If ever a person was unprepared for a visitor, it was Shirley.
Firstly, Aaron’s mother, from a distance, looked no more than
a hot thirty.
Keeping to her plan, Shirley instigated the Supermarket visit.
Instead of being exhausted from her long journey, Julia
hurriedly changed into jeans and a shirt and jacket.
Although the supermarket scam went as Shirley had hoped,
(there was enough food for almost a week of non-meat meals),
she was finding Julia rather engaging.
As they returned home and began putting away the groceries,
Julia said she was cold. Aaron turned off the air con.
Shirley said nothing.
Later that night, Shirley told Aaron she was ‘burning up,’
and he ran out to switch on the air-con. The temperature
was 73o. But Shirley needed to force Aaron to ‘chose’.
Shirley called her mother as she drove to work the
following morning, giving her a minute by minute
When Shirley came home the air-con was off and Julia
watching television in a side room, avoiding the big
screen in the living room.
She satisfied herself by switching on the
air-con at 70o and shutting the windows.
Shortly Julia complained about the cold and Shirley
gave her a thicker blanket.
Seeing Julia watching television wrapped in a blanket
pleased and annoyed Shirley at the same time.
The week proceeded quietly.
During the weekend, Shirley was the thermostat king.
She didn’t care if Julia had to send to Alaska for
a parka, 75o was how it would stay.
On Monday, Cynth and Shirley touched on the unsaid;
“Mom, don’t even think Aaron would could get in ten
feet of the thermostat if you wanted the house at
90o…” Shirley decreed.
“If I had a son like that I’d never visit him…”
Cynth told her co-workers, “no wonder Julia’s such
“A son letting his wife torture his mother? What
kind of man is he?” one asked, aghast.
Cynth didn’t share these conversations with her
daughter, of course.