Last Friday afternoon I went out to lunch with my mother (in town for the reunion as well), and my friends Amy and Becky. It was marvelous. We laughed and laughed. Until my mom created one of those bizarro moments where the entire world (or in this case the entire restaurant) stops spinning, mouths are silenced and all ears became focused on her when she told this whacked out and racially tinged story about Romani Gypsies that she tried to dignify by saying she'd read it in "the paper".
Fortunately we recovered the moment and the good times resumed as my friends and I collectively made a decision to smile, nod and ignore her crazy ass and quickly move on to less nutty topics.
After my mother left I tried to restore my friends faith in journalism by revealing that the only "paper" my mom reads is the Villages Daily Sun and all they ever report is who died or who has grand kids visiting. I reassured them that she didn't read that clap-trap Gypsy story in the Washington Post or the New York Times. Clearly she made it up.
It's scary to see your parents age. A sad point, driven (literally) home to me in the bullet points listed below in the order that the thoughts popped into my head, as I got in the passenger seat of my mother's rented mini-van and took a short drive across the parking lot of a large mall after luncheon when we all wanted to grab coffees at a nearby cafe:
- Damn. She has to drive? It's so close. Her legs must be very fucked up. I should ask her how fucked up her legs are ...
- Damn. She uses a cane at home? Why hasn't she ever mentioned this. Um... Why didn't she bring it with her?
- Vanity. Apparently my mom is more self conscious about being seen using a cane than she is about getting into a car and driving 50 feet.
- Um... why is she driving in circles? We just drove right by the cafe. There's a spot. Oh. There's a spot. Oh. There's one. Oh. What the fuck?
- Great. Now she's blind too. Apparently she only parks in spots where she can pull forward instead of having to back out.
- This is bad.
As for the rest of my weekend - here is the highlight reel of my family reunion in the form of, you guessed it, more bullet points:
- Babies, babies, babies! My family sure can breed! I have two cousins who are my age WHO HAVE GRANDCHILDREN. I find this appalling when birth control is so cheap. I can't get excited that you are a grandparent. I just can't. Is that wrong?
- Speaking of family planning, I'm old enough now that no one is asking MDH and me when we are going to start a family and this made me a little sad. It used to piss me off.
- I raised a huge stink because there was no mustard. Who the hell was in charge of this BBQ shit pile? Call your event planner and get your money back no mustard. (It was my aunt Nan and I totally forgive her - but I made some noise) Hundreds of cheap-ass hot dogs and not one squirt of mustard in the whole goddamn place? I don't mind a cheap-ass hot dog, but I need to put some mustard on that shit to maintain my dignity.
- What the hell? My sister's youngest child is going to be a senior next year. Stop it all of you. No more growing up. I mean it.
- My entire extended family stayed at the Holiday Inn Express near the reunion venue and we basically took over the entire place. It was like that scene from Raising Arizona when all of those wild kids are trashing Hi & Ed's trailer. I lost count of all the people who walked into the pool area, fully decked out in swimsuits, crisp white hotel towel draped over one shoulder, rearing to go and then took one look at the drunk and noisy clan of rednecks who had high jacked the place and hauled ass right the fuck out of there.
- My aunt Libby, who is in her late 60's and seems like a perfectly reasonable person on the surface, came down to enjoy her complimentary breakfast in that room hotels always have right off of the lobby, within clear view of the reception desk, elevators and main walkway of the establishment, wearing nothing but her housecoat (a light blue cotton whisp of a garment with embroidered flowers, gingham patch pockets, and white metal snaps up the front) and slippers (light pink terry cloth slides). Clearly she has come unhinged as she seemed neither to notice nor care that nobody else was dressed in this fashion or that it might be inappropriate or uncomfortable for the other patrons (me) in the hotel to see her in such a state of undress.
- I got over it.
- I slurred drunkenly on and on about Libby's embarassing housecoat at dinner Sunday night with MDH and several of our friends.
- Apparently I wasn't over it, although I had forgotten all about my mom and the weird Gypsy thing until I talked to Amy on the phone last night.