Harry Potter’s dementors have nothing on an irate Dame Patty pushed to breaking point. My mother was usually of an easy going disposition. She liked her gin strong and her children silent, unless of course we were being amusing. Our relationship was often stirred but rarely shaken. So how did teenage Pete manage to push Patty over the brink?
It was easy. What started as a simple Mother and son trip to Shoppingtown soon escalated to a generational battle of epic proportions.
The bus trip there went without a hitch. The chocolate malted milkshakes and waffles with icecream and caramel sauce were shared with delight. So what stirred the hormonal pot of a menopausal mum and a surly teenager? To be honest I don’t remember. I remember the doing the time but not the crime.
The bus trip home was a silent affair as I glared sullenly out the window. Patty sat rigid and straight with only her nose at a disdainful angle. The twenty minute bus journey was the longest moments of silence my mother and I had ever shared.
Alighting from the bus we headed for home. Of course with all the arrogance of a wronged teenager I chose to walk a good ten metres in front of mother. You couldn’t have told me at the time, but I had an awful lot to learn about conflict resolution.
Home safety reached I collected the key from under the pot, opened the door, leaving it ajar for mother. Naively I turned to head up the hall to the sanctity of my bedroom, relief seeped from my pores as I took my first step. It would all be ok. The icy atmosphere melted as I felt a warm licking of flames on the back of my neck. The dragon had been awoken.
A primal scream erupted from my previously silent parent. I turned in horror. Patty was reaching for her well worn leather sandal. I was not in a safe place. Medusa’s daunting features had nothing on the countenance of my mother’s face. Fleeing was my only option. The gangly legs of a six foot, fifteen year old were not the stuff of rapid take offs. I stumbled. The sharp corner of a two inch block heel glanced my shoulder. Flee you fool! I reached my bedroom, attempting to block Patty with the door was optimism personified. Flames flicked around my teenage locks.
Of course my bed would offer sanctuary. I leapt to safety. Patty leapt with a vengeance. Pinned against my bottle green walls, I was transformed into a magicians assistant as I dodged the daggers of my mother’s flailing footwear. If only I had a dove of peace to pull from my pockets.Heels whacked walls, heels whacked yours truly. Revenge was served with a platter of words that I’d never previously witnessed coming from my usually refined mother.
Finally her anger was spent. The blows had become lackadaisical, the flames from her nose replaced with a sullen drip. Her dignity regained, mother hobbled from the room, there had been no time to remove her left sandal. Lessons had been learnt. Never ever walk ten metres in front of your mother and if you are going to poke the bear do plan a getaway.