Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Crazy Train Tuesday

"Wasting away again in Mamasitaville.
Searchin' for some way this madness will halt
Some people say that there's nobody to blame,
But I know, somehow it's my fault!"

As part of my recurring posts, today's is another ride on my very own personal crazy train. I try to save some of my favorite snippets or interactions between mom and me and recount them here.  It helps to keep me somewhat sane, keeps me from crying, gnashing my teeth, and beating my head against the wall and mainly is much cheaper than therapy.  It also offers you some small insight about the genesis of my personal oddness. (Since my sons were quite small I always told them I was delightfully odd, not weird I think now they have removed the word "delightfully"from their description.  Oh well!) And yes! I do rewrite song lyrics to fit whatever I am feeling at any given moment.

Tuesday:  Got a call that Mom was going to her last ever gig with a church singing group she has been a part of for nearly 30 years.  They sing both hymns and secular tunes to residents of nursing homes and have some props and limited choreography so the set has some cute visuals also.  Mom is one of the original members (possibly the only one left) and has decided this needs to be her swan song. "Maybe, but I'll think about it over the summer and decide, but I might want to go back when it starts again in the fall. But I don't want to go back if that gal is still in it."

So we can begin a betting pool, (will she or will she not "retire"?) because I am pretty sure "that gal' (whoever she is) will still be in it next fall, since she has been a part of the group for at least the past 3 years. All we know about "that gal" is that she is a stranger, (meaning she lives on the Eastern side of town) she wears different clothes, (lots of diaphanous flowing blouses over camisoles) and she tries to take over (no clue on that one).

Wednesday: Mom was adamant about traveling  to NYC with us Thursday for Son3's graduation. Each graduate was only given 2 tickets, so there was a good chance I might be unable to see the actual ceremony myself. Great huh? Too bad for me because she "needed" to see him graduate. (Turns out he was able to snag another ticketso I was able to go. Thank you to whomever's parents were unable to make it.). Meanwhile and prior to her packing there was a conversation about what she should take.
Mom: I am taking my black and cream suit to wear to the ceremony. Will that be ok?
Me: (Silently) I have fitted that damn suit on you at least 4 times this past month and every time you have said you are wearing it to graduation. Yes the suit will work!)
        (Aloud) It will be fine Mom, but it's supposed to be hot so you might want to take your black dress too, just in case
Mom: No. I don't want to take the black dress. I don't need to pack anything else do I?
Me: (Silently) Pj's. underwear, hose, shoes, toothbrush?
        (Aloud) That will be ok if you plan to wear exactly what you wear on the plane tomorrow when we fly home Saturday and if you plan on wearing your suit the entire day Friday. Graduation is at 11 and I am going back to the hotel and changing.
Mom: Well I figure I will need to wear something nice for dinner, so I thought I would keep my suit on.
Me: That's fine Mom, but Joe and I will change into something casual.
Mom: Won't we have to dress nicely for dinner?
Me: No ma'am. We will only go somewhere to eat where casual clothes are fine.
Mom: Oh then I guess I will take my suit and a pair of gray pants
Me: (crickets)

So if you read in the paper of some octogenarian who was arrested at a restaurant near The Lincoln Center wearing nothing but gray pants, it was us!

(Fortunately at the last minute she actually packed some clothes.)

Thursday (In the Atlanta airport) "Wow there sure are a lot of people in here. Where do you think they are going?"
We are having this conversation as we are walking through the terminal to get to another terminal to catch our connecting flight. One of us is walking two steps ahead of the other and stopping to turn around every 2 minutes to ask a question about where someone is going or to point out some deficiency in their clothing, shoes, walk, or general appearance. (Did I mention She will not wear her hearing aids and talks loudly?) Meanwhile the other one of us is carrying the loud one's suitcase because the loud one did not want to pay the 25 dollar luggage fee, when it much easier for someone else to shlep it through the airport for her. (Did I also mention it is an old suitcase circa 1980 pre-wheels model?)
Me: No idea Mom except for people who get on the plane we're on and then we can guess most of them will be stopping in New York.
Mom: (Staring at a passersby) Why do you think that girl has pink hair, I don't like pink hair do you?
Me: I really don't care what color anyones hair is. If I were young I might try teal hair.
Mom: That would look geechy (A Mom made up word she has used since I was a teen for anything she doesn't like.)
Me: Then I guess we are lucky I am too old to do it.  (Sometime this summer I am going to have teal colored hair even if it is just for one day so I can be both an irritant to her and look geechy. Yes I am the one who will nearly always poke the pig!)

