The worst of watching a parent age and die is the conversation. We long for the meaningful conversation that we despised when we were young. Overnight our parents become inane. What’s more, they revel in it. They punish us. When we were younger we begged them to talk like other kid’s parents especially when our friends (those other kids) were round for a snog and the burning of joss sticks.
Fucking hell mum don’t make a dissertation out of it. This isn’t a question of politics or human morals, noble spirit, deferred gratification; we got drunk on cider and the girls put make up on us like David Bowie, move on for fuck’s sake, and write me a note for school. (no fucking way).
Now we wish they would return to their rigour and shut the fuck up about just how terribly nosey is Mrs Wickes in number 11 (I think she is lonely) or the total, total, lack of urbanity in restaurants or in Boots the chemist, or with tradesmen looking at the ceiling.
Fucking hell, how do they manage to shed a lifetime of propriety, etiquette (which they imprinted on US by the way- ie never make anyone uncomfortable by your presence or speech or table manners) so easily? Piff paff poff and it’s like it never happened. After seventy something, they don’t give a flying fuck.