Bitch on the Blog

April 8, 2018

Lullaby

Sometimes, when lost in the sea of many possible perspectives, I seek advice. Seek advice with hope in my heart that if I don’t follow it [the advice] the advice giver is wise and kind enough to not take it personally, as a rebuff. That’s why there are some people in my life whose advice I do NOT seek. It’s enough to grapple with the problem that makes you seek advice in the first place, without then having to play nurse maid to someone’s hurt feelings. People like that don’t seem to understand that they should be glad to be asked in the first place as it implies trust, and that the purpose of advice givers is that of a midwife: Helping with the delivery, not claiming the end result.

Before I pursue the above line of thought, a subject dear to my heart, I’ll stick with the original purpose of this post.

Sleep has always been important to my mother. As she got older she started sleeping rather a lot. Now she sleeps, more or less, round the clock. Every time I phone her I can bet my bottom currency that I have either woken her or that she was just about to go BACK to sleep. This is during the day – not at midnight. So enter increasing irritation and exasperation (neither of which I ever voice to her) on my part. Who wants to see their once active mother wilting? I take it almost as an affront – of nature/biology. Once resentment starts creeping into any relationship you need to regroup, and/or seek ADVICE in order to restore perspective and balance. So, this morning, I took to the experts. Yes, really. Google.

Peace has once more returned to the part of my heart that is troubled by my mother’s (as perceived by me, excessive) need for sleep. A few clicks and links later it’s so simple I wonder why it hadn’t occurred to me in the first place:

“There is no law, indeed no need, why someone (particularly in their old age) should conform to our idea of being active. If it makes someone happy to sleep let them sleep.”  That insight, so obvious yet obscure in its simplicity, was all I need, in future, to not be endlessly frustrated by my mother’s sleepiness AND her blatant, if gentle, refusal to engage any longer with anything that clouds her days, and I quote the same source:

“Discussing a point is no longer important for her. It’s like all she wants is hearing our voices, smiling back, hugs.” Peace, I suppose. Peace at the end of a long life. A peace I will contribute to as best I can. Doesn’t come easy to me to put myself onto the back burner – yet, since when haven’t I been able to will myself to do almost anything for the greater good.

The hard part (for my mother), wait for it, that she is fully aware of her increasing frailty and laments vehemently the physical restrictions in its wake(!). Hardly the time I can make one of those, meant to be assuring, throw away remarks: “Don’t worry. Everything will be fine.” Though, most likely, in the end, emphasis on END, everything will be fine.

U

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April 5, 2018

Primal

My trusted lot, I need your help.

I have just come across a blog post that is so wrong about gender on so many levels if I don’t watch it I’ll turn into one known Canadian who has most forceful, convincing and obvious views on that subject (and many others) – and let rip.

So what do I do? Do I use my full arsenal (Alternative Comment Box) on my own turf and put my argument, or do I just slink away in the firm knowledge that whatever I’ll say, no matter how well reasoned,  will make no difference on the blogger’s-in-question outlook on life?

Question Number Two: Do you think there is a cut-off-point in terms of age when you leave the older generation and their blogs/opinions just to it? Is it kind or is it cruel to keep shtum, not challenge them and bite on a piece of well seasoned driftwood in order to stifle your screams instead?

U

 

October 25, 2017

The big question

Filed under: Accuracy,Amusement,Future — bitchontheblog @ 15:57
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Don’t I just love being caught clueless when someone asks me to guess their age.

There was a time when it was easy to narrow it down. Now? I don’t know what’s happened since but it ain’t easy any longer. And I have hunches like a blood hound. So bloody, that the other day a guy I’d had only just met as part of a group of unknown to me “youngish” people asked me, in a slightly coquettish way, how old I thought he was. Brilliant. I don’t like to disappoint people so I played the game. Long hair tied back into a pony tail. A looker. Pretty laid back. Positive about Brexit (and he was a “foreigner” living in England). So on that evidence and considering I’d only set eyes on him ten minutes earlier and he’d barely said anything since his two friends dominated the conversation I had to think on my feet.

There is one rule when people ask you how old you think they are: You think one thing, you take between two and four years off (when they hover around sixty or eighty five). That’s basic maths. Still, I don’t play by rules, so I say it as I see it. I gave it a little time. Looked him not so much up and down as settled on his face and demeanour. Assessing the little info garnered so far whilst he looked at me expectantly, saying “come on”. Ok, I said, 28. At which he excused himself under cover of needing to fetch himself a drink. Oh did his friends laugh. Thirty eight more like it, they sniggered, you have made his day. Though why it would make anyone’s day to be taken for younger than you are before you hit fifty is beyond me. If anything it’s an insult.

