One of the things I could do without at the moment is the unsolicited mail the Post Office insists on delivering. I do not need mail about chairs that allow the mobility challenged to rise to their feet on the press of a button or those buggies for them to ride in when they wish to get the messages. Nor do I need, let alone want, mail from firms who offer means of paying for one's cremation thus saving one's loved ones – it is always one's loved ones – the trouble when the time comes. If they added to the gaiety of the day it would be fine, but they most certainly do not and three in one week is three too many.
The same goes for the advertisements on television channels like Talking Pictures which specialise in insurance companies offering their goods to the over 50s – again with the bait of being able to leave one's loved ones the means of disposing of their loved one – with the added inducement of a cuddly toy. What do I need a cuddly toy for? The charities urging one to help animals or children in distress, or to fund the training of a guide dog, always offer a cuddly toy in return for one's £3 a month.
I have all the cuddly toys I need, having failed to throw all the detritus of my childhood out, so a moth-eaten blue rabbit and one with only one glass eye lurk in one of my cupboards. Their time will come but I won't be there to see it.
I can understand why makers of pots and pans plague me as when I needed new ones I searched on Google but I have never looked up mobility sites or looked at what a funeral costs. Nor do I know why would be sellers feel I fall into the age range they are seeking to reach as I have never put my date of birth anywhere.
I have thought long and hard about this, agonising over bringing such a deeply personal issue into the public domain. Particularly through the Scottish Review
which I consider to be a highly reputable publication. I take no pleasure in my actions, however, were I to fail to act and simply do nothing, I fear this would be abrogation of my responsibilities to myself as a public person and private citizen. The outcome of my deliberations and internal struggle is, I have now come to the conclusion, that I must at least defend myself in print.
For those new to SR (or readers who simply skip reading the Café section of the publication) I should explain. I am referring here to the article published last week in which I am at best maligned, even to the point of defamation (but not actually... definitely not. I must emphasise I am not suggesting or claiming I have been defamed... I only state this for comedic effect) of character. And by whom have I been insulted in this way, I hear you ask?
By a member of my own family, one who I trusted as a confidant and true pal, my own dog – Daisy!
My immediate feeling on reading the piece was one of sorrow, disappointment, hurt. I suppose it could be summed up as feeling let down, especially in the circumstances through which we currently struggle. If there was ever a time we should be pulling together, surely it is now. But no, instead she took the opportunity to trash my efforts, suggesting I was definitely becoming diminished in some ways, ever more relying on her guidance and help. Slowing down, dithering and increasingly becoming forgetful and over sensitive around personal security. The unsaid subtext was that I recently qualified for free travel pass having celebrated my 60th birthday. Unsaid, but I knew what she was driving at!
The article called attention to weakness, suggested frailty and finally pointed to some contrived claim that I was increasingly looking to her for support in my dotage. All supposedly curtailing her enjoyment and even impinging on her basic canine rights. In an exceptionally one-sided treatise, she sought to paint herself as the victim of my decline. The laugh is, in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Without me, there would be no walks; no socialisation; no adventures. The analysis lacked any objectivity as nearly every example she brought forward as a problem, I could explain away, given the time and circumstances to do so. However, as we have seen, she instead chose to rush to print!
We all can have reason to resort to cat calling and deriding each other, whilst pointing out the faults of adversaries, but where does that lead us, to anarchy?
I do not want to commence a war of attrition. I would rather we have time for reflection and healing, so hope this is the last word on this dreadful disappointing episode. Also, she has such a lovely wee face. Who couldn't love her, no matter what?
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