The problem with a reputation is that it goes before you. It colours people's perceptions of who you are, what you do and what drives you...
Take Young Faris, our very
own Rampaging Rascal, and the Case of the Missing Car Keys. Yes, indeed, the keys in question were mine. Who else's did you reckon? Whose Daily Blog is this anyway? However, let me get back to the point (though so when did that ever bother me, I distinctly
heard someone mutter...)
There is nothing I enjoy more than time with a Darling Daughter or a Long-suffering Son. One or other of them will always be there for me, their Errant Mother. They will think up small,
but important, ways to let me know they are looking out for me. The loan of a book from the Eldest of the Darling Daughters ("not sure about it, but look forward to hearing what you think!"); advice on the renegotiation of my Sky package by My Boy at the appropriate
time; the a bi-monthly lunch and theatre date with the Youngest Darling Daughter (Aw, Billy Elliott - we sat companionably in the Dress Circle with tears streaming down our cheeks); the fact that when the Middle Daughter transports me anywhere in her car,
she always, but always, turns on the heated front passenger seat. By these gestures, a mother knows that she is Truly Loved.
Staying overnight with the M of the DDs after my Billy Elliott trip, my car keys
inexplicably disappeared. It was a good thing, indeed, that I was travelling home by train. I am ashamed to admit it crossed my mind that the Rascal probably had something to do with their disappearance. In my defence, he had enjoyed tipping out the contents
of my handbag and secreting a few odd pennies in the back pocket of his trousers. That is, however, absolutely no excuse for Jumping to Conclusions.
The Rascal's mother turned over the house from top to bottom.
No keys. She asked the Rascal if he knew where they were. He didn't. Which is where reputation comes in, with its blind assumptions. Keys Missing. Rascal. Put two and two together and make half a dozen. Well, maths was never my strongest subject; it came from
being put up a whole year in Infants School on account of my reading ability with no thought given to my inability to make sense of numbers. My reputation, you see, had let me down.
The Middle of the Darling
Daughters said that generally if Faris had hidden something he knew very well where it was. I am always incredibly impressed by her ability not only to recognise every expression on her little son's face but to screw up her own face in a passable imitation
to demonstrate. Such is love, don't you agree, to be able to read a Rascal so completely that you know if he is proud, or excited, or worried. Or whether he has, in fact, hidden his Nanni's car keys...
of reputations, as part of our New Year's Resolution to make life easier for ourselves, we have embraced on-line grocery delivery. Every Saturday evening I receive a text telling me who will be delivering my order and - note this - which van they will be driving.
So far my groceries have been delivered by Piotr in Onion van, Roger in Cabbage van, Tony also in Cabbage van, Said in Lemon van, Mohamed also in Lemon can, Warren in Apple van and finally, today, John in Onion van. I can't vouch for the vans, whether fruit
or vegetable, because it's always been too dark when they've pulled up outside our house. But Piotr, Roger, Tony, Daid, Mohamed, Warren and John have all been unfailingly polite and helpful. When it comes to building a reputation, they are the tops.
This morning, unpacking my overnight bag I came across my car keys. I think I may have hidden them there out of Rascal's way. "Call off the search!" I text my daughter.
a word of reproach in response for casting aspersions on her son. "Yay!" she texts back.
I think I owe my Rascal an apology.