Wednesday's Words on a Friday 07.12.2022
It was just nine days to Christmas and Charlotte hummed to herself as she lit the candles in the dining room. Everyone, the whole family, was coming for the holiday. There would be twenty-five in all, ranging in age from eighty-nine–year old Elizabeth to her youngest grandchild, aged four. She had missed them all so much, even her Aunt Elizabeth, who could be very trying.
She knew, in her heart of hearts, that Elizabeth tried to be sociable and cheerful, but she monopolised every conversation, and, being slightly deaf, spoke very loudly. Her sole topic of conversation centred on her many ailments and operations. The rest of the family had heard her stories too many times and found it almost impossible to strike a balance between sympathy and irritation.
The younger members did little to disguise their boredom and Charlotte worried that Elizabeth would notice their lack of interest and take offence. She giggled as she pictured herself dancing a bizarre ballet between the various groups, trying to be a good hostess, and make sure that everyone was happy.
Then she sighed. It was no good. She had to face facts. The worst offender, and the most likely to upset Aunt Elizabeth, was her eldest grandddaughter, a lovely girl, full of humour, but not overly sensitive to others’ feelings. She was, however, easily offended herself. Charlotte knew that she would have to bite the bullet and broach the subject of tact and diplomacy with her granddaughter quietly before Elizabeth arrived. Her granddaughter would soon recover from any discomposure, Charlotte was sure.
Her mobile chimed its cheery tone. It was her cousin, Elizabeth’s son. When she had disconnected the call, she gazed blindly at the candles and wished that she could listen to Elizabeth’s stories just one more time.