They came for dinner last night. A roast. Because that's all I can cook with real confidence. And my mum, bless her, says she loves my roasts. Leg of lamb. She brought the desert.
I have two close friends I grew up with and Mum and Dad consequently know them well - or knew them well as children. Recently my friends and I got together for a weekend away, one coming from Australia to visit her 90 year-old father. We banded together on a friday and took off for the Wairarapa. Inevitably 4pm - or thereabouts - saw us huddled over a bottle of wine, near an open fire, relishing being able to talk as we always have done. Without reservation and with the security of knowing each other inside out.
But it became apparent that the one who separated from her husband around 4 years ago now, had an attitude to men that was quite irrational. She was always a beauty. But in her fifties is quite convinced - no, convinced isn't the right word - absolutely certain that men are only interested in women superficially.
We dug and delved around why. Kept holding up our own experiences and others that conflicted with hers but she clung passionately to her arguments and examples. As we pushed on, it came out. Her father had always told her that men were only after one thing. He persuaded her he was right. She married early and probably thought she had found the man who was the exception to the rule. Cruelly, after many years of unquestioned faith, that man fell short and found younger (or something) targets for his affection. Of course her father had been right.
I was telling my own Mum and Dad about this. They remember her father. The family lived one house away. My Dad, without hesitation, but quiet recollection, recited the following:
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
My children were probably mildly shocked to hear Grandad use the f word but are mature enough to understand the context. Dear Grandad. Always makes us laugh, sometimes till we wish he would stop. Always makes us think. Never fucked us up.
But perhaps the lesson is, you will get what you expect from life. If you look for it, you will find it.