I was done visiting yesterday around 5pm – about 90 minutes in – but I sucked it up and held out. Getting some food in me helped, as I had once again forgotten to eat. I’d probably be a much better person if I could just figure out a livable sleeping/eating pattern .. I should work on that.
My mother appreciated her lacy underwear, and as predicted, she tried them on in front of me. I do not know why she does these things – I have vivid memories of her shameless public bathroom use; dropping trou when I was in there brushing my teeth or doing my hair – I am just glad that I picked up none of these mannerisms. I know I have enough of my own ridiculous to fill a small book, but she’s got me beat by so much I’m barely in the game at all.
Visits to Victoria aren’t all angsty teenage eye rolling and flatulence (so much flatulence – dear god, why), though. As the only child of my widowed mother, it’ll be my responsibility to deal with her as she ages – so when I’m not floating around in my happy little headspace, I try to look at things objectively and take stock of how she’s really doing. I was given power of attorney a few years ago, so if she ever does discover the internet, I can step in before she meets any nice Nigerian princes who want to share their fortunes .. so that’s good. She seems to be enjoying her retirement and is in pretty good health, but I still worry. She’s a couple of Rubbermaid bins away from being a horder, for starters. She seems utterly unable to pass up any kind of sale – it doesn’t matter what it is; if it’s a bargain she’ll buy it. This leads to her having a lot of really questionable stuff that she tries to pawn off on me when I show up – thanks, mom, but I really don’t need a 3′ high snowman filled with sand to act as a door stopper. No, really. You only paid $2.50? What a deal! No, I also don’t want a series of gift boxes with button on them and a head that sits on top. Only $0.99? How could they give it away so cheaply? Oh, you bought me another set of bedding because it was marked down to $9.99? Yes, that’s a very lovely pattern of dancing zebras, and what an interesting shade of orange it is. Clearance candles because the store was closing? How did you know I always wanted my home to smell like Ocean Sands?
I’m grateful that she thinks of me at all, but I really don’t need any more stuff. She says money is tight, but then shows me an entire rack of slightly hideous bargain basement yoga clothing she found somewhere for crazy cheap. I wish she would just .. you know, not buy stuff. Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean it’s a killer deal; it usually means no one else would buy it and they were several days from just throwing it out anyway. I bet she’d find a lot more random money lying around if she didn’t buy so much random crap.
Of course, then she’d just buy more lottery tickets.
And YES, I’m aware of the irony of me being the person with the fiduciary sense in this relationship – but damnit, MY stuff is awesome (and certainly isn’t CHEAP). Shut up.
I’m an awful lot more like my mother than I’d ever dare admit, and that thought terrifies me. Who will buy my inappropriately fancy underwear when I’m old? That question keeps me awake at night.
Today was spent carting my mother around town, and it was trying. I had sort of hoped to get away for a few minutes on my own, but mom wanted to go all over the place .. so I drove, and listened to her talk about all the times she almost hit the big one in the past. Mom wanted to go see dad – she could bus up there, she said, but you never know. I asked what it was that I never knew, to which she trailed off and recited some more numbers like Rain Man. I should know better than to probe deeper when she says weird shit, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.
On the ride to my dad’s cubby hole, mom waxed some poetry about winning the lottery so she could buy a townhouse or condo because she hates her apartment. I let logic take over at this point, because I was beyond frustrated – I’ve been trying to get mom to move out of her stupid basement suite since day one, and she won’t listen to me. I poked holes in all her statements and told her I could help her move if she’d just LOOK for a new place; that she doesn’t belong in a basement suite (and shamelessly used the “dad wouldn’t want you in a gross basement suite either you know” card) and for what she’s paying monthly for this ridiculous hole she could have a lovely apartment with – wait for it – natural fucking light and no elephants living over her head. I’ve been offering to help her find a new place for years, and told her that now would be the perfect time because I have the time to basically manage everything for her – but when I’m working, I don’t. I picked apart her theory that owning a home would somehow solve all her problems, because everyone knows that once you buy a place that’s it you’ll never have to pay for anything ever again – and basically just lost it a little, because the whole situation is just so fucking ridiculous. My mother is SO STUBBORN. She’s as stubborn as ..
.. well, me.
We visited my dad’s cubbyhole, and mom got teary. She prayed to daddy for a while, then crossed herself in front of him – I don’t know what that’s about; we’re not Catholic and my dad is not the pope – then I had a little conversation with him. I don’t really like visiting my dad’s grave, because it’s all too fucking real there – and besides, I talk to my dad all the time. I don’t genuflect and pray at him like I’m apparently supposed to, but I definitely have little Wonder Years dialogues in his general direction on a regular basis – so I don’t see the need to visit the cemetery to do that, since dad’s memory is pretty portable. Still, mom wanted to go so we did – then to the mall for lottery tickets, Chinatown for BBQ duck, and Market Square for waffles. And a hat, and measuring spoons shaped like matryoshka dolls.
Okay, that last place might have been for me.
I’m going home tomorrow. Victoria is a lot more fun when Ed is around (and he keeps me from flying off the handle with my relentless logic), and I have Extreme Scooter Wanderlust – I’ll plan a visit back out in the spring, on Lola. Two wheels means no stuffed snowmen, and this can only be a good thing. I miss my cats and my bed and the internet – oh god, how I miss the internet – and I should really do something about finding myself a job.
One more night on the plywood. I can do this!
Maybe I’ll pray to daddy for some Tempur-Pedic memory foam.
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