss Tibbs...

tornwordo a dit…

That got a giggle out of me. You're good at that it seems.

Anonyme a dit…

HA! Thanks for the laugh first thing in the morning.

Swearing Mother a dit…

Obviously, no one spotted the dungarees.

cb a dit…

so it runs in the family, eh???

Henry North London a dit…

gaydar radar I love it

Ive just done 9 generations of my family tree twins who didnt marry,
etc... Sounds fishy to me

ironmongery for Aims, Its the sale of useful bits of metal, ie locks, screwdrivers etc All those DIY things

Brett a dit…

Read this at work last night and laughed out load more than once, got some very strange looks from across the call centre.

travelling, but not in love a dit…

Hey all. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. It's a strange old story, I agree.

I don't have the time to respond individually in my usual way today...will you forgive me? I hope so.


Anthony a dit…

Classic. Absolute classic :-)