Tuesday, 14 March 2006


During an unprecedented attack of kind feelings towards J's mother, I suggested to J that we spend the last day of our long weekend visiting her. Maybe I was inspired by the Mother's Day ads everywhere, or maybe I really am a good person at heart.
I'm not superstitious, but that woman really does know how to sting
We arrived late in the morning at her house, and the realisation that she'd given up forcing J to do the spring tidy of her garden (unpaid of course) immediately lifted our spirits.

She was also quite a lot less aggressive than is usually the case, most likely because she was still reeling from the news that her perfectly well adjustable son (J's brother) has been left by his partner.

In fact, she spent quite a lot of time detailing what a financial disaster this would be for the (no-longer-a) couple and their children, completely ignorant of the fact that she during her narrative disclosed that a) he is extremely bad with money because he's been spoilt rotten by his mother and b) that she is 100 per cent in denial about this.

J, already having tired of hearing this story being repeated ad nauseum over the phone over the past couple of weeks, quickly changed the subject (I was impressed by the skill with which he did this) on to his mother's imminent holiday abroad, and somehow the conversation turned to horoscopes.

Now, they're both Scorpios.

J's mother asked me what sign I was, and when I told her she put on a very grave expression and said "oh my, you know that this sign is the least compatible with the Scorpio."

Backed by my vast knowledge of Linda Goodman's 'Starsigns', I said I wasn't entirely sure that was the case.

"Oh yes," she said. "We are a water sign. You are a fire sign. They are not compatible."

!! If this had been preceeded by nice fuzzy complements like "I'm so glad J's met a girl like you, you seem like a really good couple", then fine.

But of course it wasn't.

Her first ever acknowledgement of our relationship was "your signs are incompatible".

I know she doesn't like me. I've never been to an opera (yet I find the strength to live on) and know nothing about ballet, around which her world revolves. I despise Maggie Thatcher (her hero) and speak better English than her, despite her having spent about three times as long in this country. On top of it all it seems I get on better with her son than she does. Of course she doesn't like me.

So when I dared to oppose her authority on astrology, she immediately rushed to her bookshelf and pulled out an illustrated hardback on the topic (not Linda, but probably not far from it) as 'proof'.

Which is when I put my foot down and said "you know what, I think that's mean."

She made a very wide-eyed face and said "what's mean?"

And I said that I thought saying that our signs were completely incompatible was a bit hurtful and not very supportive.

She of course turned this around at me by implying that my accusation was the hurtful thing, and of course I apologised (she flatly ignored the apology but to her credit it could be because she doesn't understand a word I say most of the time).

Her excuse was that it was only a joke, that she puts "no emphasis on such superstitions".

Fifteen minutes later she proceeded to force J to buy for 5p kitchen knife she wanted to hand him, because "really, it's bad luck to give someone a knife as a gift."

In other words, she is a very superstitious person. In her world, such things as black cats crossing the roads and tea leaves at the bottom of the mug and, most likely, astrology, actually does have a real place and significance.

J said afterwards that he was quite sure that she meant it as a joke, although he conceeded that bringing out the book was a bit "over the top".

And maybe she didn't mean it in a bad way. Still, it's not a very nice thing to say to someone.

But I feel I made my point. If she oversteps my boundaries, I will stand up for myself.

I don't care if she's a 70 year old woman, there is no need to be mean and controlling just because you've been to lazy to integrate yourself into a country in which you've spent the last 40 years, and therefore rendered yourself very emotionally dependent on your very small and dysfunctional family. Her children are still entitled to see whomever they want, and to screw up their relationships in turn.

As for our signs' compatibility, I guess she has gone a long way to prove her theory right in the case of me and her.

However, Yahoo horoscopes state that a romantic union between our signs "can be the kind of relationship where they both wonder how they ever managed apart. Both Signs love power and they can achieve just about anything."

So there.

1 comment:

  1. Frankly, it's all bollocks, and she sounds like a truly horrible woman. The only thing I don't understand is why J doesn't stand up to her, and preclude the necessity for you to get in a fight. I'm going to have to speak to him, really!


Thanks for not just lurking..

Peer Review Section