Take for example last month. I had a day off, and they were going to Sainsburys and offered to take me with them (always worth going to a supermarket with them as they always have coffee and toast after doing their shopping). So we're on the way, with me merrily tweeting away in the back of the car (note: I was posting on twitter, not making bird noises!) My parents are bickering, as only a couple who have been married for 52 years are qualified to bicker.
THINGS THEY HAVE RECENTLY BICKERED ABOUT
- My dads refusal to call Primark 'Pree-mark' or 'Pry-mark, he instead insists on calling in 'prim-mark'. Despite him doing this for 20+ years it still riles my mam. He now does it on purpose and she picks him up on it every time.
- My mams refusal to put the extractor fan on in the kitchen, because the noise of it irritates her. Pan frying Salmon turns into a highly hazardous experience, reminiscent of the blitz. By the time the skin is crispy and the salmon is cooked you couldn't find the extractor fan if your life depended on it.
- My dads recent diagnosis with glaucoma (my mam already has it, diagnosed 4 years ago) 'He can't let me have anything!!!
- My dads insistence of giving my mam obvious instructions 'I will pick you up outside of Morrison's, if it is raining when I pick you up don't stand in the rain, stand under the shelter'
So we're driving along Coniscliffe Road (To anyone who isn't from Darlington, Coniscliffe Road is one of the more affluent roads in town, full of houses set in their own grounds and more Barbour than you could shake a stick at), my dad is at the wheel and my mam is in the passenger seat when my dad suddenly gets cramp in his foot, his clutch foot. He tries to drive but every time he lifts his foot off the clutch it goes into spasm so he has to pull over. He really can't carry on driving so they decide to swap sides, he'll be the passenger and my mam will drive. I offer to drive, however, despite it being 20 years since I passed my test, they look at me like I'm a naughty 7 year old who has just made a silly suggestion. It's easier just to shut up. So the decision is made, they will swap places.
Now I can't stress this enough, not only are we in one of the poshest roads in town, we are in the posher end of it, near to the town centre. We are also parked in front of a retirement village which probably costs per week what most north easterners earn every year. As I said, affluent.
My mam is getting out of the car on the passenger side, chatting to my dad who turns to open his door. He turns back round, just as I look up from my ladybird book (my phone, I obviously meant my phone) and my mam has disappeared She is literally no where to be seen. Then we hear a voice which seems to be coming from under the car.....I get out of my booster seat and scoot along the back seat to look out of the kerb side window and there she is, my lovely mother, laid in the gutter. By this point my dad has realised what happened (she got tangled in the seat belt and fell out of the car) and is getting out of the car to go and help her up. I can do absolutely nothing as I am child-locked in (I might as well stay put and just drink the fruit shoot my mam gave me) My mam has obviously seen the funny side as I can hear her laughing (from the gutter).
My dad steps out of the car and the leg with cramp partially goes out from underneath him, so he does a sort of crampy stagger around the car to my Mam. He's holding onto the car, relying heavily on his good leg as his cramp leg keeps collapsing. He gets to the other side of the car, they're both past themselves with mirth by now, and as he pulls my hysterical mother out of the gutter it suddenly strikes me, despite barely ever touching a drop, they look like they are completely hammered. Her rolling about in the gutter, him stumbling around trying to pick her up. They've attracted quite a bit of attention by now, curtains are twitching and Barbour-clad locals are looking on in horror. I'm not surprised. It's half past ten on a Wednesday morning, in the poshest street in town.
I lie down on the back seat. I'll sit back up when we're at Sainsbury's.
Did I mention my parents are in their early seventies.
What an amazing pair............