Now, dare I tell my Mum a fib?
Telling your mum a fib is always risky - at whatever age, says Anne Edwards.
I am of the generation working passed retirement age and still having an active parent.
Mum is coming up to 87 and lives 120 miles away, so our contact is a once a month weekend visit, and weekly telephone calls on a Sunday on the dot of noon. These phone calls have been regular as clockwork for 30-odd years – and we speak for an hour.
Luckily Mum is fit and well, walks a lot, does her own shopping, goes to pilates classes and loves her life.
“Hello mum, you okay?” Our conversation at the weekend had started.
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“Yes, I’m fine, how’s the weather on the east coast?”
“Not too bad in Yarmouth, but a bit rainy in Norwich I think,” I replied thinking, we always start on the weather. Strange.
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Then I get a 15-minute breakdown of the weather every day since the previous Sunday, which days she was unable to go into town shopping or put washing on the line. I generally get in a few tuts or two.
Then we discuss TV programmes we have seen, as well as updates on missed storylines in Emmerdale and Coronation Street; followed by politics and “that awful Trump person!”
Mum voted Remain because she said she remembers the Second World War and the Russians are to be feared if the Brits are on their own, but now she reckons “that awful Trump person” could make it worse… “Look at his hair, for goodness’ sake, how can he be presidential with that hair!”
Mmmm… let’s change the topic.
What else have you been up to? I interject.
“Well, I bumped into that woman who we met for the first time when we were in Morrisons shopping last summer, you remember don’t you?”
I was lost for words but recovered quickly, deciding to humour her was the best way.
I suppressed a giggle: “The woman with the grey hair, short, very slim, wore a camel coat and about your age?”
“Yes, that’s her, I knew you would remember.”
Oh my goodness, what had I done?
Mum continued… “She asked after you anyway, she said to pass on her best and she was coming to Yarmouth for a fortnight in the summer. I told her where you worked and she’s going to pop in and see you. Isn’t that lovely?”
That means sometime this summer – June, July, August, a small, slim grey-haired woman (not wearing a camel coat), is going to come to reception and ask for me…
And I daren’t tell Mum I don’t remember the woman.
You see, I’m still the child and wary of being caught telling an itsy-bitsy white lie – to my Mum. And I have a pensioner’s bus pass!