Monday, June 12, 2006

Mothers!

Can't live with 'em can't batter them to death and bury them in the back yard.
It is no great secret that my mother drives me nuts, but sometimes I want to stab her in the hand with a compass/large kitchen knife/swordfish.
Etheline says we are too alike, I would agree up to a point, we are both a touch outspoken and both of us hold the unfailing belief that we are right, naturally this leads to conflict. As Duncan McCloud might say in Highlander, there can be only one.
Yesterday however, she surpassed herself in annoying the fuck out of me.
I like Sunday a whole lot, I like getting up late, faffing around, getting the papers, deciding where to have brunch, toddling off whenever it suits me. In general it is a fabulous day and -having spent a pleasant evening beheading Jelly babies in an effort to understand why Americans say the things they do, and rinsing the taste away with vodka -I had hoped this sunday would be like any other.
Then she came along and ballsed it up.
Firstly she buzzed my doorbell, uninvited, at nine-fifteen.
I answered it-bleerily. Discovered too late it was her and buzzed her in.
'Oh', she said, breezing in past me on a cloud of Estée Lauder, 'I thought you'd be up.'
'Why would I be up? It's Sunday.'
'On your own?' She said peering into the sitting room with all the subtly of John Cleese in the Don't Mention the War episode of Faulty Towers.
'The cats are here.'
She did that sniffing thing she does when she doesn't like the 'tone' I use and held her handbag in front of her like a shield.
'I thought maybe you'd come with me to a furniture showroom.'
I gawp at her. What stinking cock rot is this? Why 'maybe' would she think that? I drag my kimono tighter around my body.
'I'm going to turn your brother's room into an office.'
'Why?'
She shrugs. 'Well, it's not like he'll be using it anymore.'
'Right.'
'So you'll come?'
I try to think of an excuse, but for once nothing come to mind, the only thing I can think of is the theme music to Spongebob Squarepants.
ooohhhh he lives in a pineapple under the sea-
'Sure, I'll just grab a quick shower.'
'I'll make us a cup of tea.'
This makes me grit my back teeth. For some reason my mother disapproves of my drinking coffee, but I let it go.
'Right, you know where everything is.'
I go shower and get dressed.
By the time we are in the lift I suss something is up, she has her pinched face on. The lift doors close. She launches.
'I was looking for milk in the fridge, there's not much in there, what day do you do a shop?'
'Every day really, I buy fairly fresh.'
'Ummph, 'she says, then, 'lot of booze.'
I do a mental scan. There are two bottles of wine, white, a bottle of Smirnoff orange, eight cans of diet orange, an actual orange, a bottle of tonic water, orange juice, a head of lettuce, cheese, garlic, mushrooms, fish (Perch and salmon), yoghurts, bacon, turkey, cured ham, water, milk, balsamic vinegar and some peppers.
'No wonder there's not a pick on you. You must never eat.'
Now this bogus crap is designed to annoy. 1, if I never ate I'd be dead, and 2, I'm not skinny, I"m not fat like she is, and true I weighed more before, but I'm not actually skinny. I'm fit, but not rake thin.
'I eat plenty,' I say testily.
'You should think about cutting down the amount you drink.'
'Right.'
'It's not good for you.'
'I don't actually drink that much.'( Was my nose growing?)
'Oh now, sure every time I see you you have a glass in your hand.'
This too is bogus, mostly my mother and I meet at dinners and lunches. I glance down at my hands and raise them in an exaggerated manner.
She eyes me, her nostrils flare, 'you're so sharp you'll cut yourself someday.'
I sigh heavily. I hate that expression, there is never a sword fish handy when you need one.
'I never drank at home.'
'Right.'
'Never saw the need.'
'um.'
'That's how trouble starts.'
'um.'
'I'm only telling you for your own good.'
'You should eat less.' I say, rather sharply. 'Get more exercise, try bring your weight down before your blood pressure causes you to have a stroke.' I put a lot of emphasis on stroke as it is her favourite most likely to happen senario.
She snaps a look my way. 'Oh, well that's easy for you to say, you know ever since I started taking those tablets-'
We hit the ground floor, the doors open and she steps out- 'I've been retaining water like the billio and it's not like I haven't tried. But it's hard when no one supports-'
I press the button and to the doors close on her blather. I rise to the top floor in serene silence.
I let myself back into the apartment. The bigger of the cats is sitting on the book case in the hall-almost as thought he expected I would return.
'Narp?' He says.
'Indeed.' I say and scoop him up.
She buzzes the buzzer. I answer.
'Are you coming or not?' She asks icily.
'I don't believe I am.' I say equally as frosty.
'There's no talking to you. You always take everything the wrong way.'
'Is that so?'
'yes.'
'Okay then, once we know that I'm at fault.'
I hear her snort angrily and then the clip clop of her shoes as she stomps off.
She's lucky I don't have a sniper rifle.

20 Comments:

Blogger Betty the Sheep said...

Priceless piece of writing!

11:21 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Ta Betty, welcome on board.

12:25 p.m.  
Anonymous Melinda said...

