I watched this movie as a kid, in a hotel room with both of my parents. I don’t remember why we were in a hotel room or even how old I was but this scene had us in such hysterics I’m pretty sure I peed my pants.
This is a good time to mention if you’re reading this on a device that doesn’t allow you to watch the video, you need need need to go watch it later. It gives you a tiny inkling into what interacting with my grandmother is like.
If you think the protective layer of ice is bad, you should see the upright freezer my grandmother keeps in her basement with a lock on it.
Oh yes, there’s a lock on the freezer.
And no, it isn’t to hide the victims of the people she has to murder when they steal her parking spot.
No, no. The freezer door has a lock on it because it is so completely full the door will not stay shut without the lock.
At least this is what I have been told. I don’t know for sure because I absolutely refuse to look inside that freezer. Ever.
Apparently my dear sweet Grandmama has been a little…under the weather this week. I have a feeling the years and years of botulism have finally caught up with her.
I originally found this clip because I was going to write a whole post about how my mother annoys me and I feel extra guilt on top of the “you’ll be happy when I’m dead” guilt because you can’t get annoyed at your chronically ill mother.
I mean, you can but then nobody wants to be your friend.
That being said tonight as I spoke with her on the phone I felt pretty good about our conversation. There used to be a time when I would hear her voice and synapses would fire in my brain making me go from 0 to RAGEASAUROUS REX in 60 seconds flat. And I would scream and say awful things I sorely regret.
Talking to my mother, at times, is like talking to a 4 year old. She wants what she wants when she wants it and she will not see to reason. And worst of all I can’t put her ass in a time out.
Actually, worst of all is remembering she used to be a bright competent human being, but que sera sera.
When I moved back to the Boston area instead of out of the state as I had planned I was really worried that being in close proximity to my mother would be horrible and so far it isn’t.
Any time I find myself getting impatient I remember I’m not sick. And I don’t know what it’s like. And even though sick people shouldn’t have an “asshole” pass, sometimes we must grant them one. For our sanity and theirs. And I inhale, and I exhale over and over.
The breathing is especially helpful on nights like tonight where I answered the phone and after I said “what’s up?” she sat there in silence. I could hear the television blaring in the background and her chuckling along, she had forgotten even with her cellphone in her hand, that she had called me. And I felt myself getting angry, automatically, because I’ve been up since 5:30 am and I’m tired. But instead of getting upset I joked to her that “If I wanted to watch T.V. I’d just do that rather than trying to listen to yours through the phone.”
Which snapped her back into why she had called me in the first place. Which is because she wants one of those machines that converts tapes to DVDs. Which might be practical except I know my mother and I know she won’t use it.
It’ll sit in her hoarder pile until she can bribe someone to do it for her, even though I know if she tried and was patient she could do it herself. Just like she could go on the internet and look up different machines herself. But my mother is notorious for taking the easy way out, she isn’t one of those: “I won’t let this illness slow me down, in fact now that I have MS I think I’ll try some new adventure sport modified for wheelchairs.” In fairness she never was that way before she was sick. Before she was sick she liked sitting around and watching television. It stands to reason her tastes haven’t changed and yet I still keep fruitlessly waiting for a tiny Lance Armstrong to emerge from my mother, motivating her to do the tiniest thing. Like research her own damn expensive purchase herself.
Which is the other problem. Wasn’t she the one saying no to the expensive Barbie accessory I wanted like… a minute ago? How did I get to this place where I’m saying that an expensive item she won’t use isn’t practical and ohmygodIdon’twanttobeamotheryetthisiscrap I want a do-over!
And I know this sounds like a lot of complaining, because it is. But the happy ending to this story is that this conversation didn’t turn into a fight. We rationally discussed how she needs to try and do some things for herself. She was quick to remind me that she used to be right handed and now she has to be left handed, a subject on which I need no reminding, wanna have a good cry? Go watch your mom try to eat lunch with her non dominant hand next to some woman in a wheelchair with a bedazzled eye patch.
And though this whole,”woe is me I have a chronic illness”
yes we know lets move on now oh my lord thing usually makes me want to HULK SMASH everything in my path I tried a little tenderness and then firmly stated that the more she used her left hand the odds were the better she would become at it. To which she had little rebuttal but a heavy sigh as if to say “parents just don’t understand.”
We ended the conversation with an agreement that I would look up prices and she would also look up prices, just to do it. To practice. For her to do something other than watch episodes of Oprah for the love of Matt Damon and all that is holy.
We said “I love you” and we hung up.
And I came back down from the ceiling where I had been hovering, watching “parenting your own parent mode” Sarah from above.
And I had the thought, that as much as I mourn the loss of mother; by which of course I mean the fact that almost as soon as she was diagnosed she quit parenting me, the 13 years she did put in have definitely paid off. Because she was my example that I’m parroting right back to her.
Sure its a little “Freaky Friday” and it is most definitely dysfunctional. But its works for today.
And probably tomorrow.
I’ll keep you posted.
Call your moms internet! They deserve it.