It is not often I put my foot down with a firm hand but on one occasion I did with R. Do not talk about Mother in front of the grandchildren the way we, her children, talk about her. They have great memories of their grandmother and the outings they went on every weekend with Mother and Stepfather. They love their their Nan, and I don't want idle critical chitter chatter to spoil their memories. Of course they are not stupid and they see her decline, but I don't think they realise her manipulative qualities. They as kids would have seen plenty of friction between Mother and Stepfather, but they saw that with their grandparents on both sides.
This Sunday is ABI's birthday celebration. Mine at the Frankston RSL was great, with around a dozen blood relatives and a couple of non blood rels. Most of us were happy with the food, except for Tradie Brother. He is not the complaining type, so take it from me, his meal was not good. His platonic female friend complained and he was refunded the cost and given another meal for free.
Mother has been there three times, I think, and says the food is oily and so ABI's birthday was not to be there. Perhaps the Dick Whittington in St Kilda, she suggested, or the Lee Oak in Oakleigh, that has a good play area for the littleuns. Mother's manipulation failed. The Frankston RSL is such a convenient place for Tradie Brother and his children and two grandchildren. Easy for us, less than an hour's drive on the freeway. Not so bad bad for Sister, who can come across on the ferry from the Bellarine.
The venue is to be The Rosstown, in Carnegie. Many years ago ABI Brother used to work nearby and they had many work celebrations there and when Tradie Brother said to him, it is your birthday, you choose where, that is where he chose. It is a long way from the Frankston RSL. Sadly I am working, Sister is very busy marking exam papers, and everyone is busy. It is going to be R, Mother, birthday boy ABI Brother and Tradie Brother. I expect if it was in the convenient location of the Frankston RSL, many family would find it easy to attend.
Nice work Mother. Shot yourself in the foot and caused collateral damage. Oily food? Choose something else to eat, or eat the banana, Minties and Barley Sugar that are always in your handbag, or just suffer in silence for the pleasure of having your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren around you.
Feeling a little guilt that I cannot go, I was prepared to spend a bit extra on ABI Brother's birthday present. No shirts on sale in Myer, aside from winter stock. What about a book? How about musician Jimmy Barnes' autobiography. Sick of buying him sports biographies. Here is a smart new bookshop in Emporium. Oh, it is a very nice bookshop. Classy, you know. And there is the book. Oh, $45. He is a dear brother, but I did not want to spend that much. R was prepared to buy it but said first, maybe we can find him a nice shirt at Target and come back here if we can't. We had to go to Woolworths in QV and entered via Big W. There was the same book, for $28, $17 less than in the nice bookshop. I doubt the nice bookshop will see the year out.