Chaos Attraction

The Dead Cat and The Oprah Bra

2005-08-15, 2:56 p.m.

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So, the weekend.

I spent Saturday doing frit painting, which was really cool. Didn't go clubbing though, as I was already tired by that point and knowing I'd have to get up earlyish Sunday morning to catch the train wasn't going to help that.

This time I caught the right train leaving, but didn't get the earlier train coming back. Next weekend I give up and will just buy the later ticket, 'cause Mom is NOT going to drop me off at the station by 4:45 p.m. even if I get into town earlier. Next time I'm also not bringing my gym clothes with me, because by the time I get home around 7ish I'm too tired to hike across town and work out. Bleah, but there it is.

She's surprisingly perky these days, and has gone so far as to say, "You have a different woman for a mom now!" She said the other day that she is happier, but feels guilty that she is, but she can't help but enjoy going to bed before 3 a.m. (because it took that long to put Dad to bed after giving up on feeding him at 11 p.m.) and actually having it matter if she showers on the weekend or not because she can leave the house. Aww.

But I have to say, it was a little weird when Mom picked me up.

Since PITA Aunt and Uncle are in Montana being cussed out 24-7 by Grandma (literally, they won't repeat what she is saying to them, but they are leaving probably today, because she's being nothing but foul and won't let them help her in any way), my cousin Ron was supposed to be taking care of the PITA's cat Mitzi, who was probably about 22 or so and I remember chasing her incessantly as a kid. Naturally, he wasn't, so my mom was doing it.

You can guess by the past tense here what Mom found when she went over there yesterday. Poor Mitz had finally given out, as it were. Kind of sad she did it when they weren't home, but what can you do. Mom didn't have to pick her up- she called Ron, who had instructions that if this happened, to take her to the vet. I'm not sure what's with this logic, exactly.

Anyway, here's the weird thing: Mom was...oddly the whole thing. Not that she wanted Mitzi to die or anything, they were on friendly terms and Mitz was one of the few cats Mom liked. But...well, here's what she repeated to me and/or other people about six or seven times or so during the time I saw her:

(a) "She was so sweet, putting herself in the hallway so she could be found without making us go looking around!" (Or um, alternately that's where she gave out on the way to Auntie D's bed or something. Okay, I just did not know what to say to this. Seven. Times.)
(b) "She looked so cute, all curled up, with her little paws like this..." etc., etc.... "If I'd had a camera, I would have taken her picture so I could show them how peaceful she was when she went." (I'm thinking, "TAKE A PICTURE?!?! Man, I am so glad she didn't pull this shit on me when my rabbits died.") Instead I said, "Well, Ron could put her on ice..." Luckily, this idea eventually got discarded by everyone.

She even repeated this lovely story to DAD later, and then she wondered why it made him cry. I was all, "Mom, I don't think it was a great idea to mention anyone dying around him." She was all, "But it was a cat! And she looked so cute..." Good lord. Now I'm starting to worry about what she's going to be like at the funeral.

Okay, fine, so you didn't have an unpleasant experience finding a dead cat. So you got some sort of really strange comfort from it. But man...after the first time, she could have stopped sharing! Please! (Not that this works, of course. I've tried to get her to not discuss anyone's scatological functions with me for years and it's never made a dent.)

Anyway, she wanted to go shopping for the "Oprah bra" at the nearest Nordstrom's. Because The Almighty Oprah dictated that everyone should buy this bra. Only naturally, she does not know the brand name of said bra. I pointed out that she should perhaps look on for the name of it, because I've read enough stories online from bookstore workers bitching about people coming in asking for the "Oprah book" without having ANY idea what it was even called, and I figured lingerie workers would be having the same annoyed experience.

Alas, no, she could not find the name of The Oprah Bra online by the time I saw her. I said, "If you go up there and ask for the Oprah bra, I am NOT gonna stand there with you while you do it." She later rubbed it into me that the saleslady knew what The Oprah Bra was without even having to hear the brand name. Gah. Incidentally, The Oprah Bra was an ugly-ass shade of brown and did nasty flattening things to Mom's boobs. I was extremely unimpressed, despite her protestations that it was quite comfortable. Yeah, comfortable like certain ads cited in Sassy magazine back in the day- there was one I recall with a model in some wrenching position with the caption, "I'm quite comfortable. Why do you ask?" This bra had a similar effect.

After the shopping and getting lunch, we did the requisite visit to Dad. He has now had the trach put in and looks well...not happy. It also somehow took away his ability to nod his head. Isn't that lovely- a guy who could only nod or shake his head to communicate has managed to lose half of THAT too? What's next, is he gonna lose his ability to blink? (Then again, he already doesn't seem to have much eye control any more either.) I guess they didn't bother to put the feeding tube in yet- surprise, surprise- a doctor came in and said they needed to put that on the list or something. They also don't know if he's over the pneumonia or not yet, but have decided to be optimistic and take him off the antibiotics. I don't know what to make of that one.

He should at least be in the hospital through Thursday- something about five days after surgery or other. This is the first noise we've heard about when he might get out. Well, we didn't hear anything at all certain about when, really. Apparently it depends on when they can get him into the nursing home. We don't get to pick- he has to go into the Kaiser-one run in San Leandro. (Mom is extremely not happy about this, btw. Says San Leandro is slummy and not a town she wants to spend a lot of time in.) If he can get a bed sooner or later, that would change things. So we don't exactly know if he'll be in another week or not.

As usual, we couldn't do much seeing him but sit there with nothing to say. We ended up watching The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which provided lovely sound effects for the rest of the hospital. A good chunk of the visit was taken up by the nurses doing really unpleasant things to his private parts, so we sat outside a lot.

One of the nurses asked if I was Mom's sister. First time I've ever heard THAT remark before. (Mom was quite flattered, but on the other hand, thought it was a really strange idea to have a sister 27 years younger.) He thought we looked a lot alike. I've never figured out how people seem to think I look so much like my mom. I look like her everywhere BUT my face- don't most people go off the face? I can't say I get it.

After getting home, I ended up doing little more than showering, watching a little TV, and going to bed. At nine-freaking-thirty. I have to go to bed at nine-freaking-thirty if I want to get a full on 8 hours worth of sleep (not to mention being done dreaming by the time Heather's snooze alarm starts going off at 6). This annoys the crap out of me- 7:30ish is the earliest I get home all week, and I'm too tired to do anything? Grrrrrr. Not to mention that I can't go to bed that early every night, and I sure as hell would get nothing done if I did.

There's some good news(ish?) on the getting-things-done-around-the-house front. Now that Mom has had someone clean her house, she's all gung-ho to go tackle mine and start getting rid of stuff, or at least she's willing to haul all the stuff I can't drive over to the nearest give-away-stuff place. If Dad doesn't get out of the hospital next weekend, she said she could drive over to my place Friday night, spend the night, and then start cleaning up my place Saturday morning while I have class. This is not a bad idea, considering that I get home too late/am too tired to do anything about it any goddamned more/feel like having a meltdown just considering doing anything about it. I don't know if it could feasibly happen, but at this point I'm willing to give it a shot. She's not nearly as bitchy about cleaning as she was before Mauricio did her house. It's quite amazing.

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