Almost lunch with Mom

My sister Katrina is out of town for a week, so Mom's been alone at their house. On Wednesday night, Mom texted me that I'd be welcome to stop by any time, she's home around the clock and without Katrina, she has no-one to talk to.

She's lonely, I figured. She's old, she's frail, she doesn't have a car, so she can't go anywhere, can't do anything. Plus, she was decent to me at her birthday party last weekend. So this morning I decided I'd buy some sandwiches and bus over to Mom's house for lunch.

Cranky Old Fart

Oct. 20, 2022

I texted her at about 9:30, but not to tell her I was coming or ask what kind of sandwich she wanted. I have more Mom experience than that. First, I wanted to test the atmosphere, so to speak, and see if she was in a frame of mind that would be tolerable for as long as it takes to eat lunch. I texted only some ordinary chitchat.

If she replied, "Oh, it's good to hear from you," then I'd bring her lunch and stay for a while. If she replied by nagging me about the memorial service on Saturday, or reminding me that I need to find a job, anything like that, it would mean Mom's going to be unpleasant, and I'm not going anywhere hear her.

She didn't reply, though, which is unusual. Usually she's awake by sunrise, and keeps her phone with her always and forever. She sleeps with her phone, I think — sometimes she calls and leaves a message at 2AM.

After a few more unanswered texts, I figured maybe she's in the shower, so I bused to the grocery store, and bought some staples that I need. Also, I bought three sandwiches for lunch with Mom — two for me, one for her — and chips and soda. Still thought I was going to lunch at Mom's house…

Bused back home, and as I was putting away groceries, Dean was in the kitchen, talking at me when I wished he wasn't. As I took a four-quarters block of butter out of my bag and put it in the fridge, he said, "Salted butter, I see," and told me again the facts of unsalted butter.

It's something he tells me once a month or so. I don't give a damn about unsalted butter, but it does mean I can tune him out for the next few minutes, and that's appreciated. When he'd finished with that seemingly pre-recorded spiel, he said, "Oooh, nanas!"

This he said, because I'd taken a bunch of bananas from my shopping bag, and put them on top of the fridge. 

"Would you like a banana?" I asked.

"No," he said, "I don't even like bananas. I was just noticing what you brought home from the store."

"I don't need any commentary, please, about what I buy at the store."

Dean didn't say anything, but when I looked up he was gone, back into his room.

Have I hurt Dean's feelings? Do I care?

With the groceries put away, I texted my mom again. Still no answer. It was after noon, and Mom's never asleep that late, never without her phone, so I worried. Had she fallen? Had a heart attack? Was she dead on the kitchen floor?

Finally, I did something I never do. I called her on the phone. I frickin' hate phones, but — just this once. 

The phone rang, but nobody answered. I left an innocuous voice message: "Hey, Mom, this is Doug. Call or text me please," and I worried.

Mom's told me a hundred times that she can't and doesn't leave the house unless Katrina drives her somewhere. She'd told me she'd be home "around the clock," and yet, for almost three hours, she hadn't been answering her texts or phone.

What I ought to do, I decided, was bus over to Mom's house quick as the buses can run. I could be there in an hour and a half, with good bus luck. Hopefully, she'd be asleep in her recliner when I walked in.

But jeez, I hate it when people expect me to answer my phone or get right back to them via text. Chances are, I figured, she's spending the day at a friend's house. Maybe she went on a long walk or something. Maybe she's laying out in the yard working on her tan. She always wears a MedicAlert bracelet, and can call for help if she needs help, so...

Screw it. Worst case scenario, she's dead, but she'd be just as dead in a few hours, so I ate all three sandwiches and watched a movie. 

Am I a horrible man? Yes, I'm a horrible man, a rotten son, and I ought to feel terrible. The sandwiches were good, though.

Mom called midway through Cloverfield, and before even saying hello, she said, "Oh, it's a miracle. My boy who hates phones actually called me. I don't think you've called me since spring. I'm going to mark it in my calendar, today Doug called me…" After she'd rubbed it in a dozen times, a dozen ways, I changed the subject to ask where she'd been this morning.

"Oh, I go to the church for midweek services every Thursday morning." 

Just yesterday she'd said she'd be at home "around the clock," and asked me to stop by any time.

And then, on the phone, she told me again that I really should come to the memorial service on Saturday, the latest of many such services I've told her over many years that I'll never attend. I waited for a polite chance to say goodbye, then hung up and went back to watching the movie.

I didn't even see my Mom today, and still she managed to annoy me, so if you're wondering, no, I am not going to try lunch with Mom again tomorrow.

Also, the movie sucked.


♦ ♦ ♦  

Biden officials sued over delayed release of JFK assassination records 

Must be something awfully interesting in those files, to keep everything so hush-hush even 59 years after someone blew JFK's head open.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

More than 60,000 rent-stabilized apartments in New York City are vacant — and tenant advocates say landlords are holding them for "ransom" 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

AT&T hit with $23-million fine for bribing Illinois lawmaker 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Slavery is on the ballot for voters in 5 US states 

"The idea that you could ever finish the sentence 'slavery's okay when…' has to rip out your soul, and I think it’s what makes this a fight that ignores political lines and brings us together, because it feels so clear," said Bianca Tylek, executive director of Worth Rises, a criminal justice advocacy group pushing to remove the amendment's convict labor clause.

♦ ♦ ♦  

Secret files suggest chemical giant feared weedkiller’s link to Parkinson’s disease 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Louisiana pastor admits stealing $900,000 from church and congregants 

♦ ♦ ♦  

City of Prosser, WA removes "Karen" Halloween display after community backlash 

One Prosser woman posted the picture to her Facebook Sunday morning and said the display was “mean-spirited” and questioned if those who hold elected city positions respect the citizens who come to City Hall. She said it is clear to her that new leadership is needed.

One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time…

Climate change isn't 'coming', it's underway. It'll kill billions, and we're not doing squat about it.

All cops are bastards, or they know who the bastard cops are and do nothing about it, which is the same thing.

Republicans are the enemy of common sense, common decency, simple truth, and democracy.

The Health Jolting Chair, for all your medical ailments, from the 1880s 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Map of San Francisco store cats 

♦ ♦ ♦  

The Dullest Blog in the World roared back into action (8 months ago, for a single post) 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Erfurt latrine disaster 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Great Stink 

♦ ♦ ♦

♫♬  Mix tape of my mind  ♫

"Catch the Wind" by Donovan
"Sunshine Superman" by Donovan 

♦ ♦ ♦

The End

Anton Fier
Anita Kerr
Kay Parker 


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.  
Tip 'o the hat to Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, Meme City, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks. 
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...

No comments:

Post a Comment

The site's software sometimes swallows comments. For less frustration, send an email and I'll post it as a comment.