Visiting the Ancient Hypochondriac the other day, I patiently listened to the Organ Recital. I arranged my face in a suitable facsimile of concerned interest. Although, if he is as intelligent as he never tires of telling us he is, he must realize,on some level, that I'd rather stick pins in my eyes [or his] than hear the whole litany again. Nothing daunted, he mercilessly makes me listen to the in-depth details of the latest ache. It is futile to raise a squeak in protest because, although he sees my lips moving, it only makes him talk louder.
My theories are:
He knows I'm trying to talk common-sense to him but he is not interested in common sense;
He doesn't give a rat's ass what I'm trying to say, he just wants to be talking;.
I'm Irish, how could I possibly know anything?
I'm female, how could I possibly know anything?
All of the above.
By his reckoning I should be barefoot in the kitchen, cooking palachinki for him, and keeping my opinions to myself.
Organ recital over, very little sympathy forthcoming, he starts complaining about his doctors. Too bad they can't do more than practice medicine. He won't listen to them, but if they won't be quiet and listen to his theories about what is wrong with him, they must be incompetent. All they're interested in is money. If I were his doctor I'd be interested in money too. Specifically, how much I'd have to pay him never to darken my door again. Incidentally there's a pot of gold waiting for the doc who finds the cure for old age. Dr. Kevorkian doesn't count. Besides, he already found the cure for himself.
Half an hour is my limit. Less if he starts in on Mr. Obama. As I trotted out the door, I spotted some laundry and offered to take it.
"No, no, no! O will be here on Tuesday. She'll do it"
I thought of O, giving up the job she loves, leaving her cozy house empty, leaving her friends, her daughter, her garden and her familiar neighbourhood, to come and live with this ancient, petulant, hypochondriac, and I thought the least I can do is a few bits of laundry so her first job when she lands won't be washing his underwear!