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Friday, April 13, 2007

A Conversation With My Mother

We haven't spoken since just before Easter. I was going to call her yesterday and then the phone rang at work and it was her. Nooj picked it up as I was over at her desk with her. They had a nice little chat, how's Eshaan and so on. Nooj told her that I'd been to visit with him the night before, but that she'd leave me to tell her about it. Then she transferred the call back to my desk.

This is how it went (as verbatim as I can recall) :

Me: "Hello Mum, how are you doing? I was going to call you later."

Mum: "Oh, ok, just getting the cats ready to take to the vet for their shots."

Me: "Is someone helping you?"

Mum: "Yes, Sheridan is going to drive me there and help with the lifting."

Me: "That's good, she's such a great friend."

Mum: "Anyway I'm calling because my wine hasn't arrived. Are you sure you ordered it?"

(To avoid my mother having to carry heavy bottles of wine - she consumes about a bottle a day - I help by ordering it online, using her credit card, and have it delivered to her door. When she is running low, she calls me and I place another order for a couple of cases.)

Me: "Yes, I ordered it the day you called me. And I got a confirmation back from them."

Mum: "Well it's still not here and I know it's going to arrive this morning while I'm out."

Me: "Let me just go into the Waitrose account and I'll check the order status."

Tap tap tap as I login and go to the account.

Mum: "It's going to arrive and I won't be here to accept it."

Me: "Just give me a second, I'm logging into the account."

Mum: "Are you sure you didn't forget."

Me: As I continue doing the old logging in bit and going to the order page, etc. "Yes I'm sure."

Me: "Yes there it is, ordered on the 4th, the day we spoke. There's a note saying it takes five working days so that would be (counting the days on my calendar) Thursday then Tuesday Wednesday....."

Mum (interrupting) : "It's going to get here while I'm out today and they'll not be able to deliver it."

Me (continuing) : "Thursday Friday. I'd say Friday or Saturday at the latest."

Mum: "What?"

Me: "Mum, there was Easter in between and it says working days."

Mum: "I'm going to miss the delivery this morning when it comes."

Me: "It's Thursday today, I'd say it will arrive tomorrow according to their delivery note."

Mum: "Well I've been out of wine since yesterday."

Me: "Well next time order the bloody stuff yourself or get one of your other children to help you." (ok ok I only thought that, I didn't say it)

Me: "I'm sorry about that but it's beyond my control. I guess it's a good lesson for us for the next order around a holiday period."

Mum: "Well I have to go now to get the cats to the vet."

Me: "Ok. Well it was nice to hear from you. Take care."

Mum: "Bye."

Nooj: "Don't let her get to you Fiona."

Me: "I know Nooj, but fuck's sake she didn't even ask me about my evening with Eshaan."

Nooj: "Next time tell her to get Callum or Rhona to do it. Tell her you're sick and tired of being the only one who helps her." (I swear that woman reads my mind!)

Me: "I don't think she trusts them with her credit card information."

I suppose I should feel honoured in some way that she trusts me enough to have given me her credit card information. Aren't I the lucky one!

Update 16 April. Email from Rhona:

"Spoke to mum a couple of days ago...........asked if she'd spoken to you..........
said she had, about the wine delivery !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
unbelievable fion............then asked about callum, says he phones once a week and how wonderful he is but doesn't say much!!!........puke!!!!!"
I read that and big, hot, salty tears spilled from my eyes. Why does it bother me so much?


Fusion said...

Oh my Fiona, that sounds like some of the conversations I have with my mom these days.


It's hard isn't it?
We just have to do the best we can, I guess. But I'm still waiting to see what I may have to do after I get back from Australia, if she hasn't taken care of her finances.

I think Kimba and I might just run away somewhere together!

mist1 said...

I am going to move. There's a law here prohibiting the delivery of wine. I am outraged.

Anonymous said...

I'm a hard ass, I wouldn't order wine for my mum either. Is your mum an alcoholic as well?

