Friday, June 13, 2008

Visiting family

Granny: I hate to tell ya sweetie, you're gonna be so mad at me, but I bleached one of your pink tops.

Me: one of my pink tops...?

Granny: yeah, you said they were nasty and that I ought to disinfect them. So I bleached your pink top and now it's tie-died.

Me: My pink top? What did it look like?

Granny: Well, it was pink.

Me: Was it a tank top?

Granny: Well, I don't quite remember. You can go in the dryer and check.

Mom: Well, kiddo, it is your fault. You told her that the clothes were nasty.

Granny: Yeah, you told me I should wear gloves to handle them.

Me: Uh, you do know that I was exaggerating, right?

Mom: And she takes everything literally.

Me: Well, I was obviously exaggerating.

Granny: Well, I didn't know that.

Me (checking the dryer): I don't see any pink tops.

Granny: Here, it's this one.

Me: That's not mine. That's Mom's.

Mom: You bleached my shirt?

Granny: Oh, I'm sorry, honey.

Me: Uh, Granny? Why did you decide to bleach a pink top?

Granny: You said it was nasty. I wanted to disinfect it. You said I should wear gloves to handle it.

Mom: And she took you literally. It's all your fault.

Me: It's not my fault! I'm not the one with bleach on my hands!

Mom: But you know she takes everything literally.

Me: Yes, but why would she bleach a pink top?

Mom: Mom, you can't bleach anything other than white cotton.

Granny: I know that...

Mom: So why'd you bleach a pink top?

Granny: Because she said it was disgusting.

Mom: And you took her literally. So it's her fault.

Me: So you picked up a big bottle of bleach that had--

Mom: --whites only--

Me: --whites only written in big letters on the front, and decided that it would be a good idea to use it on Mom's pink top.

Granny: Well, I thought it might be a bad idea when I picked up the bottle...

Me: So why'd you do it?

Mom: It's all your fault.

Me: It is so not my fault! She's almost eighty! She should know better!

Mom: And you're almost thirty. You should know by now that your Grandmother takes everything literally.

Me: Yes. but...

Mom: So you owe me a tank top.

Me: !

Me: Granny, I'm going to say something and I want you to take me absolutely literally.

Granny: Ok.

Me: Don't take anything I say after this sentence literally.

Granny: Well, okay.

Me (to Mom): See?

Mom: I'm gonna go stay in a hotel.

Me: Well, you can probably get a good rate in that burnt out hotel down the street.

Granny: This is the durndest family...

Mom: You ever grew up in?

Granny: Yeah. No.

Me: Mom, next time we visit family, can we pick a different family?

Granny: You guys...

Mom: You have no idea what we've been through this past week.

Me: Mom, can I stay with you in the hotel?

I had started to write a different 'blog when this exchange happened between my Mom, my Grandmother, and me. It so perfectly fit the mood of the past week that I decided to use it instead of what I had written. You know, like "this is your brain, this is your brain visiting family." Mom and I only just arrived yesterday afternoon, so we have about another week of exchanges like this one.
To fully illustrate the levels of punchiness that my mother and I have reached. I really need to explain everything that has happened in the past week. It's so traumatic, though, that I'm not sure I'm ready to write about it all yet. I may have to write about it all in a series of installments. That would give me plenty of time to write a bit, consume some brownies as therapy, and then write a bit more. (The brownies are running a bit low, though, so I might need to take a longer break at some point to make up a new batch).

Mom and I, at least one a year, generally make a trip to visit family, either together or separately. Last year we traveled separately, but the year before that we drove out together. The first leg of the trip is a drive from Maryland to Dayton, Ohio. The second leg is a drive to Belleville, IL, to visit my paternal relatives. After that, we continue to the Ozarks, where we visit everyone who lives out here in the space of a few days. Finally, we load produce, cookies, and wood-worked projects in the car and drive back to Maryland. Every trip generally produces some stories (the red bridge story, Granny's diabetic coma, crazy relatives), but some trips are a bit more eventful that others. This trip has left them all behind.
Here are some of the lessons I've learned in the past week: First, never travel through an area that has been declared a major disaster area by FEMA. Second, never, ever have a stroke in Denny's. Third, tornadoes are scary things. Finally--and the most important on the list--is never let the disaster twins (previously known as Deirdre and Pat but currently being referred to as "Typhoid Marys" and "Pox-Spreaders") come and visit you.

It all began last Saturday, when the phone rang at 5am. Our neighbor David had fallen out of bed and was unable to get up. He had hit his medic alert bracelet for assistance. Mom and I went over to pick him up and put him back in bed, and Mom was worried about him so she stayed with him to keep an eye on him. I returned to the house to make tea and prepare for the day.
My day wasn't too bad. I had a picnic to go to and then a presentation to give. The presentation went fine (although there are several things I would have done differently had I known more about the attendees). After the presentation I went to Mom's office and, instead of seeing her, I saw my Auntie Em. Auntie Em explained that she had gotten a frantic call from my Mom, who was now in the ER with David. Auntie Em had been watching Hillary's concession speech on two tvs, and had barely heard the phone ringing. When she finally picked it up, Mom asked her to come and meet me because she was going to go in the ambulance with David. So, I headed home, grabbed some food for mom, and headed in to the ER.
I found Mom and David, passed the food to Mom, visited a while, then left to head home. I probably ought to have stayed at the hospital. It was over 100 degrees and the house had no AC. I spent the afternoon on the couch, sucking down ice cream and trying to keep the cats from touching me. When Mom arrived home, Auntie Em and one of our neighbors came over and we tried to piece together the events of the day. (Which I may or may not post later). Then, I packed for the trip to the mid-west and went to sleep.


At 3:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Only questions/comments...
Did David have the stroke in Denny's?
And...100 degrees. No AC. Keep the cat hair OFF, eh? :)


At 7:42 AM, Blogger Ovonia Red said...

Yeah, if it is 100 degrees and the humidity is really high, the last thing you want is for a cat to brush up against you and leave half their fur stuck to your skin.


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