So, I have trouble picking up on the finer social clues. Like dropping hints. At work I am sometimes tempted to get down on my knees and beg them to just tell me out straight! On Geekzone, I am still unsure of when there is a troll lurking. Troll droppings would probably be helpful, but I fear our intrepid moderaters are just too clean. I have only just figured out what those little bits of fire are at the left of the forum topics...
Here's a major 'I don't get it' from my childhood. I'll give you some background.
Every year we would go up to the gold coast for our annual holidays. This meant plenty of sunshine, lots of swimming, for me anyway, and food...
Every year we would get up at about 4am, I would have breakfast and a car-sickness tablet, which in itsel was inclined to be disgusting. We would head out of sydney, up the New England Highway, stopping at a pub in Scone for breakfast (again) with one of my grandfather's old war mates. Then off to Tamworth to stay the night with one of the Great Uncles.
Next day I think it might have been the Bruxner Highway. Anyway, it was dead. I mean, it was hot, silent, and the road was littered with dead fauna. (Have you ever seen a bloated dead Great Grey Kangaroo? Huge. No wonder they do so much damage. Over two metres in height and vast with the tail extended and bloated and icky... Oops. Sorry, didn't want to get you queasy there. I at least had had another Car-sickness tablet...)
Then into Grafton, with the Jacarandas in full bloom. From there we went to Ballina to stay with an old neighbour who had been sent there as Harbour Master. Plus a good feed at the local RSL (think RSA).
Next morning it was an easy trip to the Florida Miami Car-otel. Just north of Burley Heads. The best destination in the whole world. All my grandfather's friends, a few of my age, too, (my very best friend who lived next door to me and her mother sometimes), and lots of (you guessed it) sun, swimming and smorgasboards.
Only, the last year I ever went, things were different. I had not seen the clues, even though I had been up there about a month before with my step-grandmother (big al, remember her?). Here's what I didn't 'get'...
'I hate your grandfather's guts...'
'I am going to sleep on the lounge when we get there...'
...And other similar stuff. In my naivete I looked at her and pondered what these things could mean. (She hadn't slept in the same bed as my beloved grandfather for years.)
Anyway, she had a sister in Brisbane, who she went to visit. On occasions we would all drive up. Sometimes it would be dark, it was a long trip back then, and we would travel through bushfires and sometimes sugarcane fires. This last year, we put her on a plane at Coolangatta to visit her sister on her own. I guess it was done quite naturally because of the strain on the marriage.
I still remember the day.
One of the other things I didn't quite understand was my grandfather's way of disciplining. I was only rebuked twice, both times for not being where I said I would be. One of those times was the last day I ever saw Lois. (Big Al.) When I got back to our unit my grandfather went ballistic. I had been off at the squash courts with my very best friend Gina, who was two years older than me. Anyway, after a while, my grandfather presented me with a Huge piece of watermelon, my favourite, as a way of making up for being 'rowsed on', which is sort of like being 'growled', only done the Aussie way. Apparently my uncle used to get a few pennies when he had been rowsed on as a child.
Cut this neverending story short, shall I? Big Al got off the plane at Brissy, then went back to Sydney the next day and cleared the house out. New Kenwood B&W TV, New Kenwood Stereo, New lounge, all the new beds, plus a few other choice bits and pieces.
Gina's brother had actually seen her and the removal van, and even he didn't 'get it'. He even offered to drive her to the station! We all laugh about it now...
My Uncle got it. He got home to a house presumably burgled. Well, he rang up the resort, got a hold of Grandpappy and I was left in the care of Gina and her mother while he frantically drove back to Sydney.
Apparently, my grandfather had caught her in an affair and told her to leave now or quit it. But she wasn't ready to quit. She waited til all this nice new stuff was in place, planned it all carefully and even took the new(ish) car. The man she ran off with left a local lady and three sons behind. We felt sorry for her. But not for the sucker she ran off with.
I never saw the woman I had called Mum ever again.
So, I had no idea it was coming to this. While I was still in Queensland, I would hear people whispering about it all. I presume the split caused a riff in our little circle of friends. Carmel, Gina's mum, kept on saying 'you don't know who your friends are'.
I didn't understand that one, either.
As an adult with four children, my heart broke when one of Miss Kitty Kat's little friends came up to me one day and said 'Mrs George, Daddy is moving out this Friday. They don't fight, but Mummy says it's just in case they do.' What a terrible day for two little girls who had no idea what was going on.
I say all this, because people say it's better to split for the children's sake. I have no idea how that could be, and I guess I have no right to judge adults for breaking up a marriage. I know I have been at the point where I felt it was all over, but somehow we managed to pull through.
But as a child who actually went through THREE breakups, I can assure you,
Sometimes I (we the children) JUST DON'T GET IT.
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