Okay, it is now time to go over some reader mail, which I haven’t done for some time recently, mostly because there’s been such a paucity of such. I like to do this from time to time, if only because it is my (self-appointed) task to let the seven or eight of you who read this regularly to know just what sort of knuckle-dragging, gap-toothed moron has been given access to a computer in these here United States.
We start with an oldie-but-goodie. Someone named MomAgainAtXX (the 'XX' is to keep you from knowing her age, or trying to look her up) has just found this classic blog entry, and is quite disturbed by it (I can't believe people are still responding to this, but the New York Times keeps directing them here!).
She wants to know how my mother is doing, and is concerned that the woman is in danger if left alone with me, because I seem to have it out for her. To which I might reply, "Mind your own business, bitch!”, but for those who might be genuinely interested, here it goes:
The Old Warhorse is six months past her knee replacement surgery. She has lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 pounds, because I feed her properly. Her brilliant Surgeon at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases has recommended that she cease the twice-weekly physical therapy because she has made tremendous and better-than-expected progress. Mom is certainly more mobile and pain-free these days, but no less annoying.
Now that we’ve corrected the problem with a bum knee, it’s time to move onto that abrasive and annoying personality of hers. I’m seriously contemplating suing the therapist she’s been seeing for the past 25 years, because if anything, my Mother is an even bigger Lunatic than I am. She is either the most persistent OCD/Anxiety Complex/Narcissist/Clinical Depression case in the annals of medical history, or someone has just been taking the piss out of her and not caring whether these complexes ever get fixed or addressed. The truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.
And no, MomAgainAtXX, I haven’t shot her, but I should have…years ago. I would have saved myself the aggravation of last night’s -- twice weekly -- encounter:
Mother: (puffing mightily, as if having just completed a marathon, after ascending the 14 steps to enter the house. The point is that I’m supposed to feel sympathy, as if the trek was a trial upon her surgically-repaired-and-better-than-ever knee. She stands at the door, apparently trying to get my attention, sighing and making guttural noises).
Me: (Not paying her any mind, watching TV, because I KNOW WHAT’S ABOUT TO COME OUT OF HER CAKEHOLE…)
Mother: You’re not putting the garbage out?
(I'm About to throw something in her direction because the garbage collectors won’t be here for another 14 hours and this is the second time today I’ve been reminded that garbage has to go out, despite the fact that I put it out every Goddamned Sunday. She’s obsessed with garbage and appearances, as this is the only house on the block that hasn’t put it’s garbage pails out 14 hours before the truck arrives and this greatly bothers her, playing upon all her exigent neuroses:
The garbage needs to go out, but she’s not going to do it because that might require an effort. The longer it sits in the pails, the more upset she becomes, and the fact that the garbage has not been put out WILL keep her awake all night. And because we’re the only house on the block that hasn’t put its garbage out a day early, it gives the appearance that there must be something wrong with us: we’ve bucked the trend, failed to follow the herd, we’ve fucked up the neighborhood symmetry, whatever.
Just know that I hear about garbage at least four times a day, and in an imperative tone that implies Galactic Doom should it not be ready 12 hours in advance of pickup. The Earth might fall off it's axis if the recycleables are not thrown out in a clear plastic bag, like the Sanitation Regs require, or if the trash cans have crud stuck to them, as this is an embarassing example of lack of attention to appearances. Welcome to My Hell).
Again with the garbage? Get a hobby, please?
(Mother exits, Stage Right).
Here’s the kicker, MomAgainAtXX: thanks to changes in the Social Security rules, I’m stuck with this maniac for another year as she can’t support herself -- this will be the SECOND TIME my mother will be relying upon me as her source of support -- and when her disability insurance runs out this summer she won’t be eligible for Social Security, being only 66 years of age this August. Check back with me in another year to see if she’s still alive then.
And keep your tut-tutting to yourself. I don't particularly care what you think. If I were a terrible son, I would have kicked this albatross around my neck to the curb long ago. She's more trouble than she's worth.