Will This Day Never End?
The house seemed very sad, small and quiet this year with no Stevieling in it.
We barely managed to get the tree up the week before Christmas, and there was a very definite lack of Xmas Atmos about the place. Hell, even this post is almost a week late to press.
This year the annual family congregation at the In-Laws' place was cancelled in favor of doing it on Boxing Day instead, so Xmas Eve was a bit "meh".
Christmas morning we made a Skype connection with the Stevieling and Mr Stevieling the sig-nother. That was nice but not at all the same as having our daughter at home. In the afternoon we departed for the Mrs Steviemom's house for Christmas Dinner, made by Mrs Stevie and served to Mrs Steviemom at home.
Last year I nearly went mad from their insistence on watching Christopher Reeve in Time After Time which the Mrs Steviemom thinks is the best movie ever made and I regard as one step worse than dental surgery on the Voluntary Entertainment Desirability Scale. I had formulated a plan though: This year I provided Mrs Stevie with a copy of Noises Off which is a Christopher Reeve film I actually like. The Mrs Steviemom would have Christopher Reeve to gawk at, I would have a movie I could enjoy. We could actually sit through this one together. What could go wrong?
I'll tell you what.
The Mrs Steviemom decided to invite a guest, that's what.
Now my mother in law has managed to cast off every single person she has been friends with over her entire life over the course of the last couple of years, typically because they are "losing it" (her words). This woman she has cultivated, to the bafflement of the family. The lady was one of the nurses for my father in law last year, but not the one they had the longest.
But over the course of the afternoon it became apparent why the Mrs Steviemom likes her - she echoes back everything the Mrs Steviemon ventures an opinion on, and does so at the top of her not inconsiderable voice. The Mrs Steviemom is bombastic and opinionated, and also extremely hard of hearing. This lady was the perfect conversational foil (in the Mrs Steviemom's view).
My take-away was a little different.
By the second hour my tinitus was going great guns on account of my eardrums being given the sort of workout normally reserved for the deck crew of an aircraft carrier launching fighter jets or those who have to stand outside and push the plunger when the dynamite has been put in all the little holes in the quarry's workface.
The conversation ranged over many topics: Those with whom they were both acquainted who were sick, those who had died, those who had succumbed to Alzheimer's.
The lady was also wetly coughing fit to bust a lung on a regular schedule, each time ending the racking and hacking with a jaunty "I should go to the emergency room". When I offered to run her there she said "Oh no, it isn't that bad and I'm sure I'm well past the stage where I can give it to anyone". Ten minutes would pass and the whole pantomime would be repeated hack-for-hack, word-for-word.
I haven't had so much fun since my leg went septic.
We did a facetime link with my mother, using my iPad and that of my sister who was visiting the nursing home. The Steviemum didn't really "get" how the camera in the iPad worked and so ended up giving us views of the ceiling and the wall behind her a lot of the time. Still, it was nice to be able to have even that little remote contact.
Eventually the day let out a tortured scream and collapsed under the weight of its own suck and we went home.