Monday, September 13, 2010

And If Mama Ain't Happy.....

Our mother is moving. Again.

To a place she's already lived.


After she sold the house in which I spent my teenage years and I swore I would never forgive her (it wasn't that great of a house, but it was the first one I remember us having), she and my brother sort of built a house together, and Mom had a basement apartment.

That must be like having a troll living under your bridge. Only trolls are sometimes nice. Maybe.

Then brother and sister-in-law had all they could take, and Katydid bought the upstairs part. I'm guessing she thought she could stand anything in the basement as long as she had a house. I'm also guessing that turned out not to be true.

I don't remember the order, but at some point my niece bought that house, but I think the troll Mom had already moved to Savannah at that point. She bought a 4-bedroom house a couple streets over from her sister. I think she fully expected one of her children to come visit her every weekend.

But Katydid had a restaurant (or two), I was working on my doctorate, brother and his wife had a baby (four months after his GRANDSON was born, mind you), and Nurse Jane had a teenager and a husband and a life. And then SHE decided to go back to school. In other words, we didn't work out a rotating schedule, and none of us had a weekend out of every month to drive four hours to hear Mom complain because one of the OTHER ones hadn't come to visit.

Mom got an idea that she wanted to move to a fairly new retirement home back up here, in the same town where we all grew up and went to school. She was like a dog with a bone about moving into that place. As in she called them EVERY DAY to see if anyone had died moved out. It is a very expensive retirement home, and Mom has always seemed much younger than her years. In the words of Sweet Girl, she "didn't belong there with all those old people." All meals are provided (even if it DOES take two hours to serve "dinner," which is the meal in the MIDDLE of the day, not to be confused with "lunch," which is what I typically have), along with light housekeeping and a plethora of old-folks activities.

Mom hates activities.

But she was nothing if not determined. Eventually someone DID die move out, and Mom had the place she had been haranguing them about for a year. She gave away most of the possessions in her 4-bedroom house (I became the proud recipient of a whole set of Pampered Chef cookware, but please don't tell her I put it in the dishwasher because I'm still lazy after all these years) and moved into the retirement home with great anticipation and excitement.

Which lasted about six months. She hated the activities, she hated the structure of the meals, and I'm pretty sure she hated all the people. Troll, remember? She was close enough, however, to drop into my classroom unannounced in the middle of any given day and ask things like, "Don't you have any white students?" and "Why don't they call you 'Doctor'?"

So she bought a double-wide and moved it to my brother's house out in the MIDDLE OF FREAKIN' NOWHERE. Instead of being thirty minutes from me, she was now an hour away, and guess what? I still didn't have every weekend to go see her.

Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't mind going to visit if we could just sit there and talk for a while and then go home. Oh no. If you go to visit Mom, you have to GO somewhere. Out to eat at the Mexican restaurant. To Wal-Mart. Both of which are an ADDITIONAL thirty minutes from her house, because she lives in the MIDDLE OF FREAKIN' NOWHERE.

Needless to say, she got lonely there, because my brother works out of town during the week, and guess what? He didn't want to spend every weekend at home answering Mom's every beck and call. She got to spend a lot of time with the grandchildren, one of whom she can't stand and makes no bones about it, probably because he is my sister-in-law's son from a previous marriage. If they ain't blood, she's got no use for them. Hell, she's got no use for a lot of the BLOOD children in the family. But I digress.

After living there for a few years (I have lost track of her moves, so I can't remember how long she was there), she decided she wanted to move back to...... You got it, the retirement home that she hated. We tried to remind her that she hated it.

Mom: I didn't hate it.

Us: Then why did you move out?

Mom: Because it was too expensive.

Us: Has it gotten cheaper?

Mom: No, in fact they've gone up.


But because Mom rarely listens to reason OR her children, she became determined to move back to the retirement home a little over a year ago. She badgered the managers there on a daily basis to see if anyone had died moved out. Only this time they had to die move out of an apartment with the proper floor plan on the first floor, because she refuses to wait on elevators that are crowded with old people and their walkers and scooters. Eventually she got her wish and moved back to the retirement home, determined never to go anywhere again. She gave away her possessions again (this time I got a baker's rack) and soon fell right back into the old-people drama of sitting at the correct table (they alternate which end of the room gets served first) and avoiding the nosy people who ask too many questions.

Guess what?

She hated it again.

So next week she's moving back to the double wide in the MIDDLE OF FREAKIN' NOWHERE. She will drive my brother and his wife crazy, and they won't pay her nearly enough attention. I still won't go to see her every weekend, Nurse Jane is in graduate school now, and most of the burden of putting up with Mom will fall to Katydid. (Sorry, Katydid!)

I know I sound like a horrible daughter, and I probably am. But let me give you just one example of why I don't feel as guilty as I probably should.

Mom's birthday is this Wednesday. Katydid spent part of this past weekend with her, but she and I have a bike ride next Saturday, so we can't be with her then. When Mom called me last week, I asked if Hubby and I could come take her out to dinner ON her birthday, since we are the nearest geographically and she wouldn't see anyone else on her actual birthday.

No, she said, she would take a rain check.

Guess why?

Wednesday is prayer meeting night.

At the retirement home.

That place she hates and can't wait to move out of.

1 comment:

Evil Pixie said...

Hahahaha! OMG!!! She sounds like my grandmum!