Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The Screamin' Baby Express
It's difficult to piece together a post about my experiences this past Memorial Day weekend visiting my parents in Florida in a cohesive kind of a story that has a beginning, a middle and an end. In the first paragraph (which you are now reading, in case you didn't notice) I will start off by telling you that I love my parents very, very much, which will pretty much guarantee you that I will spend the rest of this blog post trashing them and the god forsaken place in which they have chosen to live out their golden years.
Mostly I will be trashing my mom as she is for some reason way more irritating than my dad.
To balance things out however, I'll go ahead and say some shitty things about my dad. His list is longer, but my mom is still more annoying.
1. He is a right wing, wing-nut who believes every right wing wing-nut email anyone sends him.
2. He calls Barack Obama, "Osama" or "That dirty Muslim".
3. He distrusts all Mexicans and thinks that all women who golf are lesbians.
4. He has driven his golf cart through the garage screen door 3 times.
5. He backed over my mom in the driveway with his SUV.
6. He is meticulous about the cleanliness of his garage and now the bird cage thingy that covers their back yard pool and mercilously smashes lizards and frogs who enter these domains with a broom handle. The frogs and lizards don't enter with a broom handle. He smashes them with a broom handle.
And now on with the functioning alcholic portion of my blog post.
Since they have moved away to Florida and I only see them once or twice a year, all my visits with my parents start off the same way, jubilant and full of loving hugs and kisses, which I enjoy very much. Then comes the small talk, peppered with expressions of so-glad-to-see-you-ness and pats on the arm or knee. Then the drinking starts. My dad or mom will pour themselves a scotch and offer one to MDH, who graciously accepts.
I hate scotch so my mom will list off other available beverages and point me in the direction of the fridge to fix it myself. I might have one drink and the drinks I make myself are typically pretty weak. I'm just not a big drinker and end up drinking sodas all night.
The rest of the evening and subsequent evenings which begin earlier and earlier each day, pan out pretty much the same. Scotch, scotch, scotch. Drunk, drunk, drunk. At first it's kind of fun, but then it begins to wear.
My parents have always had lots of friends, and have always been heavy drinkers. When my sister and I were little the party was always at our house. My sister and I would entertain the children of their friends in the playroom in our basement while upstairs the grown ups drank, smoked and played cards all night. They had a special fridge that was always stocked with beer in case people stopped over, and people always stopped over.
When my father called my mother in the evenings to see if she needed him to pick up anything on his way home from work, it was never milk or eggs that she needed. She'd tell him that we were almost out of beer and he'd bring home a 12-pack.
Now that I'm thinking of these things, I'm reminded that my little sister's first word was "beer". No kidding.
I don't know when they made the leap from beer to scotch. They still keep the party fridge stocked with beer, but they seem to have switched exclusively to scotch. In the four nights we spent with them I watched the two of them go through about half a liter every evening. It scared me. They got sloshy, sloppy drunk and I don't remember things ever being quite this bad. Maybe it's just more noticeable since I don't see them very often. Not to be a bummer or anything, but it was upsetting. So upsetting in fact that I'm trying to figure out how to or whether or not to say something to them about it. They are clearly out of control.
Also upsetting... going to the movies in The Villages. Although my folks opted out of going to the movies with us, and for those of you who read the previous post, they actually treated us like high-schoolers and not middle-schoolers and let us borrow their car and have an evening out alone. They may as well have come along because it was like they were with us anyway as everyone in The Villages is exactly alike; old and WASP'y. Even the Jews that live there are WASP'y and there are no brown people, other than those WASP'y persons who have acquired leathery tans. It's creepy. Like Stepford for fogies.
Anyhoo...Imagine a sold out movie theater, crowded with row after row of your annoying, elderly parents.
It's difficult to describe that particular kind of shrill squawking and slow moving pace, but I have never seen such a fuss over finding a seat at a movie theater (or theatre to satisfy those with a discerning vocabulary - I'm talking to you Step Right Up). Wake up white people! Sit down and shut the hell up before I grab that four-pronged cane and shove it up your flabby ass. Sit down already. Four pronger.
The lady who finally stopped squawking and sat next to me, looked exactly like my mother and every other Villager woman. Tanned with short salt and pepper frosted hair, khaki or white Bermuda length pleated shorts and a fluorescent hued t-shirt with a sparkly, tropical-themed appliqué. Shit brown Naturalizer sandals with over sized stitching. With or without socks.
This woman, who was not my mother, hummed all though the trailers and film, just like my mother. What's up with moms and all the goddamned humming? Does your mother hum? My mom does. It's irritating right? I wanted to shush this lady, but she reminded me too much of my mother and it didn't feel right. I usually say something asshole-ishly passive aggressive to my mother when she hums like, "Did you say something? I didn't hear you. I was trying to listen to this song."
The Memorial Day visit ended only scant moments before I lost my mind completely, although it was a close call when I got into a 15 minute argument with my mother during dinner on Monday night over the pronunciation of Bethesda. Yes. The city in Maryland. She kept calling it Bethesda-la. I do not know how the subject came up, but I said the same of the city and my mother corrected me.
Me: Something, something, Bethesda.
Me: No Mom, it's Bethesda.
Me: I'm pretty sure Mom. It's Bethesda.
Mom: No honey. (Louder) It's Beth-ES-Da-La.
Me: It doesn't matter how slow and loud you say it Mom. It's still Bethesda.
Me: I got it. You're wrong.
And so on... I'm glad to be home, where everyone is sober, nobody hums and I am always right and don't have to feel guilty about it.
In order to get here we had to take a flight from Orlando. Any flight going anywhere from Orlando Florida is hereby referred to as The Screamin' Baby Express. Unfortunately no one is too short to ride this ride. It's filled to the brim with tired little monsters of all ages, shapes and sizes. They are cranky, dirty and disappointed little loud mouthed shits. The children suck too.
Seriously, who are you assholes that just let your kids scream and scream and scream on an airplane?