One of the few traits I inherited from my mother is the tendency to wander (the other noticeable mom-trait my habit of using the totally wrong word when speaking out watermelon). Going anywhere with my mom is always an ordeal, because she has the attention span of a small child who is easily distracted and in the dead center of a 17-ring circus. If you take your eyes off her for one second, she will be gone and impossible to find. I tend to wander off when things catch my eye as well, but I never worry about it since a) *I* always know where I am, and b) I have technology to connect me with people in case I cannot be found. Also, I understand the things that happen around me, and don’t walk off in the opposite direction to talk about toilet paper when someone asks me to stay where I am.
I took mom to Ikea today, and lost her on an epic scale. Halfway through the store she decided she had to go to the bathroom RIGHT NOW (and I thank every god I can name at this moment that Ikea does not sell toilets; my mother has an extremely unfortunate tendency to drop trou any old time regardless of who happens to be looking on), so I escorted her as far as I could (the warehouse section) and told her to follow the signs to the bathroom, and come straight back. After promptly going in the complete opposite direction, I assume she found the bathroom (and probably peed in front of a stranger). I assume, because I didn’t see her for another half hour – as I feared, she exited the bathroom and immediately turned around four times and went northwest upeast sideways Tuesday. I hung out forever where I told her I would be, and had hopped onto Twitter to complain about losing my mother and the lack of a Find my Mom app. I was just about ask an Ikea employee to check the washroom for a confused looking Asian (it’s okay; we were in Coquitlam not Richmond) in a really cool pink plaid coat (purchased not because it was awesome but because it was only $10) when I heard my name being paged over the loudspeaker, asking me to go to the dining area. Okay, sure. Except I was in Ikea – did they mean the dining table section? The area with the plates and cookware? The dining ROOM? I took a chance and went to the housewares section, reasoning that it was where we last were before the Bathroom Emergency hit. Of course, there was no mom. But my phone rang! It was mom! She was in the restaurant, so I told her to stay put and I would be there in 30 seconds. Trying very hard to keep my sanity in check, I took the elevator upstairs to the meatball room to collect my mother.
.. who was nowhere in sight. Frustrated and barely able to keep myself from punching the bin of hippos, I called her phone (which, frankly, I was surprised she had on her – she left her bag in the cart with me) to find out where the fuck she went. After I told her four or five times to STAY THERE, she naturally wandered off instead and wound up downstairs in the bedding section. I told her to ask someone how to get to the restaurant, which she did while I was on the phone – the woman told her to turn around, go up the stairs directly behind her, and the restaurant would be to her right. Instead of doing what she was told, mom started walking off somewhere else saying “I don’t think the girl understood me, I think she was Swedish or didn’t speak English”. *@$Y@(*#&!(*@@KLN@:KNFJ I’m pretty sure I started yelling at that point, telling mom to just GO UP THE STAIRS and I was RIGHT AT THE TOP. I don’t know what she did, but mom eventually appeared .. behind me. Finally reunited and about to explode with incredulous rage, we ate some meatballs. I thought about tying a leash to her wrist so she wouldn’t wander off again, but I settled for not letting her out of my sight at all (and calmed my nerves by spending $230 on ginger cookies and a bench).
She’s been here for 24 hours.
We’re going to Metrotown tomorrow.
I will not survive the weekend.