The phone rings:
"We're coming over on Tuesday to see you!"
"Are you, when?"It is mum. She sounds excited
"Tuesday. Your Auntie Rosemary and I, we're going shopping"
My Auntie Rosemary is the type of auntie that isn't really and auntie! She was known as Auntie by me when I was little because it was thought rude to call adults by their first name alone. A very strange part of English etiquette, which leaves one with a myriad of spare relatives who are not, but whom you still call 'auntie' when you are in your 40's simply out of habit. However this brief conversation sent alarm bells ringing in my head, I begin back peddling fast. Once is enough, I only went to the Mall with her last week! I love her dearly but I hadn't planned on another trip so soon.
"We'll come to you" Singy songy voice (she could tell!!)
Well that's a relief, at least it doesn't involve shopping.
"You're in my diary as free after 11am." She says.
I can't believe she monitors my day in the back of her diary!!
"I get back in at 11 from Small Sprogs tutor but I have to go out again to take him back to school at 12"
"Oh" taken aback. "That's not what it says in my diary. My diary says you're home at 11."
"I am home at 11, but I have to go back out again" (My sole reason for not working on a Tuesday is so I can take Small Sprog out of school and back for extra tuition)
"Well maybe we can come in the afternoon"
"Yes, that would be good, I'll be in for good at about 4"
"No, that might be a bit late for Rosemary, what about 2"
"It's my Pilates class from 1 'till 2" (In a 'I'm not missing that sort of voice')
I feel guilty now. Should I cancel my class? I can't go for the next two weeks because I have the children at home for the school holidays. I really want to go. Then I feel annoyed! Why didn't she call me first before she'd arranged the shopping trip? Then I feel I am being uncharitable. Perhaps I should cancel?
"We'll come at 2 then"
"I don't get back home until 2.15 at the earliest" (Usually all I have time for is some lunch and a shower before going out again.) I suspect she's thinking I'm making it up!
"That's OK we only want a quick cup of tea! OH GIVE ME A BREAK!! (I didn't say this though!) I tried to keep a very calm voice. She knows me very well though!
"I do have to out again to get the children at 3"
"When do you get back then?"
"I'll be home for good at 4" Again.
"But it's getting dark then!" She hates driving in the dark but 4pm? Still light so far this week! She wants to come at 2!!
I am close to bursting! Am I being difficult? I don't want her to think I don't want to see them. I am very happy to see them, but I'd like them to come at a time when I'm not just dashing in between venues. Then inspiration arrives!
"I know" I say "I can come to the Mall at 9.30 when it opens and I won't have to leave until just after 10.30, we can have a quick coffee and then you can do your shopping"
"Ooh" She sucks in a deep breath."I'll have to drive much slower than normal with Auntie in the car, I don't think I'll get there until after 10"
OMG, what speed does she usually travel down here at I wonder briefly? Briefly because it is much too scary to contemplate for longer than that!
I won't bore you with the rest. Suffice to say it went on a bit! And then there was no conclusion. And I still feel guilty! She's going to call back tomorrow after checking with Auntie. I have my fingers crossed she doesn't ring in the morning and say she's on her way! She most likely has it written down in her diary that I'm not at work at all tomorrow!