My Mother calls me. ‘Hello?’ I say. ‘Darling,’ she begins worriedly. ‘Did you know that you went out today without your make-up?’ ‘Um,’ I reply slowly. ‘Well, I was just popping over to see you quickly then returning home to shower.’ ‘Oh,’ my Mother replies. ‘So you thought you’d only subject us to it?’
I’m not quite sure what to do with this sentence. For a start, my Mother has taken to referring to herself as ‘us’. ‘Well,’ I say. ‘I’m just in the newsagents buying some sweets, and then I’m off home to shower. I’ll try and sort everything out then.’ ‘Oh good,’ my Mother says, relieved. ‘I just thought I should tell you.’ My Mother’s greatest motto in life is that nothing should be left unsaid.
My friend was surprised by her one morning as he was coming out of the bathroom in his boxers. ‘Darling,’ my Mother called out loudly. ‘You have a friend here who isn’t wearing any clothes.’ (My Mother had popped by to deliver some mail.
My Mother has a very peculiar and unique mail-related illness. All important, much waited for mail is misplaced or discarded, while circulars and Boots advantage points statements are hand delivered to my house. ‘Darling, I know how annoyed you were last time I didn’t forward on your contact lenses. So I just thought I’d be careful,’ she tells me, shoving Dominos flyers into my hands). ‘Well,’ my Mother continues. ‘He’s very tall and muscly, isn’t he?’ She turns to my boxer-clad friend. ‘Did you end up here by mistake?’
A few weeks later we were at a family lunch to celebrate another infuriating achievement by my little sister. ‘I met Lucy’s new friend,’ my Mother says casually to my Grandmother. My little sister grins across the table at me. ‘Did you like him?’ she asks innocently, carefully moving her legs out of kicking range. ‘Well, I think next time I’d like to meet a little less of him,’ my Mother replies thoughtfully. ‘Oh darling,’ she says, turning to me. ‘Don’t frown like that, you’re already terribly lined.’