- Screaming at your kids in the house with the windows open and your neighbors hear everything.
- Hiding somewhere in your house because you don’t want to answer the door to a family member.
- Getting ready to write out a check and there are no more checks in your checkbook.
- Handing your credit card to the cashier and she tells you that your card has been declined.
- Pushing a shopping cart that needs a front end alignment and has one wheel that doesn’t turn.
When you feel down and out, remember it’s only a temporary situation. Everything passes in time, even family members.
There are many things in life that we can pass off and delegate to someone else, but one thing for sure that you can never get out of doing is making “the call” to your mother.
I grew up in a family that revolved its life around a phone call. From as far back as I could remember it was part of my mother’s daily morning ritual to talk on the phone with my aunt and grandmother for two hours, without fail. There wasn’t a day that went by in my mother’s life where she didn’t call her mother. Making the call was a way of life. Any move my mother made she had to make the call to tell my grandmother what she was doing, and if she didn’t… there was hell to pay.
On the days when my mother didn’t feel like calling her to tell her what she was doing, she tried to pass off the call to me. Lots of times I did it, but then there were the times I refused. That’s when an argument would start and I would end up getting punished all because I wouldn’t make the frickin call.
Making the call caused enough problems, but if you didn’t call that caused a war. Many days, my mother had to lie to my grandmother and not tell her where she was going because she didn’t want to call her and ask her to go. So I had to swear to God on everyone’s grave, my mother’s eyes, my eyes, and both of our lives that I wouldn’t tell my grandmother the truth.
The call was something that I always referred to as, “more trouble than it was worth,” because some how, some way, you were damned if you do and damned if you don’t. The double edge sword: that’s what the call represents. And here’s how it all goes down. (FYI: timing is the key).
- The Morning call: you say, “Oh God, let me just call now to get it over with.” This makes mommy so happy because you made her “first” in your life and she says, “Oh honey you have a great day. I love you!” Yup- the early bird gets the worm. Making the morning call puts a spring in your step and you can enjoy your day guilt free.
- The Afternoon call: Feeling the weight of the guilt because you didn’t make the morning call you say, “Oh God, now I gotta explain why I didn’t call her this morning and she’s gonna give me the third degree.” This is the time of the day where you have to answer at least twenty five questions like, “Why didn’t you call me this morning? Where the hell were you? I have been worried sick. Don’t ever do that to me again! What kind of a daughter are you, don’t you care about your mother?” On and on and on she goes……where ever she stops, nobody knows!
- The Night call: By this time you are sick to your stomach and feel like you are carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. You can’t function and you are delusional. You say, “Fuck me, I am so screwed right now. She is sooo gonna kill me for not calling her. I wish I were dead.” So you pray that Jesus will somehow take your life so you don’t have to deal with the bullshit call. Yup- suicide thoughts over a damn phone call! How sad is this. So after about forty five minutes of self inflicted torture and Jesus not honoring your request, you crawl to the phone to make the call. You dial, the phone rings, she answers, and you say, “Hi mom, I can explain why……” Before you can get the words out, she gives you her ultimate payback; she hangs up the phone on you! Now at this point you will suffer from the psychological warfare that she will telepathically send to you for the next three days.
Bottom line, you are judged by when you call, how many times you call, and you will always, without fail, be compared to someone who gives your mother more calling time. Here’s the deal; you can run but you can’t hide from the call. This is the one cord that she could wrap around your neck from a distance and you would feel its effects. Ever wonder why, out of nowhere, you can start having a coughing fit with no idea of what may have brought it on? Instead of reaching for a glass of water or a cough drop, try grabbing the phone and start dialing your mother’s number. I guarantee you’ll stop coughing immediately.
Yup- that damn phone cord and the call…and to think we thought cutting the umbilical from our mother was bad.
- While getting undressed for the yearly gynecologist exam, you realize you forgot to shave your legs.
- Picking up your kid from school and you realize that you’re still wearing your slippers.
- Looking at yourself in the bathroom mirror at work and noticing that you only put mascara on one eye.
- While on an important call, your toddler yells in the background, “I’m all done Mommy, can you wipe me?”
- Your kid telling you at 8 o’clock at night that their science project is due tomorrow.
“I used to think that drinking was bad, so I stopped thinking.”
Then I poured myself a glass of wine and said, “Cheers, here’s to thinking more clearly!”