Last month, a TGB reader we call A asked for your thoughts on making decisions about how and where to live when you're old and single and wow! – you gave us all an excellent conversation with all kinds of good information.
”I thoroughly enjoyed reading it,” emailed A, “and learnt an awful lot from the many comments. I really feel better informed should the need arise for me to decide where to live in the future.”
If you missed that post, you can catch up here.
Now, A has written again with a different kind of query:
”...my friend is 89 and lives happily and independently alone - her son is almost continuously annoyed by her behaviour,” writes A.
“She likes to have fairy lights around her garden and he wants them taken down straight after Christmas. The other day she said, 'He wants me to get rid of all my clutter and I don't want to!'
“She says she's glad he doesn't live near so she only has to be on 'best behaviour' two or three times a year.”
One of the great, good things about getting old, as many of us at this blog often repeat, is being able to do whatever we want without concern for how others might judge us or what they might say. But it is a different kind of thing, I suppose, when an adult child finds fault.
Unless this woman is incompetent – I'm sure A would have told me if that were so – I don't see how the son has a right to tell her anything at all about how to live. But, apparently, she rearranges her life when he visits. To appease him? To keep arguments to a minimum? To help maintain family peace?
I picture A's friend running around hiding garden lights and all her favorite things when the son is due to arrive and why should anyone have to do that with their own home. She's 89, for god's sake.
If it were me, he'd get away with complaining about those fairy lights only once – but do keep in mind that as regards children and grandchildren, I have none so what I know about such relationships is less than would fit into a thimble.
Here's what A is wondering:
”Do any of your readers 'clean up their act' when the family visit only to revert to their old and comforting ways as soon as they wave them off?!”