I haven’t blogged in a while and that’s because I’ve been in recovery…from Christmas, you understand.
Just about all rum balled out now, nearly out of my chocolate coma and I’ve had so much ham that it’s a wonder I’m not rolling in mud and oinking. I’m even a bit over mango’s, and THAT is saying something, coming from a mango freak like me.
So…it was all a very nice affair.
We nearly fried on Christmas eve. Horrendously stinking hot it was…we were all peeling off layers of skin trying to cool down, but come Christmas day we were shivering in our boots and hovering over candle flames trying to stay warm.
Lovely to spend it with family though, where we ended up wearing funny stick on mustaches and playing board games…and stuffing ourselves with FAR too much delicious food.
So, after Christmas, boxing day actually…which usually follows Christmas…I know, I know…I’m a bit stuffed in the head still…
Boxing day, on the way home from the Blue mountains, we stopped in to pick my mother up to bring her back to our place for a kind of second Christmas. (My parents are divorced so it’s a matter of trying to spend time with everyone.)
She didn’t want to come, my mother…awkward situation as she’s just broken up with her partner and “wasn’t in the mood for anything”. BUT, I insisted.
Let me first say this, I love my mother to bits.
Let me then say…I’m so glad she doesn’t have the internet so she can read my blog because it means I can say anything I like here….which I will, because I have to, because it’s like THERAPY, and after a visit from my mother…. I need therapy!
I try to please my mother. I really do.
The first thing I did to try and please her was to give up my front seat in the car so she could have all the leg room…not be squished and harassed by the two (mortal enemies) teenagers in the back.
I thought it was a nice polite thing to do.
“Why am *I* sitting in the front Tracy? Now I’ll be able to see all the oncoming cars!”
What does this mean?
Why…what is wrong with being able to see where you’re going? It’s not like we’re driving INTO oncoming cars?
Of course I don’t SAY this. I just say.
“I just thought it would be less cramped for you in the front.”
Getting an impression…already?
Ok, so I won’t go into every detail. We’re just on the car ride home. I can’t write a whole BOOK with this post…
Pretty soon after we arrived home and I showed my mother her room (new house and all)..
The bed is a “terrible bed Tracy!”….because she kept knocking her legs on the end of it.
I know it’s dangerous. I warned her…”be careful of the end of the bed mum, it will give you bruises. It’s wooden and hard and the room is small.”
But the bed itself is SO comfy, and I made sure it was all clean and tidy and dusted, not too many fragrant candles around to “give her a headache”….or potentially “spontaneously combust”.
Have you ever seen the movie….Lemony Snickets – a series of unfortunate events?
The woman who plays….Aunt Josephine?
THAT is my mother.
Here’s a snippet.
My mother can spot disaster in EVERYTHING, and she will warn you sternly all about it.
She also has this incredibly irritating habit of locking doors and windows….immediately, behind her. From room to room she goes, locking things behind her.
“You can’t leave things open. Anyone could break in at any time!”
Her flat is like a fortress and it always takes forever to just unlock the doors to get OUT!
Ok, so maybe we’re a bit slack here…out here “in the sticks” but there’s kids in the house who are in and out of the front door constantly. It’s a quiet neighbourhood. Not much goes on around here and besides we have two big dogs who bark as soon as anyone comes up the driveway.
So my mother made it her job to lock our front screen door at every opportunity causing my skateboarding “constantly going out the door to skate in the street” son to graze his nose on the heavy duty metal mesh as he ran into it because the door wouldn’t swing open, as usual.
“Can you make her stop locking the door?” he said to me, through gritted teeth.
“No. I can’t. It’s just what she does.”
Just like she turns every single power point OFF, and unplugs all the damn leads, ties up the plastic garbage bag inside the kitchen bin – when it’s not even full, wraps vegetable peelings in newspaper before throwing them away and stores everything in the FRIDGE so “the ants can’t get it.”
It’s just…what she does.
I thought it best not to mention anything, I mean ANYTHING about the resident ghost we apparently have here in this house (and more and more things happen every day – another blog post entirely.)
I didn’t mention anything because I knew my mother would absolutely freak out and possibly demand to be driven home on the spot.
The first morning though my mother began questioning each of us as to who it was “thumping around in the kitchen last night”.
“Who was it, with really heavy footsteps making all that racket?” she asked.
We tried to fob her off, and managed for a while because she was too preoccupied with the prospect of going shopping for the day. Just us girls, my son stayed home as he would rather rip his toenails off with his teeth than go shopping with a whole triple generation of women.
My mother thinks I can’t navigate my way around people in a shopping mall.
I’m nearly 45 years old and she still has to tell me which side of the escalator to stand on, “On the left.Stay on the LEFT Tracy so people can walk past you.” and… “Don’t knock that lady with your bag Tracy!”
Then again, she still tells me to take something warm to wear in case it gets cold and asks if I have enough tissues or umbrellas on me.
My mother is so acutely aware of the possibility of offending or upsetting total strangers around us that I, her nearly 45 year old “child” am instructed with infinite detail on just how to behave, just where to sit, where to walk, what to say, how to act, even how to DRESS.
“Why aren’t you wearing any lipstick Tracy. You should always go out with some lipstick on.”
“Mum, I don’t wear lipstick. Have you ever seen me wear lipstick?”
“Oh but you should. It just finishes you off. You should always go out looking nice. You don’t want to let yourself go, you know.”
Great, so now I look like a complete “let go” frump, as well as being completely unable to walk in a straight line without knocking people over.
(Oh Lord…Can you feel my eyeballs a rollin’ in my skull? Can you taste the blood in my mouth as I bite my tongue?)
It is with great patience and even greater restraint that…. I love my mother so very dearly.
I know it’s just her way. She means well. Truly she does….(but it’s so so exhausting.)
So we got through the shopping ordeal with not too much drama. I didn’t offend anyone with my outrageous ill mannered escalator behaviour and no one fainted on the floor because my lips were grotesquely pale in their naked unlipsticked state.
All was looking good, until we got home and once more my mother began puzzling over the footsteps in the kitchen the night before.
Ok, so I couldn’t resist.
I knew it wasn’t any of us up walking around in the middle of the night, so I teased her saying…
“Well….there IS “something” in this house, we feel.”
Oh that was it. I shouldn’t have, I KNEW it, as soon as the words came out of my mouth.
Immediately my mother was demanding that I find her a cross.
I told her I didn’t have one, so that set her scrabbling through her handbag for her “Saint Christophers cross” and had her demanding that our sixteen year old daughter SLEEP with her…IN the bed.
“I’m not going to bed unless you sleep in the room with me!” she told my daughter who by then was looking distraught and horrified, mouthing to my husband and I “Please…..don’t make me sleep with Nanna!”
In fact, to my amusement, while my mother was off searching her suitcase for something even vaguely religious (what the?) my daughter pleaded with my son…
“Please…I’ll do anything you want. Just lie to Nanna and tell her it was YOU walking around the kitchen last night.”
He found it hysterical of course, and flatly refused.
(Payback, for all he times she has got him into trouble.)
As it turned out though, somehow she calmed down a bit after watching a bit of TV.
I think a few glasses of wine helped too.
Nobody had to sleep with Nanna, and thankfully the ghost behaved itself, for once.
I just wonder what she would do if I told her I’d been seriously POKED by “the ghost”.
I will say nothing more to her, ever…because some weird part of me DOES want her to come again and visit.
Strange as it may sound.
And hell…this morning before I went out…I put lipstick on.