So I called my mother this evening. I’d already had a protracted wrestle with the gas suppliers, who have designed their website to be anything but elegantly useable, an odd quirk considering they wish to part one from considerable quantities of cash. Having sworn myself into a frenzy anyway, and caught myself bellowing ‘I should know how to spell my own damn’ cat’s name, you arse‘ at the screen of my beloved lap-top, I had clearly paid my dues to the Gods of Fucking Irritating. Calling my mother should be a doddle.
And there was all that good karma I built up by being the smarmy daughter who remembered Mothering Sunday.
So, dial on, oh brave and noble soldier!
Hmph. Matters started well enough. A sensible discussion about plans for a family wedding we all have to somehow shuttle ourselves to and back from next month. Some thoughts on wedding outfits, my birthday, did I want a wedding outfit for my birthday, etc. How various members of the family&friends continuum are doing (various shades of ‘badly’, alas, and There Was Gloom).
I asked about the scan for her scary lady-parts incident. Diagnosis – burst ovarian cyst, ithangyew. Also, she has seen a specialist and had some bloodwork done, and I harrassled her to harrassle them to offer up the results, sharpish. And bit my last remaining shredlet of fingernail off, as you do. But allegedly the specialist was quite satisfied nothing horrible and dramatic was going on, with which I shall attempt to pacify myself and stop bloody fluttering on about it all like a wounded bird.
Anyway, it gives me more energy to be totally fucking livid with the poor woman.
The next Big Topic of Conversation, was the cousin who had baby Edna about seven or eight weeks ago now. Cousin is down in the dumps, you see. Having a baby to look after is awfully hard. Just awful. And Cousin is having trouble breastfeeding and Edna was enormous so her poor undercarriage took a right hammering and Cousin hasn’t many friends with babies living near her and Aunt is being wound up by many unhappy little phone-calls and poor, poor Cousin. Up until this point, you know, I was perfectly in agreement with my mother. Poor Cousin indeed, newborn, rebellious bazongas, minced Parts healing slowly, hormones, etc. Sounded hellish. I mean, obviously, I am sick with envy, but yes, it did all sound miserable unfun.
And then my mother told me we, the family, should rally round Cousin, and we should all call her and support her in her time of need.
‘Mm-hmm,’ said I, as noncommittally as possible.
‘I feel so awful for Cousin,’ continued my mother, chirpily. ‘She’s having such a miserable time. It’s so sad. So we really must be there for her. Her mother and I are asking all the aunts and cousins to get in touch with her.’
‘You’ll call her, won’t you? We should all call her every day and make sure she knows she’s not alone. You really should call her and, you know, comfort her. Cheer her up. She needs us. I mean, this is all so dreadful for her. It makes me so sad to think of her, suffering through this all alone.’
I’m afraid I lost my temper. I said, sardonically, ‘Yes, I could cheer her up by pointing out Edna is alive and well, unlike all my babies.’
And my mother said, actually said, ‘well, I suppose you could, as long as you put it very tactfully and gently.’
I am now of course violently afflicted with Esprit d’Escalier.
But mostly, I want to say, and where in Buttfuck Ohio were all the Aunts and Cousins and comforting phone-calls during my miscarriages? OK, not the chemicals, but the two where I was hospitalised? The one where H and I trekked back and forth to hospital through the snow for two whole weeks in a state of terror, then hope, then finally heart-break after all?
The clan has a tendency to ignore me…
ETA, after reading the first few comments, I should point out that I also told my Mum quite strenuously that if cousin is feeling that miserable she needs to talk to her GP/midwife/health visitor, in case it’s PPD, which won’t magically go away when ‘comforted’ by a dozen or so relations via telephone (rather than by, say, two or three relations via hoovering and casseroles). And that she should be seeing midwife/lactation consultant re: breastfeeding problems. And then my mother pulled the ‘rally round’ stunt and my head went spang.