So, I called my mom on the phone today. Hilarity ensued.
First, I told her of my fun upcoming weekend alone. (My dad will be out of town.) She said, “You’d probably know who to call if you had plumbing issues, right? I mean, you’ve never been home alone before, have you?”
“Okay,” I replied. I didn’t mention that I’m forty-four years old. “I’d probably call, I dunno… a plumber, but that could just be me. And yes, I’ve been home alone before. Um. If you might recall, I used to live in my own apartment for the better part of a year. And then there was the time Codger was taken by the US Marshalls to Yakima, Washington to testify.”
“Your father was taken into custody to testify by the secret service?”
“No, it was the witness protection people,” I corrected her. “But don’t worry. No one wants him dead.”
“How can I not recall this? My memory’s dreadful,” she wailed.
“Yeah, so’s mine,” I replied. This is true.
“What’s wrong with your memory?” she asked.
“I think my psych meds diffuse my thinking and cause memory problems as a direct effect,” I explained.
“Oh! Oh! Your meds do dangerous things, honey. They’re going to fry your brain,” she exclaimed.
“I know,” I said. “I’m looking forward to it.”
“Do you know what anti-seizure meds do to you? It’s awful.”
“I don’t… I don’t take any mood stabilizers,” I said. (Anti-seizure pills are often also used as mood stabilizers.) “But you’d better be taking yours!” (She has seizures.)
“Oh! Oh! That reminds me! I forgot to take my seizure pills this morning and yesterday. Oh dear God.”
Good Lord. The last time that happened and she was on the phone, a seizure soon followed. “Set down the phone and take them now,” I said calmly. “I can wait.”
“Oh, honey, don’t be silly. I’ll take them soon.” Her tone became placating.
I sighed. It was useless. “Okay. Oh, hey, my friend Ashley had an interesting blog post today about how we feel in response to our feelings,” I told her. “She wrote about how many mentally ill people feel happy but then they immediately feel guilty, fearful, or ashamed because they’re feeling happy. It made me sad,” I said. “It’s sad that people can’t enjoy being happy, ya know? What do you think causes that problem? See, I feel that–”
“I HAVE TO GO RIGHT NOW.”
I rolled my eyes. Of course she did.
Before I could guess wrongly that it was her weak bladder, she added, “My phone’s losing its charge! Oh! Oh! Now go on and tell me about your friend’s blog post really, really fast. You can do it. Go!”
As if. “No, that’s okay. I said it all. That’s everything.”
“Oh, darling! I don’t want to cut you short. Okay, is your father home? Oh, I need to ask him something.”
I glanced at my dad, who’d just come inside. So far he hadn’t made a sound. “Uh, I’m… not… sure,” I uttered. “He might be home…?” My dad didn’t breathe.
“Well, it can wait. Okay. Bye,” she said.
“Bye.” I started to set the receiver down. (We use an old-school landline here.)
“No, wait! I love you! Mommy loves you!! Mommy loves you! Okay, bye!”
“Thank you. Bye again.” I hung up.
My dad was looking at me. “Were you having a hard time ending the call?”
“Well,” I said, “Mommy said she wanted to end the call, but then she decided not to end it and seemed peeved that I was eager to let her go before her phone ran out of charge.”
“Ah, so the usual,” my dad muttered.
“Pretty much. But hey, we almost talked about feelings. Almost.” I groaned.