I stood in the door way in utter disbelief. Surely the stress of work had finally gotten to my brain.
“Well are you going to let us in or just stand there like some gaping idiot?” the figment that looked like my mom remarked.
“um, yes, of course, please come in”. I replied still not quite aware of what was happening.
The figment that looked like my father stood as ominously and overbearing as I remember him and as he looked through my humble apartment I could sense his shame and disappointment despite the fact that he hadn’t said a word.
My maternal apparition made her way to the kitchen and was quick to criticise how full the sink was and how empty the cupboards were, but no sooner had these critiques had left her lips and she was washing dishes and stocking the cupboards with food. This apparition was too accurate not to be my mother.
She was from a different era to woman these days. She grew up under the regime of the “three C’s”; Cooking; Cleaning and Criticising. I couldn’t remember a day growing up where the house wasn’t clean or in the process of being cleaned; where there wasn’t food on the table or in the process of being made or where I wasn’t being criticised for doing something or for not doing something else.
If these figures were in fact mirages or apparitions of my parents they had really done their homework, for while my mother cooked and cleaned my father continued his routine, by making himself comfortable on the couch while wallowing in his disappointment of me.
My father was a great adventurer and had travelled the globe saving princesses, slaying dragons and felling entire armies before his arthritic wrist and high blood pressure put him into early retirement. He now lives vicariously through my two siblings. My older brother; who owns his own adventuring academy and has trained some of the greatest adventurers of the modern age most of whom have survival shows on the Discovery Channel; and my youngest sister, who my mother keeps referring to as the “great sorceress”, even though I keep telling her they’re called Pharmacists.
Then there’s me… the great and mighty Customer Service Analyst. I bet my dad doesn’t even care that I once completed 362 TPR reports in under 2 hours (a company best) or that I saved the molemen in IT from the terrible Jock Nerd.
Still he just sits there, grunting and yawning, occasionally moving to scratch himself (unfortunately without warning) a few second of looking around disappointingly, then a great sigh of shame before repeating the routine.
It really is like being a child again, except without the homework and beatings. As much as their presence is uncomfortable and making it difficult to keep childhood memories repressed, it is great to be out of the office… and to be eating something besides canteen food and take-aways.