Thursday, 24 July 2008

that old people smell

My grandparents stayed at our house last night. Their sheltered flat is being fumigated for bedbugs.

Alzheimer Granny got very excited when we got out my baby album. She loves children. She’ll sit in the park and watch them for hours. When she was done cooing over my former cuteness (for I was a little cherub) she launched into her second favourite topic ‘Why aren’t you married yet?’. Fortunately she doesn’t speak any English and I don’t speak any Amharic and my mother has finally learnt that when this litany begins it’s time for her to stop translating.

Intrigued by some rather emphatic and emotive gesturing I got mum to translate the main points. “I’m going to go to Ethiopia and bring you back a husband…I’m going to find you a husband with a car!...The husband I bring you will fly in an aeroplane, he will fly the aeroplane….” And so on and so forth. It was rather sweet and made a change for her usual ‘You’re getting old. Why aren’t you married? You should find a husband so I can look after your babies….’

When she got tired of describing my future spouse she decided she wanted to go home. She paid no heed to my mother repeatedly telling her that her house was full of poison to kill the bed bugs. She got up, hobbled slowly to the front door and tried to escape. ‘The door is still locked!’ she told my mother. ‘I can’t stay here, you didn’t bring my pyjamas !’.

She hobbled back to the sofa and sat down, calmed and distracted by the sparkly costumes in the Blades of Glory DVD I’d put on.

1 comment: