Monday, July 21, 2008

handlin' it my own way

A few months ago, I got this crazy idea. For my dad's birthday and Father's Day gifts, I told him we would take a road trip to our cabin property so he could see it. When we told him that we had bought the property, he was excited. It was all he could talk about. We took copies of the pictures of the property we had for him to look at. Before we knew it, he had figured out google earth and called us several times for more information so he could zoom in as close as possible to see as much as he could. He always wanted a cabin in the woods and now his daughter was going to have one and she would let him go there whenever he wanted and he could offer suggestions about building the cabin. And eventually, when it was all finished, he could drive there and sit on the porch and enjoy a cup of coffee. What could be better?

Last Saturday was the day for the drive to the property. We made arrangements to pick up my mom and dad at 8:30. As Jack and I were preparing to leave, I mentioned that maybe I should take one of the anti-anxiety pills my doctor prescribed for just such an occasion. And then I forgot to take the pill. Jack dropped me off at my parent's house while he raced home to pick up some of the wonder pills for me. Thirty seconds after I entered the house, my mom went outside to water her hanging plants and I ask my dad how he was feeling. He said he wasn't doing too bad. I asked about his vision. He said it has been 18 months since his eye doctor replaced his lens with a new one and he still feels like he's looking through a glass of soapy water--the eye doc gave him a prescription that he can't see with but the doc says his eyes just need to adjust and get used to wearing the glasses, which irritates him because he can't see yet and he just doesn't think his eyes should have to adjust to the glasses, the glasses should be adjusted to his vision. All seemed reasonable to me.

Then my mom came in and started on the same old blah blah about how great the eye doc is and what a good job he did and no other doc would have even attempted the surgery and dad just needed to wear the glasses until his vision adjusted to them and by that time, dad was getting all fiery and she was fiery back and finally Jack showed up and I ran to the car for my prescription. Jack brought a handful of them in a ziplock baggie. I kissed him for his thoughtfulness and quickly swallowed one.

We got in the car--dad and Jack in front, mom and me in back--and headed to McDonald's for breakfast. Of course, mom and dad have their routine at McDonald's, so Jack and I ordered and I went to the soda machine to get our drinks while he payed and dutifully followed mom and dad to the best seats in the place.

I wandered around until I found them, sat down, and looked around the table for my food. I said, "Oh, they forgot my apple/walnut salad, I'll go get it." Mom looked at me in surprise and said, "That was yours? I told them nobody ordered a salad, we only wanted the cinnamon rolls, so they put the salad back and gave us our cinnamon rolls."

I headed back to the counter to get my salad and on the way back to the table, realized that my mom was trying to get Jack to try her McGriddle because, "once you try one of these, you'll never want another thing at McDonald's, although they only serve them until 10:00." Somehow Jack was able to avoid a bite of the McGriddle.

As we headed to the car, I took another of the amazing little pills. I believe I begged Jack to let me ride up front with him, but I knew he thought it would be good for my dad to sit up front with him, and I couldn't argue with him about that, so I sat down in the back seat with mom. As we drove, Jack and dad had conversations, mom and I had conversations, and mom and dad and Jack had conversations, whenever mom needed to complete Jack's sentence or correct dad's mistaken memory.

When we stopped at Jessie's so they could follow us to the property, I again attempted to find a different seat, offered to drive for Cory or let Jessie ride with her dad, because really, Breanne would love to ride with me, but once again, no go. I got back in the back seat with mom.

She continued talking and after a while, the wonder drug started to work its magic and I leaned back, snuggling into the seat and closing my eyes. Every time my eyelids closed, my mom would poke me and say, "Look at those cows!" or poke-poke, "Look there's the cemetery!" or poke-poke-poke, "There's the turkey barns!" and of course, I would open my eyes and look because Jack and I have only made that trip about 20 times in the past six months, so I'd never noticed those cows or that cemetery or those turkey barns...

It was like that for almost eight hours until we got back home. OH. MY. HECK. I wasn't just exhausted. I was battered. Physically worn out. Needed a nap. Saturday night. Sunday all day. Today would have been good for a nap.

My therapist is going to give me a D for my actions on Saturday. She will tell me I missed an excellent opportunity to practice the new skills we've been working on.

And I will say, "Perhaps-- but we weren't there now, were we?"


Joey said...

You know what's going to happen, don't you? One day you will just be free of her and nothing she does will reach you. It will be as if you are in a protective bubble and all of her arrows will just deflect off.

And your mom will go crazy. And you will smile.

I just know that's going to happen for you someday. :)

Lisa B. said...

Listen, I am exhausted just reading about this! In my opinion, you get an A just for coming back alive and living to tell the tale. Good job! Good job!

Jessie said...

You know, I did let you sit in my seat for the last 5 minutes or so before the cabin...

And I thought you handled it all well, even joked about your breakfast during lunch--very brave. And went to get your food that they forgot...I think you get at least a B (minus 1/2 grade for every pill). but then again, I might grade a little easier than a therapist.

Skybird said...

Wow. Back in the military I had some stuff that would have done wonders for you! I laughed at the pokey pokey thing, and the more I read... the more I love your subtle sarcasm! Moms! Go figure. I needed two to get me to 18, and they both make my wife crazy! Of course mom in this tale reminds me of my mother in law! There was a whole lot between the lines that I picked up!

Have you thought about zen meditation? I have become a master waiting for computers to do their thing... and I can zone moms out now with as much success as my wife learned to zone out the kids when she was reading...