Let’s talk about my beach outing with my mother.
I know I haven’t posted about my mom recently, but that doesn’t mean our endless bickering and ridiculous conversations have stopped.
Just the opposite, really.
(FYI, I'm an only child and my mother and I are both Aries. Sometimes, the situations can get tense.)
Setting: Friday afternoon, at work, on the phone with Mom.
ME: “Are you going to beach this weekend? I’d like to go. It’s going to be hot.”
MOM: “Yes. But I’m going early because I have to leave early for that party.”
ME: “Isn’t the party at 5pm?”
Um, how much time do you need to get ready?
MOM: “I’d like to get to the beach BY 10:30.” She stresses this last part. Twice.
ME: “Okay. I have Grandma’s Corningware dish that I’m going to give you to give back to her.”
My Grandmother lives 1 minute from my mother. My mother has to drive by her apartment building in order to get home from anywhere.
MOM: “Does it have to be today?”
ME: “Yes. She needs it so she can put the eggplant that she's making us in it.”
MOM: “Did you ask her to make your eggplant?”
What? Why does it matter if I asked her to make eggplant or not? (I didn’t, btw. For some reason, she just WANTS to make us eggplant.)
ME: “No, I didn’t ask her. She’s just making it. So, are you coming to get me?”
MOM: “I could just meet you there.”
ME: “Why on earth would we take separate cars? To the same place?? Don’t you know we’re in a gas crisis???”
ME: “Why don’t you head my way and pick me up.”
Like we do every other time we go to the beach. Or shopping. Or to dinner.
My mother, god love her, is an AWFUL driver. She just doesn’t pay attention because she’s so busy talking (and gesturing with her hands – to me, not to other drivers).
Gas, brake. Gas, brake. Gas, brake.
A non-family member would probably dive out of the car the first chance they got. So anytime we go somewhere, even if it’s in her car, I will drive.
MOM: “I live closer to the highway.”
I am slowly losing my patience. Here’s why:
If Mom picks me up, we will hop on the highway at exit 6, then hop on 95 to the beach. If I pick HER up, even though she lives a little closer to the highway, we have to get on all the way back at exit 9. So I’m basically driving from exit 6 to exit 9 to pick her up, then driving back past exit 6 again.
ME: “Can you just please come and pick me up like normal?”
Setting: Saturday morning, driving Mom’s car to the beach.
We are chatting about something. (I can’t remember what. Probably my mother complaining about my father being retired and not doing anything all day besides golfing, reading the paper and watching TV. Sounds like a good life to me.)
So up ahead about two house lengths I see the traffic light is turning yellow. I brake so that we don’t drive through a red light.
There is no one in front of us.
There is no one behind us.
There is no one coming at us.
I didn’t slam on the brakes (I was going 40mph and need to stop about 40 feet ahead.)
As the car comes to a halt, my mother THROWS HERSELF towards the dashboard.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
Her hands are against the dashboard and she's sitting forward in her seat.
ME: “Um, was that necessary?”
MOM: “It was just a reflex. Normally I try to grab the handle on the door.”
Mom also “brakes” from the passenger seat.
The setting: At the beach with mom
Surprisingly there’s a beautiful breeze at the beach, making the 90 degree temperature a little more bearable.
Mom is completely absorbed in her latest Fabio romance. I slip in my earphones and hit PLAY on my iPod. My super cool beach music mix begins. First up, “Alcohol” by the Barenaked Ladies.
(NOTE: this band’s website is bnlmusic.com. I’m just telling you so that you don’t have to Google “barenaked ladies” at work and get triple X-rated websites show up on your computer.)
The first chorus is just beginning when Mom starts talking to me.
I take out my earphone and look over at her.
ME: “What? I didn’t hear you.”
MOM: “Oh, I didn’t know you’re listening to music. It’s nothing. Nevermind.”
Back to BNL. They segue into Sheryl Crow.
(I heart listening to music on the beach!)
Earphones out again.
MOM: “Tonight. At the party. They will probably open gifts when we’re there, right?”
KK’s Law: Even if my mother is reading quietly, the minute I start listening to my iPod, she will start talking to me.
ME: “If it’s a shower, then yes, I would think so.”
Mom goes back to reading.
I go back to Blink 182.
Earphones. Off. Again.
ME: “Yes?” Through clenched teeth.
MOM: “What are you listening to?”