The second half of my story that I left as a comment for you is that my son's father is an alcoholic. He made my life hell until one day I realized he wasn't the problem, I was the problem. If I didn't like being with him, putting up with his lies and his abuse, I could leave. So I did.

Love is not enough to make people stop drinking. If it was, there wouldn't be very many alcoholics in the world.

Your sister has to want to stop drinking before she will. It's tough, I know. My son's father is still a raging alcoholic now, 22 years later. I'm just thankful I didn't spend the last 22 years with him, watching him slowly kill himself.

Take care of yourself first, otherwise there's nothing left to give to others. I sound harsh and I don't mean to, sorry.

anna said...

Seriously, you're a saint.

kimba said...

conversation with my mum:

Have you saved any money?
Have you lost any weight?
Have you got a boyfriend?

Mothers hey? *frown*

Anonymous said...

*sigh* I'm sorry Fiona.

You really are a saint!



Princess of the Universe said...

I'm new to your blog, but just wanted to let you know that you strike me as a phenomenally amazing person!

It sounds like you have a lot of challenges in your life, and you seem to deal with them with an incredible amount of grace and humility!

Take care!

Unspoken Drama said...

*hugs* Yeah I think we may very well have the same mom. Sounds exactly like my conversations with my mom. :sigh:

Matt Kohai said...

It's interesting how the parents raise the kids, who later end up raising the parents. My mom doesn't ask me to order wine for her, but she does hit me up for cash semi-regularly...

Sunny Delight said...

Sending a hug, it has all been said in the comments of others.

Sally-Sal said...

Fi, it's pretty clear that the amazing woman you are is due to your own wonderful spirit.

I'm proud of the woman you are. :)

(big hugs)

LePhare said...

It sounds so much like my mother-in-law and her eldest daughter. She does everything for the old dear, and is yet to hear the words 'Thank you'. Whereas others are praised for doing nothing.

Fiona said...

Fusion - it is hard. She needs some things from people around her. Walk away from yours and just enjoy the break, goodness knows you need it and you deserve it !!!!

Mist - not just wine, spirits too ;)

Deb - it's one of the few things I can do to help out, one thing less for the neighbours to help her with. They do so much for her. I don't know that I'd say full-fledged alcoholic, but she's alcohol-dependent that's for sure. Drinks mid-day then again in the evening. And like my sister, finds it hard to stop. You don't sound harsh Deb. If my mum wasn't ill, I'd not do this for her, I wouldn't.

Anna and Ob - good lord...no!! A saint I'm not!!!!

Kimba - I hear ya. When my last boyfriend passed away, my mother's only comment when I told her was...you don't have much luck with men do you?

Princess - thank you. We don't get to choose an awful lot of what life throws at us. And I'm a lot calmer than I used to be!!

Unspoken - I never had kids, but I know I'd not have ended up repeating my mother's mothering skills. I guess that's half the battle :)

Matt - luckily that's not an issue for her thank goodness. My dad looked after her well.

Sunny - I'll always take one of your hugs :)

Sally - I'm proud of you too. I guess I'm getting to the 'I deserve some goodness now' phase. And I've found it!!! :)

Ian - that's it in a nutshell. My brother calls once a week, always to tell her he can't spare the time to visit. And that seems to hold more value to her than all I do. Oh well, I'm still smiling :)

S* said...

You have the tolerance and patience that I wish I had. I would have screamed and hung up by the second time she said she'd miss the delivery. Argh!

(Thanks for stopping by my blog!)

Fiona said...

S*, whenever I feel my tolerance level slipping, I remember that soon she won't be here with us and that she is facing her own demons (cancer). Thank you for dropping by here :)

S* said...

I'm new 'round here so I didn't know she had cancer.

I can relate, though. My mom has severe multiple sclerosis and that totally puts things into perspective.

Fiona said...

It really does push into cutting them some slack...breathing deeply and counting to 10 helps too :)

I'm so sorry to hear about your mum, that must be so tough!


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