“So there’s your bag,” said my dad, hitching it usefully over my shoulder. “And your stick’s in the back of the car. Are those new shoes?”
“New shoes? No,” I replied, truthfully. “I’ve had these for a few months.”

My mother bustled over to check if I was still alive, or something.

“One more thing,” she added, doing a very good impression or someone who has just had an afterthought. In actuality, she had been wanting to ask this for a while, but had never quite managed it. (I think she must have been mustering a fair amount of courage to do so.) “Have you ever had… this before?”

What? New shoes, even though they aren’t new? The cardigan she didn’t know I had, despite having bought it for me? I was genuinely surprised she hadn’t asked about my coat.

“Like, this? A moustache without any beard? Have you ever had this before?”

I have, in fact, had this before, and I do so practically every year.

“Yes. I do so every November.”
“You’re doing Movember this year?”
“I do Movember every year…?”
“It’s a strong look,” said my dad.

He says this a lot, usually about hairstyles I don’t like. He’s been trying to get me to grow a full moustache and beard and get my head shaved for a few years now. He says it’s a strong look. I don’t particularly want to look strong.

“You should keep it,” said my mother. “It’s a good look for you.”
“No it isn’t,” I answered (also truthfully; it looks ridiculous). “I look like a ’70s porn star.”

Both parents laughed at this, which – considering the amount of time they spend trying to pretend porn doesn’t exist – was both gratifying and surprising. Feeling that I couldn’t quite top that, I turned to leave, before my mother stopped me in the hall.

“One more thing,” she added (again).

No, I haven’t considered how to make porn when your rapidly degenerating body is making it difficult to do something as simple as put on a coat. And the stick, that’d get in the way.

“Yes?” I ventured, trepidatiously.

“Are those new shoes?”