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A night of vomit and crazy

13 Sep

My daughter, Ana, had lunch with me today and came over to my place after work. She was going on a blind date (yikes!) and wanted to visit with me for a bit as she was a bit nervous. This would be her first blind date and she needed a little mom support. After getting ready, she asked my thoughts on her attire.

“Your skirt is too short and you’re showing too much cleavage.”

“Moooommm!”

Funny how she can take a single syllable word and make it a mile long. Actually, she looked great, but I was morally obligated as her mother to provide constructive criticism. She is meeting her date at 6:00 pm and it’s time for her to leave. I ask her to text me at some point so I’ll know she’s okay and she agrees before hugging me bye.

6:20 pm

I am on the phone with my friend, Dave, when a text message pops up from Ana:

OMG. Please call me in two minutes with an emergency!

Oh, this is just too classic. For once, I’m not the one enduring the date from hell. After two minutes of pondering my “emergency,” I dial her number.

“Hello?”

In a teary voice (keeping it real here, folks) I say, “Oh, baby, I’m so sorry to call you on your date! Bud is vomiting blood and I’m taking him to the pet hospital! Please come with me! I can’t go by myself!”

“Oh my god, are you serious?”

“Yes! I’m so scared and I need you to be with me! Please?”

“I’m on my way, Mom!”

We disconnect and I am laughing hysterically at this point. I wait ten minutes before calling her back.

“So what was so bad about your date that I had to bail you out?”

“Oh, god, Mom… his teeth… they were… oh, god. He seriously needs to see a dentist STAT! Oh, god… I feel sick. I gotta go.”

So, technically speaking, there was vomiting last night, it just wasn’t Bud.

* * * *

I often volunteer at a shelter in the Twin Cities and a guy named Tom volunteers there, as well. We had spoken before and he seemed nice enough. Well, actually, he did most of the talking about his job (attorney), social status (divorced with an evil ex-wife who took him to the cleaners and kept his Mercedes Benz) and other inconsequential topics. He hinted at asking me out, but I never took the bait.

So about two weeks ago, I’m waiting at the bus stop when Tom pulls up next to me on his bike. Apparently he lives in the area of my office and was out for an afternoon ride when he spotted me. We chatted for a bit before my bus arrived and I headed home. You can imagine my surprise when I got a voice mail a few days later from Tom. I assumed he got my number from the sign-in sheets at the shelter as I had not given it to him.

“Hi, Lisa, it’s Tom. Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed seeing you the other day. You looked great and I would like to take you out sometime. Call me back and let’s get together.”

Oh, that’s so sweet, I thought to myself. I saved the message as I really did plan to call him back and say “Thanks, but no thanks, I’m seeing Mike; hope things go well; blah, blah, blah.”

I forgot to call him back.

During last night’s vomitous series of events, my phone rings and I let it go to voice mail.

“Hi, Lisa, it’s Tom. I called you a couple of weeks ago and you could have had the DECENCY to call back. I don’t know if you got your hair dyed or what… that’s the rest of the story. You know what to do.”

Tom is very loud and I strongly suspect it’s a drunk dial. Either that, or dude is seriously whacked. I listened to his message twice only because I was trying to figure out what he meant by me getting my hair dyed. I don’t dye my hair. Even if I did, what the hell would that have to do with anything?

Tom just got moved from the ‘Oh, that’s so sweet’ column to the ‘Crazy Mo Fo’ column.

You’re right, Tom. I do know what to do and that would be to NOT call you back because, quite frankly, that bitch be crazy.

Hugs and kisses,

Lisa D 😀

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I was a sultry cougar. Almost.

15 Aug

There’s so much hype about cougars and cubs these days that I’ve found myself wondering what would it be like to pull a Demi Moore and date someone 10+ years younger. Would it be invigorating? Adventurous? Or would I find myself telling my date to pull his pants up, get a haircut and don’t put your elbows on the table?

As fate would have it, I would never find the answers to my lingering questions thanks to the lovingly dispensed wisdom from my daughter, Ana. Yeah, right.

It’s a Saturday night and Ana is spending part of the weekend with me for some quality mother/daughter time. In reality, it’s more about I cook for her, she eats all my miniature candy bars, catches up on HD TV and steals my gossip magazines. Bonding as its finest.

So there we are – piled up on the sofa with Bud curled up between us. Ana is playing couch commando with the remote and I’m reading emails from prospective beaus. I am reading an email out loud to her when my IM box pops up with a message from Tyler.  I had initially ignored Tyler when he first contacted me two weeks earlier in spite of the fact he seemed really sweet and looked pretty damned good in his photos. Why would I ignore him, you ask?

He’s 26 years old.

Gawd. I am old enough to be his mother, for Christ’s sake. He persisted and I finally accepted his request to IM. We had chatted off and on, mostly about movies, favorite foods, football, the usual stuff. He asked me what I was doing and I responded with hanging out with my daughter, watching TV and relaxing.

We IM for several minutes when Ana asks, “Who are you talking to?”

I hesitated briefly and said, “Tyler.”

“Tyler who?”

“I don’t know his last name! I haven’t asked.”

“How old is he?”

Silence.

“Mom, how old is he?”

“26.”

“What??!! You’re not going out with him, are you?!”

“No!! I’m just chatting with him! He’s really nice and wants to friend me on Facebook.”

She makes a face and asks to see his photos. I turn the laptop towards her. She takes one look and shrieks, “Oh my God!” Bud shoots off the sofa like he had been fired from a gun and runs to the bedroom.

“What? What’s wrong?”

“I know him! We went out for a while!”

It was my turn to shriek, “Oh my God!”

“Mom, you cannot talk to him anymore! Oh my God, this is so gross!” She’s stabbing at the keyboard trying to turn off IM before turning to me and saying, “By the way, he’s not 26. He’s 23!”

