If you resolve to give up smoking, drinking & loving, you don't actually live longer; it just seems longer
In a fortnight of particularly funny comments and scenario's, today threw up a howler.
Thanks to the slightly miserable weather, Joseph, Annabel and myself spent most of the day playing board games and making puzzles and when we agreed on Annabel's choice of puzzle to tackle next, she turned to Joseph and kissed him on the cheek and announced that she loved him.
My surprise was nothing compared to Joseph's look of amazement at this because although Annabel often tells Joseph she loves him, she rarely kisses him (or anyone) on the cheek, certainly not without being prompted.
I laughed at his wide-eyed look and I asked him why he was surprised.
"Because Annabel never kisses me", he replied.
I then went on to explain how she never tells me she loves me when I say I love her and kiss her goodnight.
"When I kiss Annabel goodnight, I always say, "I love you lots Annabel" but all she ever does is nod, not even looking at me".
I continued, hoping Annabel would be listening to what I was saying.
"Not like when I kiss you goodnight Joseph and I tell you I love you. You always reply, 'me too'".
I squeezed his knee, reminding him that I appreciated the reciprocation.
I could see the look on his face change to a slightly quizzical one, staring hard at me, smile fading.
He finally spoke. "When I say 'me too', am I saying that I love me too, or am I saying that I love you?"
I could feel the colour slowly draining from my face as my brain second guessed what was coming.
"Well, I kinda hoped you were saying you loved me too?"
A slight shake of the head accompanied the words, "no, I thought I was saying that I love myself like you love me!"
Right, yes .... heh heh .... of course you were.
Oh boy, where d'you go from there?
All this time I've been thinking Joseph was replying with, 'yes, I love you too Dad', when actually he has just been letting me know that he too, loved himself.
Hilarious yet crushing at the same time.
p.s. This post is dedicated to the memory of the brilliant Sir Clement Raphael Freud who died yesterday, apparently still working at his desk, barely a week away from his 85th birthday. The title of this post is one of my favourite quotes of his.
Rest in peace, you seemingly-grouchy-but-nevertheless-incredibly-funny man.