Friday: Mom wore her wool houndstooth plaid suit to Son3's graduation. (She is cold natured and was afraid she would be chilled.) Graduation was at 11 am and was general admission so we were there 10 minutes before 10 and stood in line on the patio in front of The Alice Tully hall until the doors opened at 10:20.  It was 92 degrees and the sun was beating down.
Mom: Oh my God I am burning up!
Me: Yep, that's why I told you yesterday the forecast was 90+ today.
Mom: I've got to take this jacket off, I am burning up.
Me: Go ahead then
Mom: But with the sun beating down like this if I take it off my neck will get sunburned.
Me: Yeah, that's why I wear sunscreen on my face and neck everyday. If you're afraid of getting burned just put the jacket over your shoulders so it covers your neck.

Later they opened the doors and we took a seat in the cool theater.

Mom: Good grief they need to turn the a/c up. I'm freezing.

Saturday: (On the plane at Laguardia prior to take off)
Mom: I am freezing! Air is blowing all over my head.
(I check the overhead vents and feel no air coming from it)
Me: There is no air coming from here so there is nothing I can do about it
Mom: Well it is blowing all over my face
Me: Do you want me to get you a blanket?
Mom: No! I want this to quit blowing on me.
Me: (Crickets) Well do you want change seats with you?
Mom: No, I felt the air on your seat and it is blowing on you too.

(In the Atlanta airport to catch a connecting flight)

Mom: Where are we going
Me: E 10
Mom: Gate 10 is way up there
Me: We are in terminal A right now, we need to go to E
Mom: But I see 10 way up there
Me Yes that is A 10
Mom: How do you know its A 10
Me: Because we flew into gate 28 at terminal A. Now we have to go to Terminal E. Just follow me and we will get to the train then ride to E.
(Meanwhile TheHub who was sitting at the back of the plane has caught up with us)
Mom: (To him) Where do we go now?
TheHub: E-10, Nan. Keep going this way and we'll take the train to E.
Mom: OK then.
Me: (Silently sings a song to self about being nothing but chopped liver)

Sunday: I had Mom's glasses in my backpack because her purse was too tiny to hold them. (Who but Mom travels with a bag too tiny to hold one's essentials?) so I had to run them down to her house today. She was upset that I would not stay and have a tea party with her. I got out of Dodge quickly before she could start telling me what she needed me to do for her. I was hoping I would have just one day this week that was Mom free.  No dice I guess, but My Beloved Sister really did enjoy having 3 full days to herself.  I told her it is my birthday gift to her!

Monday: I thought I was going to have day free from drama and angst. When I talked with Mom in the morning everything was going well and she was rested from the trip, but them at 4 in the afternoon I got a call from her wanting me to get another bid to have her tree taken down.  We already have 3 bids, all three from people I personally know who have used those tree services. Obviously this is not enough, so I need to get cracking right this minute and have someone come today because she wants that tree down tomorrow. It's not going to happen like that and I have told her that repeatedly. Dad always took care of dealing with anything unpleasant or anything that required a tradesman of any sort so she has no idea that you are at their mercy when it comes to available times to have jobs done. We don't know if we should thank him for taming the beast or curse him for letting the monster grow. Either way we are paying dearly for it now!


  1. I enjoy these posts - I think we all have a "crazy train" person at some point in our life. I guess I should count myself fortunate that my parents were relatively sane and lived an hour away from me. Neighbours had to deal more with the wacky incidents and we would find out about things after the fact. My dad had NO qualms about asking neighbours and friends to help them out, which I guess is a good thing.

    1. I think everyone has a crazy train experience at some time in their life. Mine is just too rich to not share.

  2. Replies
    1. It's all good. (Well in some alternate universe it is good)

  3. Thanks again for the weekly chuckle :)

  4. I am sorry but I a laughing. I guess as we get older we forget we aren't the only one and drive our families crazy. I know your life right now must be hard but your mom one day will be gone and these stories will make you laugh too. Cheryl

    1. I laugh while I write it, or shake my head and laugh. It beats crying!

  5. Hahahahahaha! My mother has come back to life and she's with you now! However, both of my parents would have wondered where all the people in the airport were going. Sometimes my hair is pink and purple. Your mom would hate it. My mom would have, too. She always had something to say about the way people looked. Why doesn't she brush her hair? I hate it when big-busted women don't wear a proper bra. And sometimes she'd look at someone and simply shudder.


