September 11, 2005

I think my mother is trying to poison me with masonry dust

It would make a good afternoon Channel 5 film, wouldn't it? The mother bent on home improvement, striding through the house in her fetching oversized check shirts and cutesy patterned headscarves, is revealed, almost too late, to have ulterior motives under her seemingly innocent desire for a 'fresh' look to her bathroom. But it's okay, because it then turns out she's got some very rare (and yet very widespread in the land of the made-for-TV movie) disease, such as Munchausens by proxy, and there's a tearful reunion, and a vow of love and forgiveness, and a fresh start. And then the credits would roll over a couple of adverts for dentures.

However, as the longsuffering daughter, I would also have to have a med school application and an understanding and earnestly attractive boyfriend. We would also have to live in affluent American suburbia. So there's no need to fear for my safety just yet. I must just trust that my mother's sanding and painting frenzy is all in the name of New Shiny Bathrooms. Also, in her headgear she looks more comedy peasant housewife than all American wholesome. I keep expecting her to come out with a dodgy Russian accent, or try and fix me up with a local farmer who owns almost a whole cow.

And trust me, when I say shiny, I mean shiny. If you get too overexcited with the new touch-sensitive dimmer halogen lights, you need sunglasses to even so much as look at that bath. And then there's all the dust floating around, reflecting the enamel glory of it all. Brushing your teeth feels a bit like stepping into 2001: A Space Odyssey (the crazy flashy lights space trip bit – not so much the apes chucking stuff around, or the psycho computer). What more could one ask for from a bathroom?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to stuff a chicken for dinner. I just hope Peasant Mother hasn't seen fit to invite the cow farmer.

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