Monday, December 19, 2005

And so -- it begins ...

Of course we always know, when we are about to play host to my father, that a few things are going to be broken.

This visit, however, looks to be a banner occasion.

He had been in the house for no more than six hours when he had already managed to spill a good deal of red wine on a book of mine that he was reading -- a hardcover -- and to gouge not only a long scrape but a deep notch out of one of our floor-to-ceiling bookcases in the guest room.

Every year it's something: there was the year Lisa had bought me a lovely solid wood-handled umbrella for Christmas, and then the morning after my father had gone to play quartets with some friends, we awoke to see it with its handle broken and splintered off. Later on that day we heard about how he just couldn't get the damn cab door to close: he told us how he just slammed it and slammed it and slammed it until finally it closed. It never occurred to him WHY it had been difficult to close and he never noticed that he had broken the handle off.

Or there was the year that we were sitting in the kitchen having tea, when he asked if the kettle handle was SUPPOSED to be bent over sideways like that. The copper kettle that Lisa had been given by friends as a birthday present. It was only after some grilling -- and angry denials that he had dented it -- that he was able to bring himself to admit that yes, maybe someone had "put the kettle in a stupid place" so when he was preparing some food in the kitchen it somehow managed to hurl itself off the counter.

Twelve days and eleven nights and counting. Let's hope he got it all out of the way early this year.

(By the way is it my imagination or do they make Christmas come sooner every year? And I'm not talking about the nauseating way that the Christmas decorations are up in stores long before Hallowe'en even, but just the way that the holiday somehow sneaks up on one before one has had a chance to get into the holiday mood ... I guess it's just a side-effect of growing older ...)

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