I was slowly descending the stairs yesterday when I heard the unmistakeable tones of my maternal grandmother wafting along the cold air currents towards me. I only heard the end of a conversational line, but it didn't take a genius to guess what the subject of discussion as. (As I actually am a genius, I was thinking about multiple things at the same time.)
Nanna: "... very good at ... do you think he ... be there?"
Dad: "that was ... time ago ... likely ..."
I padded to the bottom of the stairs and swung around the end of the bannister like a less agile version of Donkey Kong.
"My ears are burning," I said.
Both parents in addition to Nanna turned around to look at me, astounded - as ever - to find someone else present in their house. They were congregating in the hall, so I walked forwards, towards the kitchen.
"We were just talking about you," said Nanna.
"So I gather," I replied, waiting for the response.
"In a good way," she explained. Then, without waiting for a reply, she launched into a spiel about how I still don't have a job and it's a crying shame and all the employers are idiots for not hiring me and maybe the course I took was not for me and blah blah blah la de da de da et cetera et cetera de brou-ha-ha. My ears kind of tuned out. But I know she finished her soliloquy with something like, "...but you're really good. You've had a good year."
Much as I appreciated the sentiment, that was nothing short of a lie.
"No, I haven't!" I objected. "In the space of a few months, I've managed to lose my course, my job, my grandfather and my girlfriend!"
"Well, losing your girlfriend's no big loss."
Did she just say that?
I glared at her. How dare she?
"Wasn't that what you wanted?"
"I thought it was what you wanted!"
"You said it in a flippant way!"
"I say everything in a flippant way. And besides, I wasn't being flippant, I was being emotional."
I was unable to speak. I turned and proceeded into the kitchen.
Dad came into my room a couple of hours later.
"Just to confirm... TD is coming here on Friday, with N, to pick up her things, is that correct?"
"Yes, that's right."
"Listen, I told Mum about this, and she wanted me to ask you if you were all right with that happening?"
"Well, it's not like I have a choice, they're her things. But nevertheless, I'm OK with it. But I'd appreciate it if you were not particularly conspicuous while she's around. It won't be easy by any means."
"Of course. I'll sit in the back room and read my book. No problems there."
He was on his way out of the door when he turned back.
"Maybe you can invite Nanna round, though."
"Well, she can make such tactful comments."
He grinned. I attempted a grin back. I may have succeeded.