There are days, I swear, when I walk around with a bucket on my head. Yes, I am that oblivious to the world around me that someone could easily approach, start drumming the theme song to the Lion King on the top of my skull, and it would take me at least 15 minutes to notice.
This past week or so, people have been nice to me. Abnormally nice, sort of like they know I have some life threatening disease (but non-contagious), but I forgot to open the letter from the doctor.
Any conversation that starts with that, well you know, sort of head tilted a little to the side, lean in, “So, how are you doing?” That sets off the alarm bells. I immediately start cataloguing my life to see where I might have taken a wrong turn.
This time, it is the lack of husband that has everyone else’s knickers in a twist. Mr Dear Husband has been on an extended trip – as he was leaving, he muttered something about “Jack Nicholson, empty hotel, kid on a tricycle”. As I barely pay attention on a good day, I responded with, “Well you have a safe trip now, ya hear,” and handed him a brown paper sack with a egg salad sandwich and an apple.
He and I have played this game for over 20 years now. We know the rules. We miss each other while apart, and squabble like a tree full of monkeys when he returns. This is just the way it is.
But apparently – that is NOT the way that people see it here, in this one horse town. Unbeknownst to me, I am now referred to as ‘that poor unfortunate single mother.” Well doesn’t that just conjure up an image you want for the world to see? Not that there is anything wrong with Single Mother’s – some of my favourite people in the world have worn this cap and made it look like something we all want.
Just not here – here, it brings out the Pity Party Brigade. As if ‘telling what to do and how to live your life’ were not a national pastime, now they get to do it with a tilted head and little sigh at the end of each sentence.
They mean well – and I can think of no way to gracefully turn down the offers that have poured in, so I have returned to what I do best – sarcasm.
“Oh, so do you think your Mr Dear Husband is going to make it home for Easter? He sure has been gone a long time…” head tilt, little sigh…
“Well I doubt he is going to be home for Easter – seeing as I killed him, chopped him into little pieces and buried him in the garden!”. I tilt my head to the left and maintain a creepy grin.
I get a unnatural level of pleasure from watching someone try to work out a) what I just said, and b) could I be serious.
One day I will learn to play the game, but until then, I will just enjoy the ride.