And I’m sure something unspeakable is going on between him and this girl from the apartment above him. In my times if a girl went into a man’s home, they would be announcing their engagement the next day. These two should have been engaged exactly five months ago but still, no invitation has come to my mailbox. Not that I spy on any of them. It’s just my apartment is on a very communicative spot and I happen to notice things. Like I noticed through my peeping hole how she came one night and asked him if she can print something. Four hours later she came out – no sheets of paper and obviously no shame. Oh, sure as hell I notice things. Like everyone else I noticed her knees - maybe that’s the fashion in the States, but let me tell you that My Roderic saw my knees on our wedding night. And then he saw them not as often as every two weeks. But not in the winter like this across-the-ocean girl. And her name – Kaleyh “with an H”. With an H! Dear child, this is not a name, it’s just your parents being really bad at spelling bee. I’ll tell you what is with an H – honour starts with an H just as silent as your H, and while the former is something you lack, the latter is something that definitely embarrasses you. Oh, there she is, coming home, walking like we all don’t know what happens between her and mister “my scarf comes in blanket sizes”.
“Hi, Mrs Maples!”
“Hello, my child, you look lovely today!”
“Thanks, you too!”
Honesty. That’s another word for you, Kaleyh with an H. You think I don’t know how you mock me? “Oh, let me show her how old she is by helping her with her bags!” , “Uh, let me mock her by asking her what smells so good” It’s a Tesco lasagna, Kaleyh! From the freezer department. Thank you for pointing out my lack of time. And don’t think I haven’t noticed your underwear shrink with every printer visit! Yes, sometimes I have long walks on the back street and just notice things on people’s back balconies.
As I said balconies, I can’t help but tell you about that family that lives across the hall of Kaleyh. The woman is a “stay-at-home-mom” and she always says it like it’s a job. No, dear Sarah, we all used to be stay-at-home moms in my time and we didn’t need a title to feel relevant. We were too busy cooking, cleaning, having coffee with fellow mothers, wondering why is Molly still single. That’s what you do when you are a mom – you don’t go out in a suit with your new car, shoving your baby in the nanny’s hands along with a bottle of unnatural formula like Miss Willis from the top floor does. No, we don’t do that. A baby is a career, Miss Willis! Who do you think you impress with your big job and a big car? Not me, for sure. Back in my age, I used to be proud if anyone commented on my child peeling potatoes at the age of 3 and blowing his own nose! This made me a good mother and a good person, I didn’t need any other recognition.
But let me tell you about Sarah who we all know has an H but she doesn’t flaunt it around. She is breastfeeding! And she does that shamelessly everywhere – on her balcony, in her car, I think I even saw her breastfeed in a park, although I had to look hard because she always wears her poor baby tied in a scarf. Like she is from a tribe. A woman’s bosom is a sacred place. No one sees it – neither your man on normal days, nor even your child! It is so against nature!
And then the top of the cherry from the top floor is this abomination – Mrs Darling. What a name for this old witch! At a respectable age like hers she does all these weird things like going to yoga classes. And why? In case anyone wants to have a heart attack seeing her in leggings? And then she climbs mountains. At her age! In man’s pants! If people asked me: “Do you know this woman?” I would deny. Not that anyone has asked me but still, I am ready with an answer. She also sings in a choir and rides a bicycle. People should act their age, Darling. You’d better start acting old – watch TV or something. Oh, and the thing that really repels me in her is that when the weather permits, she exchanges balcony visits with the stay-at-home mom. What can they possibly have in common other that being shamefully weird together? Sarah is probably breastfeeding in front of her, this shameless woman, while Darling shows her how to stand in a downward facing old dog. Oh, yes, I know my yoga, i’ve seen it on TV.
Maybe they are doing it to mock me. “Oh, look, old Ivy is watching – let’s drink tea from stupidly big mugs and giggle like we are having a good time!” You can’t fool me, you foxes of different ages! I know everything that is going on around here because I am not as short sighted as I seem to be. I see everything from my peeping hole and my kitchen window. And what I don’t see from there, I see from the back street, overlooking the balconies!
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