U

 

October 5, 2017

Purr

I need a reference point for reasons – in the context of this post – not important. Let’s just say that I need to put my mind to rest. Not least because my mother makes me wince every so often when she “remembers” things in my life she wasn’t even present at better than I do. Now? Now I don’t say anything any longer to correct her. Not since, about ten days ago, I sat next to a lovely lady two years my mother’s senior who was switched on, inquisitive, funny, lively – except every fifteen minutes or so she’d ask me whether I had any children. Having covered the subject of the Angel’s existence several times during our two hour wait my penny suddenly dropped. OH MY GOD. So this is how decline (ever so barely noticeable) manifests itself. No wonder my mother recently apologized to me for upsetting me profoundly. Unfortunately, what she apologized for wasn’t what I had taken offence at. WHAT the …? I left it. Thanked her for her apology. I don’t think she is interested in detail any longer. Main thing is that everything is hunky dory. “All I want is to be good with you”, she says. I do have to rejig my mind set when talking with her in future.

The reference point I need is for a period of utter chaos in my life (ca. eight/nine years or so ago). A few details a little hazy. A couple of days ago I realized that I remembered something that is, chronologically, not possible. So, anyway, and do laugh, I phoned the veterinary practice and asked whether they keep records from many years ago. Yes, they do. Great. Can you please tell me the date when my cat Bouncer (reference point) was put down?

Bloody blasted hell (and only my refined upbringing stops me from using all the swearwords I can muster to express my utter disgust at what the world of information has come to). They can’t give me the date of my OWN cat’s death over the phone because of data protection. Short of my date of birth which they didn’t request I gave the receptionist all the data she needed to conclude that I am not a Russian agent spying on myself. No doing. On top of which she kept calling me “My Lovely”. What’s wrong with the British? Emotionally stunted they proceed to call complete strangers “Love” and “Deary”.

I am now in the recovering position. Next stop on my journey through life? Extracting my own teeth.

U

July 2, 2017

Limitations

Filed under: Communication,Ethics,Exasperation,Future,Observations — bitchontheblog @ 20:06
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I may have mentioned this before. If so please attribute it to occupying my brain in an increasingly unnerving manner.

It’s vexing. Any advice gladly received. What do you do when people get older? Do you actually argue a point, set them straight as to the facts or just leave be? Obviously the latter the easy option. But also … I don’t know … condescending? Yet, what’s the point to put a point when someone (by virtue of age) is more or less on the way out? What purpose does concrete information serve? I think the answer is: None. Yet when does the point in someone’s life come when it appears kinder to just nod?

I don’t like to use Americanisms yet a useful one here: I feel “conflicted”. If ever there was a shorthand for being between a rock and a hard place it’s downright “conflicted”.

To reiterate: Is it worth it to point out errors or, less challenging, just put a different point of view when that person can’t make future use of being informed as their time is almost upon them?

I don’t know. It’s painful.

U

March 4, 2011

Fast forward

Filed under: Errors,Family — bitchontheblog @ 19:29
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THOUGH SHALT NOT GOOGLE YOURSELF or the wrath of a telephone directory will be upon you.

There are three entries in “192” as to my name: All the people, apart from one, I am supposed to have shared the same roof with are unknown to me. Just saying …

However, my move to Southampton has aged me considerably: According to the electoral roll they use to garner their misleading info I fall into the 65+ age group. Which doesn’t matter, except that I can not allow my father’s reputation to be smeared: He did NOT father a child at age 8 (he is now 73).  And my poor mother was 22 when I was born. What would that make her? Thus reputations are trashed.

U

February 2, 2010

Down the drain

Filed under: Despair — bitchontheblog @ 11:41
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May I quote my bosom pal’s last contribution to leveraged intelligence: “One of the beauties of ripening like a fine wine – also known as ageing – is the growing appreciation of gentle intelligence.”

Conrad, please do pass me the sick bag.

Ageing does not make a FINE wine per se.  A lot of wines best drunk young. As any grape grower will tell you, indeed I will tell you: Many an aged bottle is CORKED. But then it takes more than one taste bud to discern the difference between platitude and vacuity. And what on earth is “gentle” intelligence? The tree hugging equivalent of a sharp mind?

U

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