(Mother-In-Law Visit, Part 3)
Tea, huh? Fuckin’ tea — the new “bane of my life”! Where’s a Gay Tupperware Party when you need one?!
So Mom wants to go shop for tea — the “Tea du Jour” is some “Ming Ling Ding Orange Blossom” shite — but hey; “If you can’t find it in Orange County Kalifornia, where CAN you find it?” I’m thinking — well, I was going to find that out!
I loaded Mom into my modest (and reviled by her) SUV — when I say “loaded”, here’s how it works: She works her way out to the driveway w/her walker (that’s right — Peggy & I are sleeping UPSTAIRS on the Queen-sized bed for the next two weeks — me at 6’2″ and none of your fuckin’ bidness how many pounds, Peggy at 5’10” and NOBODY including MY fuckin’ bidness how many pounds) — plus 4 count ’em FOUR cats, the largest being a 24 pound (yeah, that IS your fuckin’ bidness) Maine Coon who, when stretched out, is approximately the size of a flat-screen TV, whilst (inserted for my British tea-drinking readers) Mom luxuriates in the DOWNSTAIRS bedroom on our King-sized bed, her at 4’11” and…let’s not even GO there!
So 20 minutes later, she’s outside next to my SUV, waiting for me to open the door and help her in, which I do — then I gotta break down this antique conveyance that must CERTAINLY have come from the Victorian Era, and may quite possibly be the VERY first “walker” invented, and most SURELY belongs in the Smithsonian Institute “Walkers Throughout The Ages” room (what — you’ve never SEEN that exhibit?) — so out comes my Phillips head screwdriver and 17 wrenches of various sizes, so I can break it down to where it actually FITS into the back of my SUV — then off we go to the Tea Emporium on our quest for Ming Ding Ling Orange Blossom.
We get there, I reassemble the conveyance, and in we go. Of course, she makes a beeline for one of those motorized shopping carts, which come to find, she has never used before — THIS oughtta be good!
Oh — and now *I* get to schlep the walker around the grocery store, eliciting a “Hey Pops — ya’ better get home — your soup’s getting cold!” remark from some tattoo-covered stock boy. “Yeah, I’m old — too bad I OWN everything!”
Meanwhile, Mom proceeds to FLOOR this thing, and is driving around the grocery store like fuckin’ Mario Andretti — I’m not making this up! It was something out of an old “Keystone Cops” short, with people jumping out of the way, dropping their groceries — some of them even stopped TEXTING!
She finally calms herself down, and we meet on the “Tea Aisle”; that’s right — pretty much an ENTIRE aisle devoted to tea! Now I am KNOWING that at least THIS part of the visit is gonna be E-A-S-Y; scoop up a coupla boxes of MDLOB and back to La Casa.
Ah, you know the rest — not a single box of MLDOB to be found, so Mom asks me to summon a clerk. “This ain’t gonna end well”, I’m thinking. I find a clerk about my age who can still fog a mirror, and ask him to come over to the Tea Aisle — where Mom proceeds to grille him on exactly WHY there is no MLDOB on the shelf. He quickly sizes all this up, says “Lemme go check in the back”, and hot-foots it outta there, prolly to go “burn one” out back — who can BLAME him?!
Mom finally makes a big show of “settling” for some other choice, advising me of how she really doesn’t “care much” for this Brand X choice, but will “make do” UNTIL *I* can find the MDLOB — SOME TIME IN THE NEXT 24 HOURS, that is. Maybe I can find some on my way up to the airport to retrieve “Big Red” — the lost suitcase that I gotta go fetch. “Hey Mom — is it O.K. if I just euthanize myself IMMEDIATELY?”