View RSS Feed

Barmy Blue's Bland Blog

Be Careful What You Wish For

Rate this Entry
Well yesterday was an eventful day.
The day before I realized that we should probably tell my mum's side of the family that my dad died. Even though they've been separated a long time the family still ask about him from time to time so it seemed only right to let them know.
For speed and so as not to have to call them all and disturb them all individually, I decided to Facebook message the ones I have, which is only three but still, and let it filter through to the others. Two of them wrote back with condolences and stating that they remember my dad fondly (and I thought to myself well at least you have happy memories. That's a bit harsh though. I do have happy memories of him too bit unfortunately they're buried under and mixed in with a bunch of crappiness too) and the other told her husband who told him mum (my aunt) who later called my mum to express her condolences. She had an accident not last Christmas but the one before and her recovery's been slow (she's considerably older than my mum, she's the eldest of the siblings after all, my mum is the youngest) and even once she was physically recovered she'd lost her confidence and didn't go out alone. Well since they last spoke she has been out alone.
And after that call we wondered if we should call my uncle too (the three family members I contacted were all from my aunt's part of the family) because it seemed unfair to tell one branch and then wait for them to let him know. So mum called to inform him too and they thought we were inviting them to the funeral at such short notice. No. I did think to myself that that idea would be nice, to have some family I actually see well SAW. Before the god damned pandemic. And I've really been missing seeing my family. At this rate the kids will be teenagers before we see them again. Shame because I still have a bag of fun looking books that I kept randomly getting for the little ones, if it's the sort of book I think I would have liked I want to get it, have a flick through for myself and then give it to them for Christmas. But anyway. We don't know if the news has reached the third branch of the family (the family of my deceased aunt) but her widower's birthday is the day after the funeral and I have FINALLY made his birthday card so mum wrote a note in there to inform him too. It seems all the children in the family loved my dad when they were young at least because he'd play with them. I don't know if it remained the same after he had his own child but he sure had his ups and downs as a parent.
So yeah. We planned to shop on Saturday and maybe I'd wash my hair so that I had today to fix it if I messed up again (Don't know why. I think it's either impatience or because I've been leaving it too long between hair washes but I've struggled washing my hair properly for a while. Maybe it's because my hair's too long too? Either it's not wet enough to begin with, I don't shampoo it well enough or I don't rinse it well enough or a random mix of all three. And since the shower stopped working it's hard to sufficiently wet my hair unless I'm in the bath, which serves the dual purpose of hanging laundry up to dry). Anyway. I was also trying to make some new masks because I don't actually have any funeral appropriate masks and I'd like to have some just in case and I have a set of fabric that I haven't used yet and I've been wanting to. So I set to making masks and also trying to force myself to make a birthday card for a a little relative. I managed to push put the card (yes, it was a bit of an effort for me) but I still had the uncle card to do and I'll have a bunch of cards to do for the rest of march. So I have all my card stuff down here and my sewing stuff.