“Oh my God!” I shriek again.

I get up off the sofa and head towards the bathroom. Ana ask where I’m going and I respond, “I’m going to take a shower and wash the feel of pedophile off my skin.”

Her parting shot before I closed the door behind me… “I’m going to need so much therapy by the time you’re done.”

That makes two of us.

Til next time,

Lisa D 😀

I miss you, Grandma.

13 Mar

As you all know from my last post, I was able to spend a week back home in Mississippi visiting family, relaxing and last, but certainly not least… eating like a hog turned loose at a trough full of Sunday leftovers. I gained 5 pounds in 6 days! Of course, I freaked out when I got home and after one week of daily workouts, I’m back to my fighting weight again. Who knew that a steady diet of Cici’s Pizza, chili cheese burgers, fried pork chops and BBQ could pile it on so fast?! I thought vacation calories didn’t count. I was sadly mistaken, but Jillian Friggin’ Michaels has whipped me back into shape.

So here I am, one week later, reliving my visit, and I find my thoughts returning to the one person that has made the greatest impact on my life. My Grandma Bonnie. Just thinking of her evokes feelings of acceptance, warmth and the unconditional love that she has always given me.

Before I go any further, I feel it necessary to give you a bit of background on Grandma. Her husband, Harold, died when she was only 41 years old leaving her with five children to feed. To make matters even more difficult, she had no job (he wouldn’t allow her to work outside the home), no car and lived in what could best be described as a “shotgun” shack. For those of you wondering what the hell does that mean; a shotgun shack is a ramshackle house where you could fire a shotgun from the front door through the back door and hit little to nothing in between. To describe it as small is an understatement.

Past

Grandma went to work at a convalescent home washing dishes on a 12-hour shift.  Yep, you read that right – 12 hours on her feet washing heavy pots and pans in boiling hot water. The convalescent home was three miles away. You’re probably thinking, “Well, that’s not so bad.” Not if you’re driving. My grandma walked to work. Three miles in the morning and three miles at night since her shift ended at 8:00 pm. When I asked her once how she did it, her answer was, “What choice did I have? We needed to eat and I had bills to pay.”

As tired as she must have been, she always had time for me. I remember her taking a cake decorating class and I would stand on a chair in the kitchen watching her practice making roses with frosting. She would always tell me I could eat the roses that didn’t turn out so well. I would stand next to her, anxiously worried that all her roses would be perfect and I wouldn’t get one. Needless to say, I got more than my fair share. Looking back, I strongly suspect she messed up her roses on purpose as it gave me such delight to eat the bad ones.

I was a very imaginative child and this was fostered by the enormous amount of books she bought for me. Looking back, I don’t know how she was able to afford them. She bought me the entire set of Mark Twain’s books when I was in fourth grade. I devoured them in record time. She purchased a set of encyclopedias when I got older and needed them for reports. I actually read the encyclopedias and nothing excited me more than when the yearly world book arrived in the mail. I would sit at her kitchen table, happily eating whatever she had prepared and feeding my mind at the same time.

As a result of my reading and over-active imagination, I was convinced the glass doorknobs in her house were diamond doorknobs. We were rich! She laughed when I asked her and she assured me that no, we were not rich. I didn’t believe her and thought maybe it was a family secret. I had just finished a book where a family discovered millions of dollars glued to the walls behind their wallpaper. Eureka! Grandma had a bedroom with wallpaper – all I had to do was find the money. She caught me carefully peeling the wallpaper off one strip at a time. Horrified at first, she asked me rather strongly exactly WHAT was I doing? I stood in front of her, trying to explain while nervously shuffling my feet. I was afraid she would be mad at me for destroying her wallpaper. I was wrong. She started laughing, hugged me and let me finish my work. Needless to say, I didn’t find any money, but I did systematically trash her walls. My imagination then led me to her storage building where I was convinced a treasure trove was hidden, but that’s a story for another day.

From the eyes of a child I looked up to my grandma as a woman to be loved and respected. She was my refuge, my strength and in a world of chaos, the one person I knew would always remain the same. Alzheimer’s changed that…

Present day

Grandma Bonnie is seated in her wheelchair when I walk into her room. Her face lights up when she sees me and says the same words I’ve always heard, “Hey, honey. How are you?”

The love in her voice makes my throat tighten and the tears threaten. I swallow hard, kneel in front of her and say, “Hey, Grandma. I’ve missed you.”

She strokes my cheek with a work-gnarled hand, fingers ravaged by arthritis. We talk, visit, laugh and share old memories. During the course of the conversation, she drifts in and out of the present. I am grateful that she remembers me as I don’t think I could bear it if her eyes gazed upon me with no sense of recognition.

As I start to leave, I lean over and hug her, feeling the frail, bird-like bones underneath my hands. I hesitate and say to her, “Grandma, I want you to know that you’ve always been so wonderful to me. It’s important that you know that, okay? You were the best grandmother anyone could ever have.”

She looked up at me and with eyes full of tears said, “Honey, I’ve always tried. I tried to be a good mother and I failed. I wanted to be a good grandmother.”

“You were, Grandma. You were the best,” I whispered, struggling to keep from breaking down. We hugged. I told her again how much I loved her and promised to come back the next day. I walked out onto the front porch where my mom waited. All I could say was, “We need to leave.”

I cried all the way home.

My grandma went into assisted living on Monday, March 7, 2011. This blog is for my cousin, Shannon, who has done an outstanding job with Grandma. She has taken on an enormous load tending to her needs and handling all the details when it came time to put Grandma in a home.

Thank you, Shannon, from the bottom of my heart. If you’re reading this to Grandma now, please kiss her and tell her I love her.

Lisa D