Too Comfortable Seating
Two friends of ours, Renate and Helga, came over this afternoon for coffee and cake. Helga's son was in the same rehabilitation hospital with B after their respective accidents and Renate is the mother of our friend, Tina. And Tina is married to Helga's younger son, Ingo. Following all that?
I completely overlooked it when they arrived a half hour earlier than I had expected them. Yesterday Helga had told us that she was meeting Renate at 2pm at the market square and then they'd walk on up to our flat. I figured I had at least until 2:15pm before they arrived. Instead they caught me at 1:45pm with the table not yet set and the coffee not made. No problem - I just got things ready as they talked with B.
We were having a pleasant visit together and eventually the conversation turned to a discussion of how Renate is very disgusted with Gerd. She took over his old flat when Gerd moved in with my MIL and there's some bad blood between them - too long to explain here and frankly it's something that likely would cause you to go in search of two aspirin and a Bloody Mary with which to wash them down. Suffice it to say it was interesting, dishy gossip.
Around 4:00pm Helga's sister came by to go home with Helga and before leaving she sat with us to have a drink and to chat for about a half hour. Finally they got up and asked Renate if she was leaving with them and Renate replied "Oh I'll stay around for a while if they'll have me.".
I thought she was just being amusing. Instead Renate was dead serious.
It was only 4:30pm and I figured she'd hang out another fifteen minutes or so. Suddenly I began to get sleepy and was having to stifle yawns. Renate stayed longer and I was mentally begging for her to go. I picked up my knitting to work on as we chatted, hoping it would send a subtle message. It didn't. I was now hiding yawns with my hand and my contribution to the conversation was restricted to a lot of "Ja. Ja. Uh huh. Ja". That's one thing about Renate - you don't have to worry about any dead spots in the conversation. She'll gladly do all the talking and if you let her she'll answer herself as well.
I like Renate. She's a little quirky but likeable. In that way she's like Gerd - not a bad person, just quirky with some quirks being more tolerable than others.
It got later and finally I was on the verge of open yawning but, as I was not raised by wolves, I resisted. I finally began to panic when in conversation Renate mentioned that she liked to watch on Mondays Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and when B said he did too she replied "Oh good! Then I won't have to watch it by myself tonight!". And I'm 99% sure she wasn't kidding.
I knew that if I was getting tired of this visit that B must really be suffering but, frankly, I suck at hinting that people should just go home. Luckily B has a ready made excuse - he's handicapped. Finally just before 6:00pm he said, in a very casual way I might add, "I must be getting very tired. My legs are starting to get bad spasms.". Renate, thankfully, picked up the meaning and said she would head on home.
Four hours and fifteen minutes. Renate was here for coffee and cake for four hours and fifteen minutes. I hate to sound all anti-social but damn! Unless you're someone I only see once every three years, a four hour and fifteen minute coffee and cake visit from you is too long. I sure as hell wouldn't inflict myself upon someone for that long unless it were planned head of time and I'd traveled from a distant city to make the visit. I didn't spend that long at my siblings' respective wedding recptions. Hell, I didn't spent that much time at my own wedding receptions. Either of them.
A year ago when I was back home in Mississippi and my girlfriends came to visit me for a weekend, we all went to visit my mother at the care facility where she lives. In my mother's room is her bed, her recliner and one wingback chair so we had to find seating for all of us as best we could. My mother apologized that she no long had her couch but it wouldn't fit in her room. "And anyway", she added, "if you have a couch, folks just sit on down to visit and you can't get rid of them!".
At the time my friends all laughed heartily at her comment and I chuckled along in that "Oh that wacky mama of mine! Miss Virginia will just say anything that pops in her mind!" way, but now I'm beginning to see her point.