Thoughts from the ammo line

Ammo Grrrll reflects on MOTHER’S DAY 2022 – A FOLLOWUP. A Comedy of Errors. She writes:

What IS it about a holiday meant to thank and honor Mothers – including me – that makes it go off the rails?

Mother’s Day 2020 I awoke and stumbled in the dark out to the Keurig and almost landed on my keister – which, undoubtedly would have been to humorous but very ill effect. I slipped and slid and eventually called upon my not-terrific Geezer-American sense of balance to catch myself. Right before hitting either the rock-hard Mexican tile floor or the granite center island. I once dropped an empty wine glass on that tile and it didn’t break, didn’t shatter — it exploded! How much worse would it be for old hips and wrists? Yikes!

As readers with extraordinary memories or those who bought the book of column compilations from that year recall, what had happened was that my refrigerator had died and all the freezer stuff – so much for prepping for the “two weeks to flatten the curve” – had defrosted and covered the floor with water and goo.

It took me many garbage bags and over five hours of my Special Day to clean up the mess and salvage what I could in our beverage fridge in the laundry room and even the mini-fridge in the casita. Then I had to cook up a whole lot of thawed meat for future dishes. It was also interesting to order a new fridge and try to get it delivered during the Wuhan Weirdness when we were all terrified of each other. Good times, good times.

So I thought, “Whew! Probably no other Mother’s Day will be as bad.” And God said, “Hold my wine that my Son just made out of water…”

Mother’s Day 2022 began sweetly enough: a VERY elaborate and romantic card from the famous novelist Max Cossack. “Virtual” flowers from TonyP173 in Florida (more on this in coming weeks). Lovely wishes via the Comment Section from hundreds of commenters, or more accurately, dozens of commenters commenting repeatedly. Emails from three lady friends. And texts from my brother, my nephew, a separate one from his lovely wife, and one from my housekeeper’s 16 year-old son. Sweet wishes texted from my favorite waitress and my favorite grocery store cashier.

The highlight, of course, was a phone call from our son, whom we haven’t seen in almost a year. We had a nice chat about the Minnesota Twins, his stepson’s activities, and the fact that their house in St. Paul is on a deer path that leaves their yard, as he put it, “full of deer morning and night at a squirrel level.” Coming home after dark recently, he nearly hit a buck in his driveway. You know that “deer in headlights” look? Well, he had it. Just froze there. And the deer was pretty freaked out too. Hoho.

Our son is ever alert to impending “signs and omens” of galloping decrepitude in his parents. When he asked me how my day was going and I mentioned the above greetings, his first question upon hearing I had texts from store clerks and waitresses was “Mom, how did they get your number? Do you just randomly hand it out?”

“Well, we are friends, at least at the level of exchanging phone numbers. I mean it’s not like I met them on TINDR or anything. I have had contact with them almost every week for over a decade. You remember Kayla from the Arroyo restaurant. The really attractive blonde I tried to fix you up with because she said she wanted a lot of children?”

“I can’t possibly remember EVERY waitress from Minnesota to Israel to Arizona that you tried to fix me up with. So are you one of those annoying old ladies who chat up the cashier while ten people are waiting in line?”

“Of course not. Two, maybe three people behind me, tops. Have a little faith, son.”

We continued pleasantly enough, he thanked me for giving him life, and when I hung up I was feeling a little lonely for my own mother and thinking of what I could do to get out of my funk. “I know,” I cried, inwardly, “I’ll have a long, hot bath.” Regular readers may also recall a column in which I took the daring political stance of preferring baths to showers – to considerable ridicule.

I have a somewhat short but very deep and comfy tub that fits me perfectly. Joe was both composing and practicing music in his office with the door shut and I did not feel it necessary to inform him of my whereabouts. I only have 3 places where he can find me: the kitchen, where, if he can’t find me there in a large open space, our son would have the right to be concerned.

Another place is my office where the magic that is this column happens. LOL. And the third place is the recliner in the Great Room where I listen to Amazon Music and do Sudoku. If I’m not in one of those three places, I am either in the tub or not home.

I set my music (Raul Malo and the Mavericks) loud enough to hear in the bathroom. I get settled into the tub and almost immediately hear the doorbell ring several times. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. Like that. Holy cow! I know better than to even try to alert Joe. When he is practicing his keyboard there’s not a chance in [heck] that he will hear anything, especially over my music. I figure it’s probably Amazon delivery. But, no! The next thing I hear is the front door OPENING.

Lawdy! I am immersed in a tub, unclothed of course, with no weapon within reach, the door to the master suite wide open, and a husband in headphones playing lively music.

A Mother’s Day home invasion? Wait, that sounds like my next door neighbor’s voice calling, “Anybody home?” No response from Joe, of course. Even if he had heard it over my music, he would assume that I would deal with the doorbell. That would fall under the heading of “Things that are inconvenient, concentration-breaking or moist” all of which are my bailiwick.

And then – weirdly – some children’s voices! Good heavens, are babysitters so expensive now that home invaders have to bring the kids along?

I yell, “I’m in the tub. Who is it? Who is it?” And then my housekeeper comes just as far as the bedroom door and peers discreetly around the corner while I hunkered down in the tub. “I brought you a plant and some Mother’s Day Ice Cream from the special Mexican ice cream place in my neighborhood. I have my grandkids with me. They are all dressed up and wanted to wish you Happy Mother’s Day. And Luiscito (age 5) wants to give you a kiss.”

I tell her that if she will close the door so I can get out, I will get dressed and come out, but she says her son has the car running. They were just planning to stay a minute.

“Just out of curiosity, how did you get in, hon?”

She cleans for the Paranoid Texan next door as well as for me and, when I didn’t answer her text, she assumed we were gone and asked him to let her in with his key to put the ice cream in the freezer. He is such a nice accommodating guy that he has a key to almost every house in the neighborhood.

However, Texas gentleman that he is, he is mortified that he has interrupted me in the bath even though he never came within 100 feet of the master suite and has fled in embarrassment, possibly never to leave his home again. My housekeeper and young ’uns flee too. My calming bath experience is over, my pulse is racing, and the PT immediately begins texting abject fall-on-his-sword apologies. I try to reassure him that it was humorous, not upsetting to me, but he was having none of it. He felt terrible. I suggest that I just reserve the right 30 years from now to claim I had been harassed and demand money at that time. Since we will both be long dead by then, he accepts those terms.

Joe continues playing, blissfully unaware of any disturbance in his peaceful Universe.

I realize that, even though he is a big strong guy and an excellent shot, IF Joe is either playing music or writing, there’s not a chance in [heck] that he will hear or respond to anything outside of his head. Laser-like focus is definitely one of his strong suits. It reminds me of the wonderful meme of the “watchdogs” who sleep peacefully through a stranger entering, but come to vigorous life at the sound of a cheese wrapper being opened. This realization of my apparent vulnerability is a sobering thought. Do I have to carry IN the house?

When he finishes his practice session hours later, having missed the whole episode, he strolls into the living room, sees the plant and asks, “Have we had that for a long time?”

Just another day in Paradise. Just another Mother’s Day!

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