Love to hear about the deep thinking on why Americans say the things they do, just as a matter of self-improvement...:)
More to the point, though, I found one solution to the unceasing snippy remarks. I moved a few hundred miles away and hardly go back for visits, and only do a weekly phone call, so then I become a novelty. The real upside is that mom always forgets a little what I look like and she thinks I've lost weight every time I see her, instead of poking my hips and heading for her 1986 Richard Simmons tapes, and telling me how girls' thighs shouldn't shake like mine do (mind you, I'm NOT overweight). I no longer even get one of the longest-lived complaints and one of my personal faves, "You dress like a ragamuffin!" What is she, Dickens? The downside of my satisfaction, of course, is that she's turned all her attention to my recently-divorced sister who's now living AT HOME. Trying to keep the peace between those two is damn near impossible.
Good luck with your mom--we tend to think these things work themselves out eventually, but you sound like you've got a more uphill battle than most...

1:56 p.m.  
Blogger Andraste said...

My God, FMC, that woman is a piece of work. For your sake, I'm sorry, but for our sake, it's very entertaining! Estee Lauder...ahhhh, the scent of the embittered....

2:25 p.m.  
Anonymous MacDara said...

Ouch:You seem to have cut her down pretty sharply and then to just close the lift and go back up. I hope there is some poetic license in the tale.

And i have to say i love that comment " your so sharp you'll cut your self" .

The mistake you made was agreeing to go in the first place after that you should have swallowed the pill and went regardless of how annoying she was after all it is your mother.

2:55 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Evenin' all, Melinda your poor poor sister, divorced and living at home, how she must suffer terribly. I like the moving, I used to live very far from Ma indeed and that suited me so much better.
Andraste, aint it though. Even if I am out and about and I get a whiff of it I scarper in the opposite direction.
MacDara, I shut the door to stop myself reaching out and throttling her with my bare hands. You don't understand, my mother is a COMLETE hypochondriac, has been for as long as I remember, she does have high blood pressure, but she refuses to do ANYTHING about it other than take tablets. Several doctors have done the 'You know Mrs Cat, if you lost a few pound you could -' And that makes her furious. Years ago when I still cared if she had a stroke or not, I used to go wallking with her on the weekend and I would have to practically drag her from the house, and then she would complain about her feet/hands/head/back/knees/vagina all the short stroll to the village, then she would pretend to have heart palpitations which she would miraculously recover from the moment she saw someone she knew.
And she has hundred of comments- the worst one being 'oh now, there are none so blind as those who don't want to see' If she had said that to me yesterday I might have wrung her neck.

3:59 p.m.  
Anonymous Macdara said...

well I guess it is understandable. after the day I had I am ready to kill someone. Shouting and screaming at some of my staff and local lebanese companies I can almost see why the lebanese civil war lasted so long

4:21 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Don't worry MacDara, we've all been there, this is where you head for your local watering hole and cool off, and by cool of I mean of course sink a few.

5:21 p.m.  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

Staying in the elevator (I'm American, can you tell?) and closing the doors was absolutely f-ing priceless!!! I only wish I could have seen the look on her face when she realized what you'd done!! And no, you should NOT have "swallowed the pill and gone" shopping with her anyway. What you did was perfection.

8:03 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Hi Bonnie and welcome. Elevator sidewalks, faucets, it's fantastic, so confusingly fantastic. And yes, the closing of the door was an inspired move, she's still ranting about it today (according to both my sisters who called to confirm the story, sniggering wildly, the pair of bitches. Etheline said she was 'spluttering with rage').
I suppose at some point I will have to call and apologise ( see, we spell it with an 's') but not yet.

8:29 p.m.  
Blogger Tommy said...

Ahhh, your poor Mammy... your such a fucking bitch...









Na, love ya really.

1:10 a.m.  
Anonymous Bonnie said...

Only you know whether or not you should apologize (with a 'z') because I sure wouldn't. But, do me a favor? Wait AT LEAST a week before you do. Sounds like she needs a good "spluttering"!!

2:27 a.m.  
Blogger SUE LOU said...

As a mother, though I thought your tale quite funny, I was also mortified that you left your poor mother alone at the bottom of the elevator. I am so glad my children know better than that, but none of them live at the top of an elevator, come to think of it. The worst is that my son promises to call me back and never does, but then he has an excuse that sort of works. He is ADHD and just does not remember, that is why he has a wife, and an office staff and a blue tooth phone with note taking capacity. You may know him, SafeTinspector.

4:54 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Tommy Rasp!
Sue Lou if you were my Mommie I'd never leave you at the bottom of the elevator...er lift. That SafeT, what a pup.
Bonnie don't worry, it will be at least a week.

9:40 a.m.  
Blogger SafeTinspector said...

Mom! Fancy seeing you here!
I've never been tempted with the opportunity to strand you in an elevator, but I'd like to think I'd get you rescued somehow...

3:30 a.m.  
Anonymous ainelivia said...

Must have missed this post as only just found it. Absolutely hilarous. Now on a more serious note, your mammy and mine and my mammy's sisters must have been made from the same mould.

It's those really zappy comments that home in just under the radar and you don't quite know you have been hit until you feel the sting. (Much like that poor guy who was killed by russian agents on a London Bridge with a pellet shot from an umbrella.) You need to learn to unhook yourself from her comments. And I literally mean unhook. It's how she riles you and she knows it. Maybe sometime ignore her zappy stuff and ask her what it is she really wants to talk about. It would take perserverance but if you could hold out until she finally realises that her comments will no longer get to you, she might actually begin to say what she really means. And personally I think she is worried and lonely. Best of, FMC

12:21 p.m.  
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