Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chinese Laundry Service

Okay, So I'm not Chinese. But laundry is one of my talents. Five children, one sweaty husband, years of practice. I can do it in my sleep.

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 sees my lips moving but is much more interested in the sound of his own voice than the sound of mine;

    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?

    Or.....

    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!

    Ah so!

    10 comments:

    dianne said...

    i'm thinking "all of the above" and, especially the rat's ass part ... are you sure you were visiting the Ancient Hypochondriac and not my mother?

    laundry is my least favorite of household tasks - i would rather spend an hour cleaning toilets than half an hour doing laundry ... seriously.

    SmitoniusAndSonata said...

    But let's face it , it is your fault he's now that old .... you could have struck him down with a cleaver years ago !
    It's good that you'll be around to offer refuge for O when she needs to see a smiling face , poor woman .

    aubirdwoman said...

    now I am running and ducking for cover but ..... we are all going to get old ... well one day maybe :)
    Have you read My Sisters Keeper. Can you let me have your email as I would like to write to you.
    PS not about old age roflo.

    secret agent woman said...

    Laundry is probably my favorite household chore.

    It's a wonder to me that more people aren't utterly abandoned when they act like the A.C. does.

    Thimbleanna said...

    I might have to agree just a teeny bit with SmitoniusAndSonata -- perhaps you bear a little bit of the blame for this problem LOL?

    I've often wondered why it is that some people age gracefully and others are VERY ornery and crabby. I do hope I discover the secret before my time....

    Good Luck with the Laudry!

    Pauline said...

    I had to laugh at "organ recital," a term my mother applied to an aging aunt's phone calls. And I'm out of the loop here; who's O? and who's the AC (ancient hypochondriac?)

    lgsquirrel said...

    Like Pauline, I am lost in a sea of pseudonyms.

    Isabelle said...

    Hmm, yes, this reminds me a tiny bit about listening to the account of my mother's digestive problems...

    Tanya Brown said...

    Haven't been around to visit in quite some time - you've redecorated!

    I love the phrase "Organ Recital." Sounds like the FIL is in fine, if annoying, form.

    Kacey said...

    I think the problem with getting old is the sheer nothingness in life. I'm old, but not ancient....unable to use my rollerblades or waterski, but my brain still functions and quilting, reading, using the computer and watching "chick flicks" with my DH fill up the time left over after laundry and kitchen duties are done. As friends start dying off, we are left with precious little personal conversations to impart to our loved ones, so I guess they must be bored unless we are talking about them or their children. I remember my mom and aunts being preoccupied with the "state of their bowels", so I refuse to even think about that subject (to the point where I wound up in the hospital last month with a partial obstruction). Who knew? But, as to you and your "Ancient One", wasn't he a big pain in the tochas when he still had his wife? I've been looking through your posts and just can't find the time when you were suffering through his miserableness back then and your concern for your m-i-l. Nothing has changed....go ahead and rant a bit!