I'm amazed I'm not more effed up than I am. Or maybe I am and nobody's telling me.
I'll tell you one reason why. Someone used the word "suitable" the other day about a wood floor and its suitability for a large space.
And as such light word droppings can sometimes do to me to me, it set me to drifting off. On such occasions, I'm sure my vacant look can be bothersome. My mind takes off and I vanish for a while. The lights are on and nobody's home in today's parlance.
For the word "suitable" took me right back. It was one of my father's favourite words. But not in a good way. Oh no.
It was his way of terminating my friendships, desires or intentions.
"Oh, she's not suitable," he would say to me irritably, upon meeting a friend of mine,"You're forbidden to see her again".
I should mention here that my family were barely middle class with no great aspirations of grandeur at all.
"But why dad?" I was always in terror of making him mad. His rages were legendary and the man hated to be challenged.
"Just not suitable, that's all."
One could never be saucy and ask suitable for what. The backdoor to my mother, his translator, was inevitably used when Dad was not around.
It would usually be a flimsy reason for the unsuitability. Like the following:
1. The father drank
2. She/he ran with a rough crowd.
3. The family were "blackguards" - one of his favourite words.
4. They voted Fine Gael
5. They were protestant.
6. They were Jewish and didn't care about the One True God. Or Jesus and his Mother.
7. They didn't believe in education.
8. The father committed suicide.
8. An aunt was an actress.
Doesn't it all sound so 18th century-ish?
I am still best friends with an unsuitable since First Class (aged 6) in the national school I attended.
Why was she not suitable?
Her father owned and raced greyhounds and would take his daughter and myself to the pub on a Sunday afternoon and feed us Tanoras and Taytos.
We had to sneak around behind Dad's back for years and years and was he pissed off - she was a bridesmaid at my wedding!
Oh, the stories I could tell you about my Irish Cacklick childhood!