Waikanae Chronicles #2
I am not a parent and never will be, unless you count my inevitable future cats. But if I limited this blog to things I have directly experienced, it would become a morbid affair indeed: letting oneself go and down is rich but limited material.
So let me have the cheek to opine a tad about parents, specifically elderly parents….even more specifically, elderly parents in Waikanae.
It is no secret that Mums and Dads are prone to delusions about their progeny. If the children of the world were half as intelligent and good looking as their parents believe, there wouldn’t be anywhere near as many stupid and ugly people.
But it is only over the past week or so that I have begun to comprehend the scale of the parental delusion — and to gain a sense of how much effort must go into maintaining them in the face of messy reality.
It’s time for a radio play:
Suburban home, rattle of cups and spoons.
Bernice: How’s Derek?
Jan: Oh, he’s doing wonderfully.
Bernice: And Penny? They’re still loving Sydney?
Jan: Oh yes. They have bought a second place, did I tell you that?
Bernice: What? A holiday home?
Jan: No, it’s in the same area, just around the corner from their first home actually.
Bernice: As an investment?
Jan: Well, yes, you could say that. Derek is doing very well at work.
Bernice: Have they found tenants? For the investment property?
Jan: Well no, not yet. Penny is staying there in the meantime.
Bernice: Penny has moved out? And the kids?
Jan: No, no. Penny is just taking care of the rental property, and kids are keeping her company.
Bernice. Hmm. And is Derek OK alone?
Jan: Well, he is not alone exactly.
Jan: His good friend, Paul…you know Paul…
Bernice: The part-time model and hair-dresser?
Jan: Well, he works for Qantas now.
Bernice: Flight attendant?
Jan: No, he is a sensitivity trainer on sexuality issues.
Bernice: And he has the kid’s room now?
Jan: Well, not exactly. He has set up in Derek’s room. They have divided the bed into …how can I describe it?...notional halves…
Bernice: I see. Well, I better head off.
Jan: I’ll alert the stables.