My parents! (Day 4 of 30)

Huh, my parents.

Sorry I’m updating a little late today, I’ve been fighting bronchitis for over a week now, and today I was losing. It keeps seeming like it’s going away, and then one day I’ll wake up and feel like I have a dog sitting on my chest. Then I move Rosie, and I still feel like I have a lump of lead sitting in my lungs. So today was one of those days. Actually went back to the doctor, and he put me on a whole new kind of antibiotic. And wants me to give him a sputum sample. Goddamn. I felt so sorry for the poor pathology collection chick. I was like, “Uhhhh, I’ll do it at home.”

But anyway! My parents! I’ve blogged a lot about them before, I think. Specifically in the entry where I explained why we’re moving back to Sydney. So with a bit of luck, I’ll be able to keep this one short and then get back to feeling like a big ol’ butt again.

My parents aren’t married. That’s the first thing you need to know. I didn’t even know this until I was about 15 or something. Apparently my brother guessed, but I had to be told. Looking back, there were some things that gave it away, but I had just sort of assimilated these little quirks into what I thought was the concept of marriage. Like that my Dad didn’t wear a wedding ring. And, well, that neither of them could, when pressed, remember their wedding date. I guess that one was my bad, but I honestly just thought they were being jerks about the whole thing.

Dumb, right!

Anyway, so they aren’t married. And it shows! I don’t know why they’re still together. And because it’s an FAQ, yes, they are still together. But like I say, I don’t know why.

My Mum is a nurse. Actually, that’s not even true anymore. She is a registered nurse, but she no longer works in a hospital. About a year and a half ago, Tim and I had to help my Mum fill in online job applications and a CV for the FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE. She held down the same job for something akin to 40 years. And boy, did she get damn good at it. It is not an exaggeration to say that she was the best nurse in her ward. Or that it was the best ward in the hospital. Or that she worked in one of the top public hospitals in Sydney. So, she was literally the best of the best of the best, sir.

But it was killing her. She would come home from work in tears. When she was on a shift, she was forceful and decisive and literally in charge. She ordered around doctors and proved they were wrong. But when she came home, she was a mess. For a very long time, she would need a glass of scotch every night to calm her nerves before she could sleep.

And it wasn’t just emotional. Even physically. She worked in the spinal ward, so all her patients were quad- or paraplegic. Which meant she had to move them, turn them, do everything for them. My Mum is not in the greatest health herself. She has a lot of medical problems of her own, which leave her pretty frail. But she would just have to buck up and do it, because there was no other choice.

‘There was another choice’, I would plead to her for years on end. ‘You need to get a new job!’ But she’d been there for 40 years, had never known anything else.

Until finally, the inevitable happened, and she was injured while working. She got a lot of workers comp and stuff, and they had to help her find a new job, and now she works in an office, putting her years and years of experience to work for her, by consulting others. She’s a lot happier now, and that makes me happy too!

What else is there? She’s a bit of a hyperchondriac. Well, not about herself. Sort of a hyperchondriac by-proxy. If I come to her for medical advice which, I would be stupid not to, she inevitably starts to freak out and think the worst. This does benefit you when there is something actually wrong, to be fair. Like the time I was diagnosed with diabetes. She caught it so fast, my pancreas hadn’t even completely stopped working yet. No shit. Or the time I nearly died from pneumonia as a kid. Doctor’s just kept telling her it was the flu, like three different doctors or something. Till she eventually just took me to the children’s hospital, where they were like, “Oh God, she’s going to die, why didn’t you bring her in like a week ago?!?!”

She stayed with me in hospital. In a chair. I’ll never forget that. Mostly ’cause I was so terrified.

So let’s talk about my Dad. Well, I talk about him a lot. Scathingly, unfortunately. But he’s not a bad guy, when you look at the big picture. Let’s seeeeeeee…

He was born in Queensland. True story! He was actually born in Rockhampton, which some of you might remember as one of the places that got hit pretty bad by floods earlier in the year.

He has 3 or 4 brothers. I’m honestly not sure which it is, 3 or 4. Like his kids, I wouldn’t know them from a bar of soap. Must be something about him, huh? I know that one of them, who lived in WA in fact, died a few years ago. And I know that one of them is crazy, and all the others, my Dad included, had to go to court against him after their mother died. So yep, weird family.

He’s had a variety of jobs, most of which involve being… a… electronics? person? of some description? I know he taught TAFE, and worked at the ABC in radio. I think he was a cameraman of some type or something, or filmed things, I don’t know. Yep. And before that, he did his apprenticeship in an abbatoir. Don’t know how that prepared him for life in the world of electronics, exactly. But that’s what he did.

Once he got the end of his finger lopped off, probably by like, a bone saw or something. Then he had it reattached. True story. I thought he was shitting me until he showed me the fucking seam. I should ask him about that again, now that I’m a real human being and have real concious thought.

Huh, that’s a realisation I’ve just had about my Dad, thanks to this very blog. When we were kids, he talked to us like we were adults, and we didn’t really understand everything that he meant. And I guess he got that vibe. So now that we’re adults, he sort of talks to us like we’re children and don’t understand what he’s talking about. But, like, we do. Soooo.

So that’s my parents. They’re good people. They’re just a little more… clinically insane than most parents. But not in that, like, “Oh, my parents are so quirky and weird!” kind of way and more like… they actually have psychological issues. I love them both, but having just had them around for the wedding, I’ve discovered I love them a lot more when they’re not, you know.


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Externalised memory priestess from the elemental plane of pink. I hyperbolise every second of the day. On Twitter here.

5 thoughts on “My parents! (Day 4 of 30)”

  1. It was cute helping your Mum make her C.V.! “Let’s see, Registered Nurse from… 1960 to 2000.”

    “..anything else?”


    “Alright, I’ll… see what I can do.”

    I still have to examine your Dad’s finger! I’ll probably just casually grab it one time while he’s gesticulating, should be good fun.


  2. Wow…I did not know a whole bunch of that…not married eh? Weird. I feel like there was a joke made on the Monday I arrived in Perth that makes mroe sense now but I don’t quite remember it. I totally want some of these stories long hand…you’re freakin fascinating! I’m also glad to know that I’m not the only one whose parents have some weird stuff going on…did you know my dad has absolutely no ability to self-reflect? At first I thought he was just arrogant…but I think it might be more…it’s weird…but anywho..

    Love ya!

  3. i HATE that i do the maths for these things using my fingers…

    haha debari wrong sarah 😛 its MY mum who loves to cop a feel 😛
    Im actuyally really not looking forward to this blog topic in particular… ill get there!

    Jess your folks are TOTALLY weird, also you are the spitting image of your mum!

  4. Haha.
    Nope, it’s something else and also I had the right Sarah lol.
    I swear it’s a thing, I’m not crazy!!!

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