She said it with such conviction, that I was rather taken aback. She was one of my students, but she was older than the rest of them. Most of them came along straight from college with little knowledge of the world with their heads crammed full of information, most of it completely wrong.
She had been different. She hadn’t had much formal education, she got married very young. She’d had two children before the age that most of my students graduated. It had meant she appreciated the opportunities that this course would give her. It would open doors for her.
She became more than just a student. She became a friend and she came to me for advice when things at home were getting her down.
I blinked and asked her to repeat the question.
“I said, can you recommend a good lawyer? I want to divorce my husband.”
“But why? I thought you said that he was supportive of you taking time out to study.”
“I just can’t carry on. At first, he was supportive, but then he started throwing insults at me. The other evening, he told me I was looking Flocculent!”
She was red in the cheeks and she ran her fingers through her short brown hair, which she did when she was stressed. I tried to suppress a laugh.
“Can, I ask, what were you wearing when he said that?” I tried to keep any humour from my voice.
“What an absurd question! What does that matter?” She responded, getting more agitated.
“Just humour me, please?” I replied.
“Well, I was wearing my old pullover. I’ve had it for years, I wouldn’t wear it out, but It’s comfortable at home. Why?”
“I think your husband is feeling worried that you are studying with me and he feels you may not want him anymore. He appears to be learning a few unusual words to come across as more intellectual. Look, read this.” I pulled down my Oxford English Dictionary from the shelf and turned to the page beginning ‘FL’
I handed it to her and she read it our loud
“Flocculent, Adjective, Having or resembling tufts of wool. Oh, I understand. He wasn’t insulting me at all.”
“No, but next time he tries to be clever, just tell him his Verbosity will not be tolerated. That should shut him up.”
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 21/November/2018