Yep it's been a long time between posts lately. I know.
But my life is insane. Or maybe I am. I don't know.
Honestly, I truly get these moments where someone says something to me, and I sense pending craziness, but I reply reasonably, and then they say something totally nuts, and I get the "Oh like you didn't know this was coming feeling," and I attempt to remain reasonable, but by then it's all just GONE LONG GONE.
The conversation continues to escalate into kookoo-ville, and in the end, I go: "Take me now Lord."
So to update you, we went to the upscale cocktail party to celebrate my mother's friend's 90th birthday.
I should say at this point, just in case you haven't noticed by reading this blog, that my mother is a hypochondriacle (is that not a word?), martyred, Polish Princess. Caps deliberate.
And that's just her title. If you delve down into her psyche (God help you), you'll find a mess of stuff, the likes of which I can't quite describe, and I don't understand, but have wondered about mightily for many a year, you can believe.
I have no idea what made my mother the way she is. I only know she is a far thing from what I am, and that's been a deliberate process on my part.
We did the party. It was everything I expected. A lovely, spare-no-expense-fling in the hither-come regions of the best part of Kookytown; well you may imagine the feeling of entering the lushy home on the shores of the most well-appointed curb of one of the better streets in this burg, and having a hired photographer flashing her device in your face, because, EVERYTHING at this momentous event will be CHRONICLED.
Fine. They got the best-looking, youngest waiters to traipse around with the best tit-bits and wine, and the photog-flash kept going and going...and...Sally kept drinking...and drinking...and Sally's friend accosted Anthony about his job (which affects the public), but of course about a topic over which he has no control.
And Anthony was his charming best. He answered her tiresome 90-year-old accusations with wit and aplomb. She melted and told me she "approved" of my choice of husbands.
I am so pleased.
Anyway. I'm so tired of them all. My mother. Her friends. Anthony's mother. His brother. And you can add my ex-husband (the second one...no idea where the first one is) and his wifey to that list.
All these people who have never made their ways through life, but have coasted along on the skills and good-will of others, could they please just leave me alone? Please? Apparently not. They continue to manipulate, and abuse and use, and provoke and consternate us who plod along being responsible and selfless and more-or-less kind-of nice.
I'm just tired of them and don't want to interact with them anymore. But here I am and there they are and unless I move to the moon, how can I cut off all interaction with these people?
As we left the party, Sally and her dried-up old Sow of a friend (and I say that with the greatest of respect for the porcine members of my readership) agreed to meet for a visit again in the next few days, while Sow was still here in Kookytown. At Sow's daughter's well-appointed home.
Next day, it started. Sally, who was pissed like a first-year university student at the party, woke up the next day with no memory of the event. But rather than admit that fact, she started her usual scheming, which involves, inevitably, my fall into the abyss.
She awoke, descended from her boudoir into our realm, and announced grandly:
"I want to take (her friend and her friend's daughters and moi) to lunch. Delia, please arrange."
By announcing this, Sally meant that I was to do everything, except pay for the lunch. I would call everyone. Decide on a venue. Reserve said venue. Make sure everyone could get there. Provide transportation for everyone who could not get there on their own. Eat. Drive every one home.
I'd like to note at this point that Sally has never taken me out for lunch on my own. Or with my daughter. Or son or any other combination of my family at this moment in time. Or, a million years ago, with my sister, or brother, or father, or any of my friends, or any of her friends, or anyone, period. Ever.
She was only offering now, because she needed an organizer and a driver. Fuck.
I told her she'd agreed to meet her friend at her friend's daughter's home. "Oh, did I?" she countered in a mocking voice. "No, I'd like to take you all to lunch." Very final, cutting tone.
I figured I wouldn't mention that Sow's daughter would be at work during the week and the other daughter flew back to Calgary immediately after the big party. Imagine. No time to stick around and hang with Sal.)
She got on the phone with Sow and started lying.
Sally: "Yes, Sow, we just arose and Delia made a grand brunch (Anthony snorted his coffee through his nose at this lie, understandably, since I've never made brunch in my life and he makes it every second weekend for all of us.) But my mother thought it a Grand Illusion (due regards to Styx) to paint a picture of her daughter slaving in the kitchen over an imagined brunch.
Sow: "Murmle, murmle, murmle."
Sally: "And yes, we will all join again for lunch...Delia will call you."
I can't begin to describe what followed for the next 48 hours.
I told her I would not arrange the lunch. She said I would. I told her I had things to do and she hadn't consulted me. She said "So what?" I said "Well so what? So you don't get my indentured services." She kept looking away and repeating her commands. I would walk away and half an hour later, she'd start over. I tried patience and not answering, and straight-out yelling "NO!", and everything else I could think of (including burying myself under the blankets of the bed).
Then she'd forget she'd offered to do the lunch. There'd be no memory, and I mean NO MEMORY, of a lunch. But then her friend would call, and ask, "So, how about that lunch?" And it would start again.
I spoke to the friend. I told her it would be nice if they could visit, but I had no time to event-plan a lunch. We arranged that Sally would visit her at her daughter's home. Exactly as it had been planned when we left the party, but Sal had forgotten in her drunken stupor.
I told Sally, who pretended to be pleased, but the moment my back was turned she carried the phone into the basement, thinking I couldn't hear her down there. And she called her friend and cancelled their visit. Because if Sally couldn't host a lunch to rival her friend's birthday party, then there'd be no visit at all.
And on it went, for two days. Her friend called me. What's going on? she asked? How do I know, I countered? Phone calls, intrigue, lies, dates set up, dates cancelled, over and over. I thought I'd set foot onto an Alfred Hitchcock movie set. Who knew what the hell was going on, and who the hell cared anyway?
After I heard my mother whisper into the phone that she "couldn't possibly visit (her friend) because it was too much hassle for Delia," I realized just how pathetic my mother had become.
She would say anything, and blame anyone, including me, in an attempt to one-up her friend. At the age of 90, and in such a state that she can no longer manage any of her own affairs, Sally in her vanity and jealousy is still trying to out-do her friend. And because I wouldn't jump at her beck-and-call to support this illusion, well, then she'd take me down in her lies, to protect her image.
I am so tired of it all...because this has been my family and this has been my mother. For all these years.
I reflected on much of this with Anthony. But before I had told him all the details, he interjected.
"Your mother is jealous," he said. "I can see that now. She's jealous of her friend, jealous of you."
His assessment is as objective as it could be, I think.
Well, I suppose I'm not insane then. Just tired.