My husband had an early shopping day with our daughter on Saturday, so I decided to surprise my parents and enjoy my eggs and toast at their house. It’s only a three-mile drive but my timing was off. My father had just finished his own eggs, bacon and oatmeal and my mother was already enjoying one of her favorites – an ice cream cone breakfast. While we didn’t enjoy a meal together I thought our 1×2 time could still be special.
I started to tell my mother about my journey home from work on Friday night. I explained that I sometimes take a different route home to learn the area around the new office.
My mother responded after finishing her cone:
Knowing that was just her catchphrase I continued…
I was only telling you because my GPS said there was a Goodwill in the area. I knew I had her attention now because it is one of her favorite places to thrift. It was my hook.
I didn’t even get to add the punchline that I followed the map for an extra six miles and learned the store no longer exists in that location. Feeling incomplete, I had to at least finish my sentence. I cut to the chase and told her that I found a new shop that I liked in that neighborhood anyway.
Mom. I know you’re excited for James to take you to the casino but you’re not listening here and now.
Yes, it’s like you can only focus on my brother. I get it though. I know you’re just excited about the trip. My comment seemed unappreciated but it registered and she snapped out of it.
“What time is it in Nashville?”
They are only an hour behind us mom. It should be around 8 AM. Why?
“I’ve been sitting here waiting to call your sister Twyla. I mailed her a package and wanted to know if it arrived.”
Well that explained more. I decided not to take her uninterested comments personally. I also realized it was my brother she was irritated with, not me. He had told them he would arrive between 9 and 10 but it was now 9:10, so she considered him late.
My mother reached for her flip cell phone. I asked what time she was going to call my sister? Her response was curt and quick.
“The hell with her. I guess I’ll have to risk waking her up.”
My sister Twyla couldn’t sleep up to or past 8 o’clock if she tried. Although she’ll wish she had when she answered the phone. The unwritten rule is that you called when a package arrived, so my mother didn’t worry that her gifted parcels were in oblivion.
The heat was off James and I and onto her but she didn’t even know it yet.
“You’re up.” was the start of my mother’s conversation.
I could only hear one side of the call but her next comment was, “well, there’s not much going on here.”
I jumped on the other extension. Really mom? I thought your other daughter was here visiting?
Knowing how sensitive I am, my mother quickly acknowledged my comment:
“Oh, shut up.”
Then to Twyla:
“What do you mean several packages have arrived and you don’t know if one of them is from me?”
My sister works so hard she probably hadn’t read any of her mail from the entire week yet. Regardless, she was now required to look through the stack while my mother was on the phone. She was going to be in trouble either way. If it was there, she hadn’t reported in to the Mom tracking system. If the package wasn’t there, it would also be her fault simply because the post office had assured my mother of a Friday delivery.
Based on my mother’s mood, I was now glad the attention was not on me.
“What? I can’t hear you, Donna burnt some toast and it smells awful.”
I know noses and ears are somehow connected but I didn’t realize my carbohydrate carbon smell could impact my mother’s hearing aids.
I ignored the comment as I thought ‘Whatever’ in my head. I broke my yolk to match my heart and slopped up the bright yellow gravy, picking up the emotional pieces. I washed my dish and gathered my coat and keys.
My father came back in the room and asked why I was leaving so soon?
I just thought I’d stop in on my way to getting groceries. Twy is on the line. Have a good day with James.
“If he gets here. It’s almost 9:30.”
My morning visit was complete. We did not enjoy a meal together, the timing was off and it could have been special.