Bertha is a hideous old bag sent from the mouth of Hell to torment me for my sins, except I can't remember ever doing anything heinous enough to warrant a week of Bertha. Here's a taster: Bertha arrived in the house and responded to my "How was your trip?" by completely ignoring me and talking to the dog for five minutes, then ordering me to bring in her suitcase. Bertha refers to herself as a 'sweet old lady' but she is actually a 'bitter old woman who looks like a dude and is constantly offending people through being tactless and uncharitable.' She's not an inherently awful person, she's just so rude that she's kind of awful to be around. And she makes other people awfuller, too - right now I am slurping my tea obnoxiously just to fuck her off.
When Mum announced that Bertha had invited herself to stay (oh, yeah, we didn't invite her... she's up here for a week for a weaving course and announced that she'd be staying with us) she said, "I couldn't say no... Bertha has been kind to us over the years."
"Bertha," I said firmly, "has never been kind to me."
Mum paused and said, "No... I guess she hasn't."
When my sister and I were little, Bertha used to give my sister $50 birthday and Christmas presents, and take her out for lunch and shopping trips. Bertha did not, however, ever take me out for lunch or buy me anything. Bertha did not, in fact, acknowledge that I had a birthday or might like to partake in Christmas. This wasn't because I was a horrible child, but purely because Bertha had two adult daughters - one she liked, and one she didn't like. Kate reminded her of the one she liked. I reminded her of the one she didn't like. So she ignored me, or said hurtful things which is A-OK now (this evening she said, "What are you going to do with your life? You have to do something!") because I am big but it's pretty uncool when you are little.
One of my most vivid memories of Bertha is from when I was about 8 or 9, and still harboured ridiculous and ill-suited career dreams. We were walking up our driveway for some reason and I mentioned that I would like to be a chef. "Don't be stupid," said Bertha instantly, "you haven't got the imagination."
Since Bertha has been here she has insulted everyone repeatedly, shown us a million photos of her house, and scratched her back with the wooden spoon. Yes, the one we use for cooking. No, she didn't ask first.
Hilarious moment when she was showing house photos:
Bertha: "... and on this lawn is where the rabbit cages go."
Kate, who likes animals: "You keep rabbits?"
Bertha: "Yep. Breed them for eating."
Currently, Bertha has turned the TV up insanely loud and is sitting on the couch, knitting and blinking like a hellish owl (that knits). Here is a list of things Bertha has complained about in the hour since I came home from work:
- Dinner (meat tough, vegetables undercooked but, in longsuffering tone, "it is food and we must be grateful for it")
- The TV news (content)
- The TV news (reception)
- The royal family (inbred and adulterous)
- The dog, Charlie (unsure exactly what the problem here was)
- Heat pump, setting of (too cold)
- Heat pump, setting of (too hot)
- Heat pump, setting of (fan is blowing in face of Bertha)
- Kate ("That girl talks too much," said Bertha as Kate was talking)
Right now though I'm going to go to the pub or something because if I am in the house any longer I am going to take Bertha's knitting and shove it down her neck and HA! HA! HA!
Sorry. But thanks for letting me vent. Normal post tomorrow.