Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Told You So

There is nothing more frustrating or infuriating than belatedly discovering your parents were right. This rule doesn’t apply to every piece of parental wisdom, every pearl of sage advice, but rather specifically to the suggestions which are smugly ignored by children who are certain that they can conquer any future problem.

Do you think parents eventually get bored of saying “I told you so”?

If there is one warning Mother Painefull handed me most often during my youth it regarded my appalling posture. People, to this day, are often amazed by my actual height which (like a super hero hiding their true identity) is veiled by my refusal/inability to stand up straight.

If there is one piece of advice Father Painefull has harped on about with alarming fervour in recent times it has been that above all else I needed to get personal health insurance. He actually rang me one Saturday morning out of the blue, for no other reason than to provide a 30 second spiel on the importance of health insurance (30 seconds being the average length of any phone conversation with Father Painefull before he asks if I need to speak with my mother). I kindly informed dad just last month that when I was old enough to actually need insurance, I would definitely get it.

Imagine then my dismay when, at the increasingly withered age of 25, I injured my back while jogging and was promptly informed by my physio that the real problem was (drum roll please) my appalling posture. Then, after realizing my injury is going to take a series of regular, expensive appointments to heal over several months, I go to sort out my bill at reception and am asked for my insurance details. All the receptionist could manage was a look of mortified pity when I quietly informed her I was currently between insurers.

I have given my parents one (ONE) free pass to say “I told you so” over this double-whammy of my own making. They, being wise parents, are currently holding on to that pass for what they believe will be the perfect moment.

Meanwhile I had to spend 3 days either standing or lying down, but above all not sitting. Have you ever realized how important sitting is? I have now realized most of my favourite past times involve sitting – writing, watching television, eating brunch, staring vacantly off into space for hours at a time… all of these are pretty sitting-dependent sports.

It could have been worse of course. Kiwi Snow White later revealed that when she first saw me hobbling through the office on the day I hurt my back, she had quietly wondered to herself whether I might be sporting some sort of minor sex injury*. So it definitely could have been worse – it could have been genuinely difficult to explain.

What was genuinely difficult to explain was the moment when my poor physio, working on the muscles in my lower back, accidentally discovered that I was sporting underwear that may or may not have featured Wonder Woman. I was forced to hurriedly explain that it was my washing day. It was. It really was.

If I were to sum up the true lesson I have learnt from all of this, it’s not that mum and dad are always right (though they would undoubtedly disagree), but that really, ultimately, if you think about it… exercise is actually bad for you. At least that’s what I imagine I’ll be telling my kids in 20 years time.

Painefull Out

* = Oh Kiwi Snow White, you never cease to amaze.

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