Just before dropping my daughter off at university in the UK, we spent a few nights in a tiny room at a chic boutique hotel, located in the exclusive Mayfair area of London. On our last morning, she woke up rather early – at 4:30 am – but was kind enough to wait until 7 am to wake me, although 8 am would have been kinder! She was eager to get under way, but this Terrible Awful Mother was lethargic and exhausted. You see, the night before (and the night before, etc.), I’d had to resort to reading in the bathroom, because the bedside light was too bright for the Weird One. As was the reading light on the side of my bed. As was the penlight I brought with me. So, it was either the bathroom or the hall, and the hall was a rather dark and scary place for this Terrible Awful Mother to be sitting on the floor and reading in the middle of the night. But, as lovely as the bathroom was, it was a wee bit cold and cramped - for some reason, the toilet is just not a comfortable perch for late night reading.
Anyway, by 7 am the Weird One was in desperate need of croissant and tea, so she ventured off all by herself, for the very first time. When she returned, roughly thirty minutes later, she marched into the room, slammed the door and announced in an extremely grumpy tone of voice,
“Mom, the worst thing just happened to me and I’m so disgusted!”
“What, darling ???!”
“Mom, some old guy just asked me if I was single? I didn’t think Britain was full of weird old men!”
“Oh, really?” what to say?!
“Yes! First of all, it’s way too early in the morning for a stranger to talk to me on the street.”
“Well dear, he was probably just on his way to work.”
“Then Mom, it was so creepy ’cause he was so old – he must’ve been at least 30!”
At least 30 – trying very hard not to laugh, and to actually take her seriously, I asked the Weird One what he said, exactly.
“Well, he told me I was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen and then he asked me if I was single.” And yes folks, she was mad. Livid, in fact! “But Mom, it was early in the morning, and I had no make-up on and he was really, really old!!!”
“I see. You know, most girls (like me) would take that as a complement.”
“Oh, gross, Mom! It was way too early in the morning and 30 is just way too old for me!”
On the bright side, I guess I don’t have to worry about her having daddy issues or bringing home older men. For now, anyway.