Wednesday, September 19, 2012

What Did I Tell You?

If you have been a loyal reader of this blog, you will know that one of my mother's enduring obsessions is about her bed. In the almost 4 years she lived with us, we moved her bed, accompanied by her extremely heavy, extremely ugly, teak headboard, in and out of her room at least 4 times.

I should say, Anthony moved it.

She gave her bed to my daughter, then took it back.

She dreamt about it (often involving men entering her room in the middle of the night, tee hee), talked endlessly about it, and caused me unending grief, moving it around, getting appropriate pillows for it, and fending off her monthly attacks about how it needed fixing of this or that.

We moved said bed to her new abode in the the retirement residence. She's been sleeping on it there, for about a month now, on the same pillows she had been sleeping on here, for the past few years.

I should have known it was too good to last.

A couple of days ago, the phone started ringing. I didn't answer it. It was my mother.

She called over and over, about 20 times in a row, refusing to leave a message. Finally, in what must have amounted to a fit of frustration, she left a whispered, desperate-sounding message.

"Delia, I need my bed. I need my bed, you HAVE to bring it here, with my headboard. And I need my pillows. I had them just last night, but now they're gone" (I guess she figured that same pesky man had slipped into her room in the middle of the night and stole them).

"You may have to hire moving men, but go ahead and do it, I have to have my bed. And the pillows too. I think Alexander is currently sleeping on my pillows."

Oh, I see. I guess my SON crept into her room and took them!

Can it get any kookier?

Well, yes, it can.

Last night, Anthony and I moved more of her clap-trap from our house to the retirement residence. I took two feather pillows for her...not the ones she'd been sleeping on for the past four years (she already had those), but a couple of old ones I wasn't using any more.

She accepted them, but reluctantly. She insisted Alexander was sleeping on her old pillows. This despite my repeated assertions that Alexander is deathly allergic to feathers and has never slept on a down pillow.

Then, the really kooky stuff came out.

In the same breath that she accused my son of having the pillows, she blithely told us she'd been "shopping" about 3 weeks ago, and had bought two new pillows. She'd had them on her bed, until suddenly, POOF, they disappeared. So, which was it, I wondered? Did she want the old pillows she thought she'd been sleeping on for the last 4 years, the ones my son apparently had stolen to sleep upon? Or did she want the new pillows she'd mysteriously purchased without a word to me, and that had now apparently also disappeared.

I looked at the two pillows on the bed, the ones she'd had all along, her pillows. Who could dream two such innocent objects could cause such a  kerfuffle?

My jaw was swinging in the wind, I'm sure, I was so surprised by her pronouncement.

Shopping? My mother doesn't shop anymore. She has no way of getting anywhere, would instantly get lost, and besides, she's hardly capable of walking to the end of the hall in her new abode, never mind through a mall or department store, without almost crashing to the ground.

I asked her who she'd gone shopping with.

"I can't remember."

I asked how she got there, and where she went to buy the pillows.

"I can't remember." Her voice was getting shrill. She doesn't like being crossed, even in the mildest of manners.

I asked how she paid. Nothing had shown up on her credit statement (other than the usual myriad of drug charges and hair appointments).

"Oh, I DON'T remember! she cried.

"But I DO remember reaching out and taking two pillows..." Her voice trailed off. "I bought new pillows, I'm certain of it." You can't imagine the smug look on her face as she insisted upon this "fact."

Apparently, this fragment of a dream was what convinced her she'd gone shopping.

For pillows, of all things.

But as I've said, Sally's most enduring obsession is with her bed, and all its accoutrements.

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