Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The World According To My Mother

 I love my Mother dearly, she has always been there for all of us 100 %. Sometimes getting her to that 100% can drive you crazier than the problem you started out with. It's a cross we happily bear for her devotion.

If there was ever anyone that lives in a world of nothing but black and white it is my mother. No grays, not even the slightest hint of color.  There are only two ways to do things, two ways to see things and two ways to feel about something.  Her way and the wrong way. If it wasn't her idea then it was a silly idea. If it is not her explanation for the way things are then it makes no sense which instantly makes it unbelievable.

If she forgets something she will deny to her death that she ever knew it in the first place and say we are trying to keep things from her.  Because, of course, it is to all our benefit to NOT tell her about changing the brand of laundry detergent we use. That knowledge in the hands of the wrong people could alter the course of history. If you forget something it is either because you are on drugs that have destroyed all your brain cells and now she will have to raise your children during the upcoming apocalypse or because you never pay attention to her when she talks so she doesn't know why she even bothers to tell you anything.  She is right on that last part, I admit I don't always pay attention to what she is telling me. Mainly because I really don't care that she saw a stray cat in my aunt's yard last Easter, that the woman in front of her in the check out at the grocery was wearing clothes that didn't match,  the paper lady delivered the paper 15 minutes late last night, that my nephew spit on the sidewalk and is now doomed to grow up a delinquent because of it, her neighbors fed their dog table scraps last Tuesday night at 7 pm sharp (this type of info is always preceded with "I'm not a gossip but...."). You want my attention then bring me the goods. I want to know who is fucking who and who found out about it, tell me about the neighbors knock down drag out fight last night in their driveway, tell me my uncle ran off and left my aunt(Please God, tell me that someday! I like him and it would be nice to know he escaped). Why does she not share these little tidbits of information? Her answer to that is always because she doesn't "notice that type of thing"...because...well...she isn't a gossip.

My mother has no concept of lying, to her that is a crime worse than murder. Lie to keep someone's feelings from being hurt? Never!  They should be strong enough to handle the truth, they appreciate her telling them that the new house they so proudly built is put together so shoddily that it will most like cave in within three years. My aunt appreciated being told her then 6 yr old son was dumber than a box of rocks(in my Mother's defense here, he was and still is), that way they could get him in better schools before it was too late. My 40 yr old cousin appreciated being told that she looks like a 70 yr old woman, after all she did give her a gentle suggestion for a good wrinkle cream and she was so thankful that she tried to squeeze the life out of hugged her. Back in the day when you could still return empty bottles for a  deposit when buying Coke I went to the store with my Mother while home visiting one summer. I never bothered to take those bottles back, that 30 cents for the whole six of them wasn't enough to make up for the aggrevation to me. I didn't put the bottles in the car and since my Mother could not even fathom someone not taking them back when ask at the check out if she had returned any bottles she told them she had and they credited her for that 30 cents. When we got home and she saw the empty bottles still in the pantry where I had left them and had a total melt down because she had told a lie at the grocery store. The woman actually got back in the car and drove 12 miles one way back to that grocery store to give them the bottles.  Crying and profusely apologizing as if she had just run over one of their children in the parking lot. They looked at her is disbelief and told  her she could have just brought them the next week when she came to get groceries. She told them she would never have been able to sleep knowing she had those stolen bottles in the house. She was telling the truth.

In my Mother's world she is the only person capable of having someone of the opposite sex as nothing more than a friend. For the rest of us we are automatically doing the rabbit dance between the sheets each and every time we get together. There is no such thing as "just friends" between the opposite sex, it isn't possible, people don't think that way and your only fooling yourself if you try to say differently. Except, of course, for her. SHE can do it.

My Mother and cell phones do not mix. I am still trying to figure out why she even has one, she claims she got it for emergencies. I keep telling her that I think in order for it to perform in the way she intends it would necessitate her actually taking it with her. It's not that she doesn't know how to use it, it's just that she refuses to use it. The phone was in the top of her closet, still in the box it came in for over 3 months when she first got it. She finally got tired of hearing about it from all of us and took it out. It now is in the nightstand drawer beside her bed, nestled softly under the perfectly working land line phone. She had a flat tire and when ask why she didn't call someone to come help her she said because she didn't have the phone with her because it was only for emergencies. She was in Amish country(she goes every week to buy whatever you buy from the Amish) when a family emergency came up and we needed to get in touch with her. Unsurprisingly she didn't answer her phone because again she didn't take it with her..... it is only for emergencies. Yet this same woman will sit in her bed every night and text the hell out of all of us, sending us pictures of the Amish goods she has purchased that week, cute pictures of the dog, videos of my snoring father, pictures of the flowers she got for whatever occasion it is at the time, recipes she has found on the internet, etc. Retaliation doesn't work. We spent one whole evening trying to show her how irritating this can be when your trying to sleep, have a nice dinner out or watch a movie by texting her pictures of nonsense. I sent a picture of my toe, my dog's ass, a kernel of corn on my dinner plate, the door knob on my bedroom door, the leg of my coffee table, my toilet, my carpet, the moon and a nail clipping. I have no idea what the others were sending, but three of us sending this type of picture for hours on end only resulted in a text back to all of us saying "It looks like your having an enjoyable evening, love the pictures!" So now thinking this is the type of pictures we like she is sending us the same type of photos. Every night. When she thought there was something wrong with her landline instead of using her own cell phone to call the landline to check it she called and had me call her to check it. Because, and she doesn't know how many times she has to tell me, that cell phone is only for emergencies! This all makes perfect sense to her.

