Did you ever feel you are living in a movie?
I am living in a Woody Allen movie right now. I have been seeing my elderly distant relatives. They have been very kind and attentive. Too attentive.
They are a bit upset I am not staying with them. They are cousins by marriage of my mother.
He is an intellectual, witty, clever, sometimes very annoying. She is very kind and also annoying.
She pretends to be an intellectual and pretends to have a sense of humour. She isn’t and doesn’t. She keeps asking questions about my life. I lie. I don’t like lying, but this time, it is necessary.
They insisted on spending more time with me yesterday. She took me shopping. I am a hunter, not a gatherer. I bought sandals, it took me 5 minutes. Then I spent another 48 minutes (I timed it) watching her choosing sandals, too. She didn’t buy any but told them to hold them. She said she had to check if she already didn’t have the same pair a home from last year.
Her shopping reminded me of my mother, who I used to accompany to shops in England. She was, like her cousin, a gatherer, not a hunter. After half a day watching her shopping, I used to feel like a husband…I felt the same yesterday.
I heard stories about people I never met, their friends and relatives. I successfully fended off more questions about my life. I lied some more. In the real way, and by omission.
Their New York accent and their behaviour reminds me of Woody Allen’s films. Or of that marvellous book by Molly Katz that I have a home.
It also reminds me of another book I read years ago.
Well, I made excuses for the rest of the week. I thanked them profusely for their (real) kindness. I invited them to London although they visited me before and it was a nightmare.
And I am going back to my life with almost no relatives. My life filled with friends, people I picked and who picked me because of what I am like, rather than because of a family connection. Friends that I love, who respect my privacy, don’t give me unsolicited advice, and who I do not have to shop with!
I am thinking about Woody Allen, and how he probably just writes down dialogues he hears in his family and uses them in his work.
I am a writer. So, I sat down this morning, and recorded all I remembered from yesterday’s conversations. It made me chuckle. From a distance, yesterday looks like great fun.
I wonder if my sons or friends sometimes feel I am like a character from a comedy.
They probably do. I talk too much, interrupt people, I am constantly quoting books, and I am sure I can be annoying.
Well, let’s hope I can be annoying in an amusing way, like those cousins of my mum…