Ah, folks, the things I feel like saying, but don't. They are many.
The other day, for instance, I had occasion to ring a woman I hadn't spoken to in 8 or so years; once, around the turn of the millennium, we were all souprun volunteers for a charity that works with homeless people. After several years (Gah. Quite embarrassing, really) of talking about it, I am hosting a Shindig tomorrow night, wherein we all meet up in my gaff, and talk the ears off each other. I am looking forward to it. They are a great crew.
So. I remind her who I am. She remembers me only because I married a Kerryman, if you ask me, she being from the same place, but anyway. Now I speak to her, and she despatches our common acquaintances right and left with labels marked: MARRIED or THREE CHILDREN or WORKING IN AFRICA or such like, I remember her stunning lack of tact, albeit tempered, as it is, with true kindness. However, we move along through Various Pleasantries, about my co-converser's fantastic grandchildren and children. How people are the thing! And everything is beauuutiful.
Have you a family?
I feel like saying: Yes. I have my very own Kerryman, my parents, my brother and his children. I have my brilliant friends, and a cat of uncertain temperament.
But I say: No
And she says: Well. That's okay.
I feel like saying: Is it? Is it? How is it? Explain. I'd love to hear how it is that you have arrived at this conclusion. PLEASE, I AM ALL EARS.
But I say nothing.
And then she launches into a Whole Thing about IVF and how it is Great, and how a friend of hers after treatment has three kiddies, and They Are Magic and Can Fly. And really, People are the thing! People!
I feel like saying: No, no. Monkeys are the thing! Monkeys! Trained ones! Also, crisp sandwiches. And I know nothing of this Eye Vee - what was it? - of which you speak. Did you invent it yourself? IT SOUNDS MARVELLOUS. Babies! JUST LIKE THAT. You should get a sainthood.
I say: Hmmm.
Then I guide her deftly off the subject. And hope she doesn't do it again tomorrow night. Or I might have to say something.
Ooh, I feel better now. I love my blog. Big hug, internet!
Rude suggestions on what to say to such people very welcome, of course.