Two work colleagues have managed, despite both being on extended trips to east Asia with very little in the way of means with which to contact each other, to meet up and go climbing together.
This contrasts rather starkly with my working-class relatives in my home town, almost none of whom managed to meet up with K. and me after we’d driven two hundred miles to see them. A handful did, but the restâ€”for whom we had of course bought presentsâ€”couldn’t really get it together. One of them lives opposite my auntie, who we went to visit on the wind-torn and rain-blattered Saturday, driving and walking through the climatic incarnation of misery, with weather so severe that it almost pulled the door off the car (it still won’t close properly). Yet he couldn’t manage to be either in his house at the time nor to come over to pick up the admittedly rather underwhelming Christmas gift we got for him. Auntie, and at least one cousin, could not mention to the other cousins beforehand that I was even coming up.
I understand that people whose jobs aren’t as flexible, and wages not as comfortable, lead more difficult, harder-to-organize lives. I appreciate that the whole family don’t think of me so much as someone to socialize with, as someone who’s just landed from another planet. But compared to two people travelling thousands of miles and managing a meeting, walking thirty yards to see us after our four-hour car journey seems only reasonable.
We should’ve gone to see my usher instead. Or forced Looby off his advent abstience. At least we’d have had something to talk about.