We survived the weekend with aplomb – actually, it was mostly enjoyable. We arrived around 4:30 on Friday afternoon, and surprised my mother as planned. We hit up Romeo’s for dinner – an old favourite – then drove around town a little, seeing what’s changed. Mom mentioned she needed a new phone, so we went to the terrifying new Uptown complex and found her a suitably fancy (but not too complicated) new phone with bells and whistles to replace her archaic devices:
I think this Caller ID box predates the Crusades. BC Tel hasn’t existed since 1999, and the phone it was attached to was the one I used circa 1991. Not shown is the equally crusty answering machine; one with an honest-to-god micro tape that recorded incoming calls. This simply wouldn’t do, so I bought her a new phone that had an answering system built in – my mother is not yet ready for voice mail – with a big bright display that showed who was calling. I even programmed all her important numbers in for her, and helped her record her outgoing message (which is weird but not “ha ha” weird). I am an excellent daughter, and I am glad that people talked me out of getting her a computer – after all the trouble she had answering the new phone, I know there’s no way she’d be able to grasp the internet and the thought of being tech support for her until the end of time makes me weep with preemptive frustration.
Friday wasn’t all ancient telecom artifacts, though – my mother is newly addicted to frozen yogurt. She took us to Qoola and even bought me a gift card so I can visit the locations in Vancouver. I will do this soon, as the yogurt was delicious – I thought Pinkberry was the ultimate, but Qoola is Canadian and even more ultimate so they win all my love. Hooray!
Mom turns in early, so I stayed up to watch Grimm before I resigned myself to sleep on the fold out couch. I had forgotten that mom picked up a sofa bed from some random place, and I try not to think about who or what had slept on it before. The Mystery Couch isn’t big enough for two, so Ed braved the plywood mattress and we called it an evening because there was nothing else to do in a house with no internet.
Saturday was cold but spectacular, and as mom had things she needed to do, Ed and I were free to do some errands of our own. We parked downtown and walked all over the damn place: Johnson Street, Market Square, Chinatown, Government Street, Trounce Alley and everywhere in between. I got a hat, and some measuring cups for some reason (okay, the reason is that they’re awesome). We looked into Converse colour availability for Josh and Shan, went to Nando’s for lunch, and wandered through my favourite alley in all the land:
We had enough of downtown, so we went to Beacon Hill Park:
Mom was taking us out for Chinese food, so we headed back to the house to collect her. When we come to town, she always takes us to John’s Noodle Village – it’s a tiny place in a grubby strip mall, and it just happens to have some of the best Chinese food we’ve ever had. Mom can always take us to John’s; we won’t complain. We all stuffed ourselves silly, then sped home at dangerous speeds so Ed could watch hockey.
He did have to watch the game with my mother though, who likes to provide her own form of commentary as the game rolls on. I read a book and got cozy – too cozy, in fact, because I started to overheat around 9pm and had to go sit outside in the dark three times so I wouldn’t pass out from heat. Unpleasant, and more than a little worrisome.
As pleasant as everything was, we didn’t escape completely trauma free. On Saturday evening, I told mom a bit about our London trip. As soon as I mentioned Marks and Spencer, she lit up and started rambling – she used to loooove M&S underwear and I needed to buy her some. Right now. Lacy stuff. Maybe even a g-string!
OH GOD. My mother went on for about half an hour about how I should buy her some g-string underwear, and went into TOO MUCH DETAIL about it all. You may think it strange that I, of all people, have areas of TMI – but this is my mother, damnit, and she wanted saucy underpants so she could .. do .. things .. oh god, I blocked it all out. We didn’t meet him, but my mother spent most of the weekend talking about Stanley – I get the impression that he is her “special friend”, and will likely be the end user of the lacy British underpants she asked me to buy. I sort of hoped the conversation would just peter out, but no such luck – the next morning, she called up a friend to ask her about underwear sizes. It was decided that I need to get her underwear in a UK10, and she repeated the g-string line another 12 or 15 times. Why? Why me? Why does my mother want me to buy her g-strings? Does she even know what a g-string IS? If so, how would she know this information? OH GOD.
Still, fulfilling her request (sort of – M&S doesn’t sell g-strings; hallelujah) meant I had to place an order online, which meant I might as well make it a BIG order to justify the shipping cost. I ordered her damn fancy pants in varying degrees of fully traumatic laciness, and some (many) pairs of tights for myself. I have half a mind to add a note to her box of underwear that says “please do not ever tell me what you do with these”, but she wouldn’t get it. Which means I’ll probably hear all about Stanley and what he thought of said lacy underpants. I hate my life.
As payback for the underwear, we did Groceries at Mom’s. Mom hordes things – I counted 41 unopened boxes of Kleenex stashed around the house – so we helped ourselves to a year’s supply of Saran Wrap, tin foil, toilet paper and dish soap. She didn’t give us any frying pans or knives this time, but she did try to give us yet an other quilt (that we left behind – oops). My mother isn’t at reality TV hording levels yet, but it’s pretty bad and I’m not looking forward to the inevitable move – who needs that much laundry detergent?! No one, that’s who.
And finally, the bucket is still in full effect. I thought she had stopped peeing in the bucket, as Friday night was entirely bucket free – but Saturday night’s alright for peeing (in a bucket) and it made a glorious comeback several times, and all was right with the world.
Except for the g-strings.