A most frustrating thing for me is open ended waiting. Waiting for information or news. I do not wait well. Outwardly things appear fine, inwardly I get in a temper. Waiting. I can wait for Christmas or Birthdays, I can wait joyfully for the arrival of a new baby or wait patiently and excitedly for a holiday. These things are finite durations and have little negative impact associated. But waiting for life changing news. That’s just pulse elevatingly trying.
I find myself in a mind-set of “fine, if you don’t care, neither do I”. It takes a great deal of concerted effort to shake the negative feelings away. Waiting.
Have you got a minute? Let me tell you a story.
A long time ago, possibly 38 years ago, two relatives were not speaking.
It had been nearly two years and I wanted my Nan back, who was one of the parties involved. So I, knowing what was best and having the clarity of youth, aged 10 or less, remembered my nan’s phone number. I secretly used the big and corded house phone to call Nan and say hi, and that the other person missed her and loved her. My nan was delighted and asked “really?”, “Yes, absolutely”. To which she responded “Have them call me and I’d love to have you over for a visit”. She was only in the next town across but it might as well have been the moon for all the contact we’d been having of late. Later that day, with butterflies in my tummy I told the other person that Nan had called and that she missed us and wanted us to visit ….. which was technically 66% true, she did miss us and she had been on the telephone but hadn’t initiated. The person I was speaking with was delighted and called straight away. It was a strained conversation but I could tell my side was pleased. The first hint of my deception was revealed as a “you called me first” conversation arose and the person on my end of the phone turned to stare at me but let it slide in the moment. A visit was arranged. We went round on the Saturday. We arrived in my families old Jaguar car in our Sunday finest. We went in to the ground floor, unheated 2 bedroom apartment with a kitchen the size of a small closet. We all started chatting and I was hoping I would not be fully found out or revealed. My furtive gaze darted around the room on this sunny day. I held my breath. Then it happened, the deception was uncovered as the two parties talked, the one expressing delight the other had called, the other expressing confusion as it was clearly the other way round. Then all faces turned to me.. “What did you do?” came the question from the elder woman. I tried explaining that I knew they would speak if someone would start it off but their voices dropped an octave and I was told “Get to the car, I’ll deal with you later”. I begged forgiveness but I was told again to go to the car on the driveway, so I did, helped along by the scruff of my collar. I cried my 10 year old eyes out. I cried louder hoping they’d hear me and feel sorry, I hid down hoping they’d think I’d wandered off and come out to see where I was but no. I was in the car. Nobody was coming out. After half an hour or so I ventured back in and said sorry, I was told to go to the car, so I did. After another half an hour or so according to the clock on the walnut dashboard, I tried again and went in, begging please please, I’m sorry. I was told to go back out. When I was in the car I could hear them chatting and laughing together. I knew I’d been right, that if someone started, the whole thing would resolve and here it was, the evidence, they were resolving their issues and talking, I was vindicated. After another period of time I ventured in again this time begging “Please, sort me out now, please”, which everyone knew meant “please, hit me now, get it over with” but they said get outside, in the car, and a third adult said “I’ll sort you out later”. I ventured one more attempt before the end of the two hour visit and was told “I’ll sort you out later” again by the third person. I cried quietly this time, trembling in the car as I waited, feeling queasy. There were no distractions, no colouring books, no toys, this was old school car travel and I was alone with my thoughts. They did eventually emerge from the home, they were cheerful, kisses and hugs goodbye. I was miserable and afraid. They did get me home and I did get a wallop or few. When the spanking came, I was relieved, apart from being in peoples bad books, it was over and done with. I just had to tolerate their moodiness until they got over my deception. 38 years later I stand by my assessment that if they’d start talking they’d resolve that particular issue. I was right. There were plenty of other times that issues arose but even knowing how to resolve them, I stayed well clear in future. I know I shouldn’t have deceived the adults. If I had been courageous I would have said that I called the other person and they were pleased to hear from me but I was not filled with courage at that point, the stakes were too high. Continue reading “We wait for news”