So. Now to Saturday.
I fell asleep downstairs so I got to bed late and because I had to wake up to go to bed it took a while to get back to sleep. Fair enough. I'd hoped to be up in time to see the repeat of a daytime family film I wanted to see but 11am or 12pm was clearly not going to happen. So I slept in and missed it. I'd heard mum come back with the dog. Went back to sleep. Then there was knocking at the door. Then again. Did mum lock herself out? But I thought I heard her come back. Sometimes when I've heard the door shut I've thought she was going out when she was actually coming back. So maybe she was going out? But I'm sure I heard her talking AFTER shutting the door meaning the walk was done and she was home. So I got up. put on my dressing gown and went to have a look and got to the stairs just in time to see. Mum answered the door to discover....dun dun DUUUUUUUN.....her brother and his wife at the door.
Now then. For a long LONG time she and later on we have been ashamed of the state of the house. It is not tidy. We're not at the level of those extreme hoarder shows, more like something in-between that and normal so to a normal person it's quite a sight. It was allowed to happen after my dad moved out because he was the one who liked things tidy and it was a source of tension between them. So yeah. It's steadily gotten worse over the past 20-25 years. So, if we can help it, we DO NOT let people in. NO ONE comes round unless they have to. So this was perhaps the most embarrassing thing to ever happen to us (although it is entirely our own doing so you can't really feel sorry for us).
They're the relatives who live nearest to us but it's still a while away.
They're both elderly and have health issues and they took the time to drove over to come and see us during this time of grief and I've, well I think we both have, missed them so much and they brought flowers (because that's what we do when we visit each other and of course because of bereavement) and it's so nice to see them but HOLY **** WE CAN'T LET THEM SEE THE PLACE BUT WE CAN'T TURN THEM AWAY. So yeah. The most wonderful thing ever and the most terrible thing ever at the same time (but despite the humiliation we felt and it was horrific, the joy is still the dominant feeling. And I've figured it out. We do need to tidy up anyway, even though it's a huge job, because no my dad's gone we'll have to hire tradespeople to fix things and to on. So we tidy it up well enough and then we can laugh about it later. Oh yes. It was so lovely to see you then but also I've never been so embarrassed in my life. But it's all sorted now so come over for tea when ever you like kind of thing)
So I ran down the stairs (in pajamas and dressing gown at gone 1pm) look at the living room and think how can I make it look a little less **** than it is. There really isn't much I can do but of course they'll need to sit down so I take my blanket off of my armchair (It was a Christmas present from mum, it has a zipper so you can wear it. It's my routine so snuggle up in it most nights and watch tv until bed) and threw it over a particularly unsightly pile of crap (it WAS a very uncomfortable little settee/sofa bed but since we didn't need the extra seating it ended up being where mum put her stuff and steadily grew, plates, post, tissues, socks, snacks just to name a few and where I put recycling because the recycling basket is on the other side of the room (it's my flimsy laundry hamper from Uni, since I didn't need it a home we gave it a new job and it's gotten torn up pretty bad doing it) and you can't even reach it even if it was clean because we have a table and a storage box/seat (which I'm using as an extra snack table yes we have quite a collection of snacks)). It didn't do much but at least it hid something that would make them even more disgusted with us. There is very little foot room especially with the dog bed to. Just a decent path from my chairs (my desk chair and arm chair, the armchair's only mine because it's on this side of the room and mum has the other one and as it's just the two of us there's no point not using it (just a few years ago that chair was only used for Christmas, I only used my desk chair so I used it to put stuff on and it only got cleared off so my dad had a chair at Christmas)). And the hallway is occupied by the dog's things, she prefers the hallway, a cool mat that's burst a little so we have it folded over, an orthopedic bed with a thin cooling bed on top (mostly because the soft beds gather hairs and she keeps licking the beds, so the cool beds get swapped round so one's always being cleaned) an old bed that's flattened (it was her first bed, too small for her really) with another cool bed on top.
So mum worried about them navigating the hallway since neither of them and light on their feet.
Coming in my uncle nearly tripped on a shoe box and then got his feet a little caught up in the yoga mad when sitting down (It's a thick yoga mat we put under her bed to give it a little more cushioning because it's a bed with loose stuffing that shifts and flattens and as an added bonus it's pretty long so i rest my feet on it because sitting in that chair I have my feet flat and it makes them ache a bit sometimes)
Mum warned them the house was a mess. They said they'd seen worse (that was before they saw it. Normally when people say their house is a mess it means that they're having work done and that's why it's messy so it's pretty safe to say that's what they thought we meant).
I could at least explain the crap by and on my desk. Making cards and masks. But it doesn't explain the rest of the room or that only half of my desk is usable...well a quarter really since the computer (which is usually what I do use my desk for) takes up half of the half of my desk.
Thankfully I have a tin of biscuits with a mix of biscuits in. I'm the only one who eats them but they're available if mum wants them too. So I offered the assorted biscuits which is at least one thing normal people do for guests. Mum made tea and I left them to go and get dressed and tidy up upstairs in case they wanted to use the toilet/bathroom. I was gone quite a while. And when I say tidy I mean clean the dust off the bathroom scales and shoves crap in the cupboard and then get the stuff I've had left on the landing since before Christmas (including my Christmas card stuff) into my room and shutting the door. Not long after I returned they left both of us were cringing for the next hour or so. This is a mess that's a mess. Well it could've been worse. What if this had happened? Or that? Oh don't it doesn't bear thinking about. Don't worry, I'm sure they won't tell any one. They will. Will they? I didn't think they'd do that. Oh they will. .....Well they're pretty old, they'll forget soon enough. They won't forget (they're still pretty sharp after all). Well it's done now.
We went shopping and once we were home mum suddenly remembered that we could have asked my uncle about a lemon tree.
When we went to the garden center I also got a little orange plant because why not? but it doesn't have care instructions and all I know is that it's an indoor plant and needs full sun. And mum said her brother had a lemon tree some time ago. Maybe we should ask him about it. Of course we forgot about it during the phone call. But then he miraculously turned up at our door.
So yeah. Be careful what you wish for.
Mortifying as it was it was still worth it to see them and they were so wonderful to come round and see us just because we were bereaved. My uncle wasn't sure he'd remembered the way it had been so long. Mum had been watching tv when they knocked. And you know we don't open the door at the first knock.
Of course I was so focused on the inside that I forgot what t state the outside is. Things are showing their age considerably and because we don't have a gate the wind blows all sorts of rubbish in and the foxes bring things in too.
Oh well.

I actually started writing this up yesterday but gave up early on in favour of making the last birthday card.

It's the funeral tomorrow. Well today really. We'll see how it all goes.