Sunday, 19 January 2014

Letting myself down

We dropped off Carenza’s missing bedding at uni on Saturday, then had lunch with our friends Nick and Jackie in the pleasantly crowded café at the Ashmolean Museum.
We swapped family news and Jackie was talking about their tiny grandson and potty-training.  She thought it intriguing that he had said,
’I’ve wee-d because my trousers are wet.’ 
She pondered – “He doesn’t seem to have quite sorted out cause and effect yet.”
I am currently engrossed in training to teach Latin and it may be a sign that I am losing my perspective that I jumped in enthusiastically:
“Oh, that’s a bit like purpose clauses and result clauses in Latin – the words are quite similar and it’s easy to mistake one for the other.  I think, in fact, that your grandson was making sense – what he was really saying was, [and in retrospect, this is the bit where I should have lowered my voice] ‘I know that I have wee-d, because my trousers are wet.’”
Jackie was saying “Oh, that’s an interesting idea,”   But it wasn’t her I was looking at.
I could see past her to the man at the next table.

This man was gaping in open amazement at me – astonished that a middle–aged woman could talk so frankly, so loudly and in such a public place about the delicate subject of her urinary incontinence.

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