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 cafĂ© 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.