My Mother has four sisters and the five of them are always taking sides and arguing with each other. But it is never the same ones on the same side. For variety they swap it up. This week A and B are not talking to C and D and E is in the middle hearing it from both sides. Next week C won't be talking to A and E and D and B will be in the middle hearing it from both sides. This list constantly rotates and we never know who is mad at who. We don't even try to figure out why they are mad in the first place, it will all be over with next week anyway when it's time for the new cast of characters to be announced. They all highly amuse me with this. It is very important to remember that, according to them, not a single one of them are gossips.  Unless you ask the two that are mad at the rest of them that week, they will always tell you it is because "those other sisters" are gossips. They also can't stand the way "those other sisters" act and they are so glad they are different. In reality the problem is they are all exactly alike and all of them are gossips, which is why they fight.

My Mother hates a hypochondriac and can bitch endlessly about someone calling her to talk about all their illness. She called me this morning to tell me she thinks she is coming down with a cold but it's hard to tell because she already has a sore throat and that migraine from last week is still lingering. If her knee is better in the morning so she doesn't have to worry about it giving out and causing her to fall which will only make her back ache worse she is going to the doctor.

My Mother has no patience for those(like me) who like or need to sleep late. If you sleep late your just being lazy. She doesn't care if you have worked in a busy emergency room for a straight 16 hrs or not, if it is past 8 am and you're in bed she can carry on about it for a week. Telling everyone who crosses her path that someday you will get bed sores from laying in bed so long. I called her yesterday at 11 am to tell her something only to be told that she had left instructions to not be woke up for anything short of a fire and could I call back after her nap. In her world a nap is not really sleeping. You can take 20 naps a day and not be lazy as long as you don't get under the covers. Once you pull those covers down and get under them you automatically pass from "beauty nap" to "lazy bum". This is why it is important to always keep a folded up extra comforter on the sofa and the foot of the bed.

My Mother doesn't understand why people try to cover up that beautiful natural gray hair as they age. It's a badge you should wear proudly to show you have weathered all life has thrown your way. She tells this to the hairstylist every month while getting her color treatment.

My Mother has beautiful china. We have never eaten off of it because she is saving it for a "special occasion". We are excited for this special occasion to come, it is going to be a glorious celebration, because to date weddings, births, deaths, engagements and holidays have not made the "get out the good china" list. I'm sure she will call us on her cell phone when the day comes.

If you came right out and asked my Mother to buy you something she would look at you as if a demon had just popped out of the top of your head and was giving birth to baby demons in your hair. You have to make her think it is her idea. It's really easy, just look longingly at something and say "Someday I am going to buy myself one of those". It's a guarantee it will be yours before the day is over.

My Mother hates soap operas. She sees no reason for their very existence, they are nothing more than a waste of time and no self respecting woman would watch them. Over the years she has been a faithful, never miss an episode, fan of "Dallas", "Sex in the City", "Dynasty", "Nip/Tuck", "The Sopranos" and "The OC" and "Beverly Hills 90210". When questioned about this double standard she will quickly inform you those are not soap operas because they come on a night. Glad she cleared that up for me!

I can see now that it is impossible to wrap up a post when writing about my Mother so I think the best thing is just to stop.

I love you Mom!


  1. LOL! FANTASTIC! Your mother sounds quite the character and shares a few traits with mine.

    Am I ever glad I found your blog!

    1. She is a character Lily and sometimes tries the last nerve I have but I love her dearly.

  2. I didn't know we were sisters!

    1. LOL You mean there is more than one of her? That's a scary thought.

  3. I have a feeling that not all of your posts are showing up in my feed as I missed this one too.


    Re the phone thing - when you have time read my 'mothers day' post, it's at the bottom in the 'my favourite posts' bit - I think our mothers may be distantly related.
    My Dad has 8 sisters and they are just like your Mum and hers, I remember as a kid when we were doing the present giving rounds at xmas, so visiting all of them over a few nights, being told as we went to each ones house which ones names I mustn't mention.
    Because it changed every year.

    1. I told you we needed to check out the parents backgrounds we are way too much alike.