One more miss-you-night-and-day, my dearest Toady. Just cannot mention the hows because it has been an eternity. Still, I soldier on. Thankfully, Sally and I have a good laugh now and then. We even went out to lunch. She is quite funny when she is not worrying. Some people are eternal worriers. They see monsters everywhere. I tend to see the good side that most people don’t realise they have.

I am so glad you were not here yesterday. You would have been ashamed of me. Once again, I lost my temper with the “system.” You know I hate people trying to put others into little cubbyholes because they don’t want to see changes that would eventually benefit the whole world. Sally and I went out to lunch. I promised Toby ever since I arrived that I would take Sally for a meal. So, yesterday, I went with her to this restaurant in town for lunch. Now, Sally is an elderly lady and it does not take an expert to spot that she is not too well. I believe I made myself quite presentable. So although it was obvious that I am not her daughter. It was also quite obvious that she was with me, not I with her.

Anyway, this girl, our waitress, totally ignored me and turned to Sally with a pad in hand and a pencil poised. She asked Sally her name. Sally, a bit confused, tried unsuccessfully to reply. So I told the girl that we were together. I said to her that my name was Mrs Pettigrew and Sally’s name was Mrs Miller. The girl promptly wrote down Mrs Miller, but it turned out that she had not included my name. We were supposed to wait in the hallway until tables were free for the people out to lunch (which is nonsense because there were at least four empty tables when we went in, and as Sally and I walked to one, we were told to go back and wait until we were called). This is just some rubbish to let people believe that the restaurant is busy and to make social climbers feel important.

I told Sally to let us go elsewhere for I was in no mood for nonsense. And I said so loud and clear. Sally said, “But all the restaurants are the same, Vee.” Of course, I knew differently but decided to humour her and stayed. The people waiting before us were called. A few minutes later, the girl with the pencil and pad returned to call Mrs Miller. Sally walked off in her wake, but I stayed sitting.

Sally said, “Come on, Vee.”
I said, “No. She called you. She didn’t call me.”
The girl said, “Well, I don’t know your name.”
“But I gave it to you,” I said to her.

I guess I should have assumed that she just couldn’t spell Pettigrew because I did mention to her that we were two separate individuals out to lunch together. I didn’t come as part of a package. I’m not an appendage, and no correcting my spelling now, but I was getting more and more furious. Sally said, “That’s how they do it, Vee,” but I think it’s about time it was done differently. Those days are long gone when people were seen and not even mentioned. Suppose, for instance, some terrorists had decided to blow up the place. What if the police, or my insurance company, had to check that list to see who was there? I would not have been mentioned. Yet I was there and had paid for my own lunch too.

People should not sit down and accept whatever is handed out to them whether it is right or wrong. Fortunately, for me, I do not try to hide from that sort of confrontation. If I see something that is wrong, I say so. Because very soon people like me will be no more and our children and grandchildren will be putting up with the same indignities that my forebears had to put up with hundreds of years ago because others just say, “I am all right, Jack” and to hell with everybody else.

This girl with the pad and pencil took us in and we walked to our table by the window. Sally was given a menu card, and of course, Sally can’t deal with a menu card. So I had to select. Sally is so hesitant that she just cannot decide whether to eat or not. So, I ordered for us both, and I am certain I ordered the same thing. Strangely enough, when the food came, Sally’s was different. Immediately, I was suspicious. After asking for the usual water to clean my hands, I decided to take a good look at what I was supposed to eat. And believe me, Toady, it looked and felt like leftovers. Sally kept on at me to try some of hers because it was too much (so was mine). However, her chicken tasted fresh and crisp while my meat was cold and the lettuce leaves were black instead of green. After turning it inside out, I left it.

The waiter came to inquire if there was something wrong, which was a bit of a loaded question when asked of someone like me. Without any hesitation, I told him what I thought of it (the food I mean). I pointed out that the plate needed a good wash, too. He suggested another meal, but I had gone right off the place. But then I had not reckoned on Sally, who refused to eat hers if I was not eating mine. In fact, she insisted on sharing hers with me. Since she had already started her food, you know that that was out of the question. So, eventually, against my better judgement, I decided to order what Sally had.

Mrs Pettigrew and Mrs Miller Out to Lunch

When the food came, although I did not think much of the enormous deep plate in which it was served, the chicken at least was hot and crispy. The salad was fresher than before, although I had gone off the idea of it by now. I ate all the chicken because it was actually very nice, but I left the rest. Sally had hers put in a lovely carton to take home. And she just could not understand why I did not want to take my very large quantity back too.

You see, whilst I was sitting there, I thought of all the things that were so wrong in that one place. A place that was opened to the public and offering a service that its clientele have to pay for – and I thought to myself – what a barefaced cheek. It is the snooty restaurateurs of this world along with the estate agents, and banks, etcetera, who perpetuate this nonsense that one human being is better than another and should be kept apart by virtue of their race, class, faith and/or ethnicity. This stupid thinking, if allowed to go unchecked, will cause a massive explosion that will one day destroy the whole fabric of our society. Far-sighted-people who want to leave a safe and peaceful inheritance for their little Toadies will have to do something to ensure a safe world – a more peaceful, fair and just world – a better place for every member of the human race.

Now Toady, enough preaching from me for one day, eh? But you know how I can sound off and since I can no longer deafen you with my high decibel tone; I have to write this missive. Hope you have not fallen asleep yet. Did I mention that I missed you and that a little birdie told me that you have been telling all the ladies how much you will never stop loving and wanting them? Good job our relationship is purely platonic. Otherwise, I’d show you a different side to my nature. I would not scratch these little or even big girls’ eyes out. I’d shorten your ‘lifestyle.’ Give you one less eye or perhaps no eyes at all. Then, I’d offer my services as the guide dog. A bit selfish you might say, but there is a reason to this madness. If you can’t see (and I am inclined to think that you are already colour blind), you won’t wake up one morning and realise that I am a dusky maiden, and bar me from sitting in your presence. I will then have the pleasure of taking care of you always – at least until the end of our time.

See you in my dreams, my love.

Like these stories? We deliver to your inbox too.