That being said, I positively look like Bill Gates compared to my brother (or both of them, in fact). When his wife died suddenly last year, in addition to being absolutely devastated P was also in the unfortunate situation of "being the one who didn't know where anything was". In fact he told me that one of the hardest things was figuring out such things as where she ordered the heating fuel from and so on, as he had no idea. I do remember trying to get my ex involved in this kind of stuff but he too just wasn't interested. Every so often he would do his nut about how "someone was obviously draining the bank account" (I guess he meant me) because we had no money, but during our divorce I was able to demonstrate extensively just where all the money was going - and it sure as hell had nothing to do with me! Don't laugh but I also always did our accounts basically on the back of an envelope because I knew how much was going into the bank and I was supposed to know how much was going out. This didn't quite work out when I was married because he was constantly spending and I had no idea what on. Since I am on my own, however, I am pretty much spot on. (On a side note, my friend Steve, who came over from England over Christmas, laughed when I told him I do my accounts on the back of an envelope and have envelopes in a tin under my armchair with all the money divied up for various bills. He was incredulous that "you have a Swiss bank account and do your accounting on the back of an envelope"!) Note: it's not that kind of Swiss bank account but yep, that's about the truth of it!
Anyway, back to my brother. When his wife died he didn't have a credit card, barely knew where the cheque book was, didn't have a mobile phone and couldn't use the internet or email. He was supposed to go to Greece with me the first year after her death but wouldn't book it himself through the English travel agent because "I don't have a credit card and I can't use email"! So I booked it from over here using my credit card and then he wanted to send me a cheque in pounds!!! I told him they haven't used cheques in Switzerland since 2003 (true) and a cheque in sterling was no good to me. Talk about hard work - sometimes he's like pulling teeth!
I used to phone him every week to see how he was getting on and after the first year, when all the "first" anniversaries were over he began to do a little better. He told me that he desperately missed female company and while he has made friends at his widows and widowers club, he misses being able to chat to a woman over dinner and so on. Not that anyone would or could ever replace his wife, but he just wanted some companionship - as do we all I suppose!
Well finally he seems to have met someone who makes him laugh again. She is his age and also a widow. It is in the very early stages and they won't be seeing each other an awful lot since she lives 150 miles away, but so far they seem to be making each other happy. His new lady friend, M, is also trying to drag him at least into the 20th century technology-wise (she can forget the 21st century I think), so he has now got a phone, can reply to an email as long as you write to him first, and got his first look at Facebook the other day and was stunned to see pictures of his recent trip out to France to visit me. He loved it. And most recently, M has got him turned on to Whatsapp so that the hours they spend on the phone every night are no longer costing them a fortune!
So all seemed to be going along swimmingly - until last night, that is! I had just got into bed to read at 11 p.m. when I get a Whatsapp message from my brother.
P - "that thing I was saying about the shoes, why did you take them, now I have nothing" (or something along these lines).
Me - "Say what?"
P - "I only bought those shoes because I thought they were smart. Blah, blah, blah"
Me - "Come again? Hey, who do you think you have been chatting with for the last five minutes?"
P - "You, M, of course!"
Me - "Ha, bloody ha. You have been divulging your deepest secrets to your sister since, oh, about 11.05 pm!"
P - "Oh, shit, please please forget we had this conversation. I'm going to take myself off and give myself a good talking to"!
Me - "No worries, it's forgotten already. Night!"
Except I didn't forget it - I just wrote it down here so that I would never forget that conversation! Tee hee! Actually there was nothing raunchy or super-secretive about the conversation at all (much to my disappointment) but he sure as hell wasn't making any sense to me, until I figured out what was going on when he sent a photo of what looked like an older lady and two younger females (turns out it was his lady friend and her granddaughters). But - and I'm sure we've all done it - it just goes to show you have to be really careful before you let that trigger finger loose!
|Old dog and new tricks!|