Thursday, June 21, 2007

One Ping, Only

Sunday. A Holy Day of Obligation. Pater Venite Adoremus, otherwise known as Father’s Day. Himself went to pick up the Weebles while I finished the cleaning frenzy, and meal preparations. Everything was moving on my schedule until I glanced at the clock. Himself and the Weebles should have arrived. Himself was supposed to sacrifice chicken breasts on the grill. The fire wasn’t started. The rolls were almost done and no sign of Himself and the Weebles. I was just about to go out and fire up the grill when they pulled up.

“Everything ok?” I asked Himself.

He looked to the Heavens in that familiar gesture that said, ‘Help me, Lord!’ “You can blog later,” he added with a wink.

All the parishioners of Our Lady for the Perpetually Clueless arrived. We gathered around the table and spent a pleasant, relaxed time eating and talking.

Ma has a habit of nodding off, more like zoning out, or so we thought. She sat at the head of the table, seemingly under the surface, her sonar silently pinging away until the talk turned to cars. The Boy mentioned he had two cars, and like the submarine, Seaview, breaching the waves, Ma came alert and she fired the number one torpedo.

“You have two cars, and you can’t come to take me shopping?”

[Some will recall that a year ago the Weebles were in a fender bender. Fortunately, they were shaken, not stirred, but their little green car was totaled, and I became the Elderbus driver.

True, it’s a pain in the ( ! ) sometimes, but there’s always a silver lining, besides blog fodder. See, it ain’t a bad thing that Dad can’t drive anymore. He had two accidents within four years, and both were his fault. He shouldn’t be on the road. Dad has his own OPD symptoms. He feels senior citizens are discriminated against. He hates that term, by the way. He feels it’s derogatory. He wants to be called an Elder. Dad is convinced the insurance company discriminated against him for both accidents simply because of his age. He’s convinced the accidents were not his fault.

The last accident was a blessing in disguise. Dad wouldn’t be one to realize he shouldn’t be driving anymore, and calmly hand over his car keys. Hell, I can remember as a teen asking to borrow the damn car keys and what a fight I had then! So, the Brother and I are spared that brouhaha. Dad has his car keys. No one has taken them from him. He doesn’t have a car, and no money to buy a new one. It’s not our fault. As I said, a pain in the ( ! ) from time to time, but in reality a blessing.]

An uncomfortable silence followed, and Ma subsided into teary sighs. “No one does anything for me.” She ladled out heaping helpings of guilt or tried to. The same old song and dance routine.

When Himself returned after taking the Weebles home, I asked him to tell me why they were so late in arriving.

I thought perhaps, Ma was in her I’m not going mood. Dad had called me earlier in the morning to say she didn’t want to come. Dad speculated he had done something wrong, but didn’t know what, and Ma was trying to punish him. More likely, she was jealous it was Father’s Day. We had already celebrated Mother’s Day so she didn’t care whether Dad got his due or not.

Himself and I discussed our options. Himself could go pick Dad up and leave Ma home. Not good. There’d be hell to pay all around. We could cancel the Weebles and enjoy the day with just the Brother and his family. While enjoyable for us, not good in the long run as there’d be hell to pay. I called back, spoke to Ma and dropped the hole card. “Everything’s nearly ready. The TEN chicken breasts are marinating, the dough for the rolls are nearly done. I’ve made a salad. Himself made a bean salad. He’ll be leaving in a half an hour. Will you be ready when he arrives?” I can play the game too. Nothing like a hot dish of guilt.

“We were late because your mother had to stop at the bank to deposit a check.”

“Stop at the bank? Why? She doesn’t have any money until the next social security check arrives.”

“Remember I told you she had that prize check from the Zenith Corporation?”

I felt the familiar throbbing behind my left eye. The damn scammer checks from the phony contests she receives. The bank finally got fed up with her pestering them to cash the checks. They opened a “special” account for her to deposit her prize winnings in. This way, what little they have in savings and checking won’t be wiped out by scammers gaining access to their real account. So far, only one check cleared. That was the one where I had called the postal inspector. That scammer knew he was being investigated so after 3 weeks, he made good on that check for $250.00

I feel I should be lighting candles. I’m not sure whether I should pray she hits millions. She can thumb her nose at all of us who didn’t believe in her. She can buy her own car. She can buy her own chauffeur. I can pray Ma is picked up by the Feds for trying to pass phony checks. They’ll put her in the slammer, and then she’ll be their problem. I can pray. Help me, Lord!


Erica Vetsch said...

I didn't send enough. Maybe the one the size of a corinthian column...seems like there's hell to pay every way you turn, lady.

Nutterone said...

I am so glad your mom didn't leave me hanging when I was gone! Yee Haw! Now I'm picturing ma in prison stripes and the guilt she'll lay on you for not visiting enough.