    1. Well if you have had unnaturally colored hair at least I know you are of dubious character Janie! My Beloved Sister gets the "you have huge boobs" and "did you know one of your hips is higher than the other?" all the time. I get the "I don't like your hair that way" (I have a razor cut now and she prefers it in a neat little page-boy.

    2. I'm most definitely of dubious character, and I like it that way. I bet I'd love your hair, too. I'm a bad girl.

  6. I can only apologise. Your mother is obviously channelling mine who is gone but not forgotten.
    And for the record I did die my hair a deep blue. For a party. I am/was a brunette so it didn't show - until I got into the sun when I had a bright blue halo. No, mama didn't like it. At all.

    1. I think most moms are either like mine of they are little bundles of milk toast who are totally compliant with everything.
      I have been researching the best way to have teal hair for a short time.

    2. I know some people use food colouring for short term colour

  7. Does you mother usually listen to your husband?

  8. Hi, I loved this write up! I can't decide how many of my crazy relatives are channeled through your mother but I can hear them all. Sigh. It made me remember all the visits to my mother, grandmother and great aunt....and yes, smiling does beat grinding your teeth down to nubs. ;). Thank you it made my day to hear your conversations! I am sorry all my relatives have passed on, but I do not miss the crazy moments at all or the endless circular discussions.

    1. I think certain personality issues just become exacerbated when you age. Mom has never been what you would call mellow at all. She always had a strong personality and shot straight from the hip. It is just a lot more intense and way louder now!

  9. I do love the cream and black hounds tooth suit. I love me a hounds tooth. My grandson wants me to have blue hair. I am afraid he will have to live with disappointment. I will never forget bringing our youngest into church as an infant and the other two following along with Hub's herding at the rear. We had a row of old spinsters that could not hear and they sat together in the back. One of them piped up really loud. " Why won't you look at Sister H with her new baby, she is such a good mother to those older two girls and they aren't even hers." I am not really sure why they would think that the older two were not mine. Yes there was a huge age gap between the girls and they did look like their dad and not me and he is quite a bit older, I guess they thought I was a second marriage. We still laugh about it.

    1. They don't realize and don't care how loud they are! When I was pregnant with Son3 (he is the caboose kid after a huge gap) I was at the dr. for one of those last appointments before birth. (the huge and bloated ones) and a woman who was about 80 was sitting in the waiting room also. She turned to her husband and "whispered" "Look at that all these cute young mamas and look at that one there. She's no spring chicken" I almost fell out of my seat from laughing so hard.

  10. I can't write the stories about my mum on my blog because she reads it. She is currently trying to get a new passport. Passports are tough at the best of times but mum is determined that there is a conspiracy against her. It doesn't help that she has lived in Australia for nearly fifty years but is applying for a New Zealand passport.

    You really did well not to strangle anyone during that trip!

    1. Mom is scared of computers so she will not read this. Currently Mom is in the midst of several conspiracies including the fact that we are not getting her dead tree down yesterday!

  11. We have one in our family currently now, too (had a couple more in the past, too). The latest was yelling "Why did you let H move to another state???" Um, he's 40 years old and can do what he wants to...not to mention that he moved 10 years ago! She also tried to set my husband up with a "young" friend of hers......she was probably only 80 instead of 90 and hey, I'M STILL MARRIED TO HIM!

    You are not alone. :)

    1. I understand I am in the sandwich phase, between older parent and young adult offspring, but this is a new road and I am not always navigating it well.

  12. Thank you for sharing this week's train ride! I found myself laughing, but you are a saint! (((Hugs)))

    1. No sainthood for me but if I don't laugh I will wallow in self pity and that serves no one.

  13. Oh I loved these reads but know it's not all a laughing game is it. My ex was the "crazy train maker" - but not in a good way. I just never knew what kind of crazy he would cause but it would never be good. As for my mom, she was lovely but did get "re-virginised" in later life, when she would see an unmarried mother - quite forgetting that she was pregnant when they got married (it was during the war) and that explains why my oldest brother's date of birth changed depending on who was asking! Anna

    1. Ahhh rejuvenating virginity. It was a staple of the south back when "good" girls didn't!

  14. LOL! I LOVE your convos with your mom! When my MIL moved in, I started having conversations in my head too. I always won. They've gone away now for the most part, but every now and then... the conversations have started up in my head for my hubs siblings now. It's time someone ELSE got on the crazy train if just for a bit.

    1. I find mental conversations with mom are necessary, since she would be devastated if I actually said those things aloud to her, but I would implode if I didn't at least think them.

  15. I have an 88 year old mother and I love these posts! I really like your song at the top, particularly the last line, "but I know, somehow it's my fault". So funny and so true!