|I left them around here somewhere...|
He has also started waking up at night, and wondering round the house looking for me. Given that he is 16.5 years old and has bad cataracts, this is not a smart move. I am awoken by distressed miaowing and the sound of cat bumping into walls. So then I have to get up, rescue him, take him downstairs and feed him biscuits, after which I settle him down again under the radiator where he sleeps. It's a TOTAL pain, but he's an old cat and we've had him a long time, and someone has to be there for him.
Which meant we were pretty tired by the end of the week, when Beloved Husband and I went into town to close his dormant bank savings account which was earning zero interest whatsoever. He has to be physically there because I, despite being married to him for 36 years, and in full possession of every identity document of his that you could shake a stick at, am not now allowed to open or close or do anything without his actual presence, thank you, even though I apparently own 60% of the Bank.
We both think it's preposterous and a waste of our time. Especially as we used to be able to open and close accounts for each other, and we have a joint account there anyway. So, picture the scene therefore: It's Saturday morning. We are knackered, thanks to insomniac cat. We are cross. We have heavy colds. We are fed up with stupid bank protocols. What followed was something Samuel Beckett would not have been ashamed to own. As I recall, it went like this:
BH: You don't need to stay with me.
Me: Really? Are you sure?
BH: I can manage perfectly well. You go and wait over there.
Me: Over here? OK. I'll wait.
Young Female Bank Person: So Mr Hedges, what is the name of the savings account?
BH: I don't know. It's just a savings account.
YFBP: I need the actual type of account.
BH: Oh for goodness sake. (calls) What's the name of the account?
Me: I thought you told me to wait over here.
BH: I don't know the name of the account.
Me: You said you could manage.
BH: I could, only I don't know the name of the account.
Me: So you want me to come over there now?
Me: You don't want me to wait over here?
YFBP: (smiling rather too brightly) Right. Good. Let's start again...
That was pretty much as good as it got. We agreed afterwards that we'd never made it through a bank visit quite so speedily before. Bank Person couldn't get rid of us fast enough. None of that 'while you're here ..'' stuff that usually heralds them attempting to flog you naff insurance. It was: Pretend to smile, press the buttons, print the paperwork, please please go away now. Grumpy Old Sods. It's an art. We are thinking of hiring ourselves out to other bank customers.
See - every now and then being old has its advantages, and we need all the advantages we can get as neither of us are getting any younger. Certainly we're not getting any saner. Quite the opposite. And I notice that we oldies are constantly being referred to in the media as 'a burden' and 'a drain on resources' and an 'elderly time-bomb'. Makes me wonder, when I reach what Shakespeare so vividly describes as 'Second childishness and mere oblivion/Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything'' whether there will be somebody there for me to give me biscuits in the middle of the night and let me sleep under the radiator. I do hope so.