Monday, January 22, 2007

Linda would have picked Babs, of course

This past weekend was quite a test of the few patience and forbearance molecules I possess. Kevin and I drove to Dayton with my parents, spent Saturday night there, and then drove the Honda back home Sunday. Because I started the weekend out so angry at my mom, I think, I had a harder time than usual handling her. Even if Kevin didn't do any of those things I wrote about last time, he'd deserve a gold star for performing his boyfriendly duties so admirably this weekend. It's very possible he prevented a matricide by spotting signs of me potentially blowing a gasket and skillfully changing the subject, suggesting a walk, or offering to run an errand for my mom and asking me to go with him. Escape is definitely the way to go sometimes.

Despite all the bitching in my last entry, I do love my mom, and I don't know why she gets on my nerves so much when she engages in her incessant babble about trivial, boring topics or reads the newspaper out loud to whoever's in the room or waxes poetic about the wonders that are my sister Linda or makes snippy little comments about my dad or, or . . . As Kevin points out, she's not going to change. All those annoyances are part of my mom's makeup, and I should just learn to accept them. Getting angry at downright rudeness is understandable and justifiable, but the woman isn't going to stop humming tunelessly just because it drives me crazy, right?

Speaking of her humming, a funny thing happened on the drive to Dayton Saturday. Well, first a quick recap of this habit of hers for those who haven't heard about it: My mom can't remember the words to ANY song, but when she hears a song she likes on the radio or TV, she hums along, loudly and tunelessly, occasionally throwing in a couple of words she does know. One of my favorite stories about the brain-numbing quality of her humming happened on a long drive through Georgia when Daniel was about three. My mom was playing a tape of the soundtrack from Yentl--on endless loop, no less. So for four hours, I kept hearing something along the lines of this: "Papa, can you . . . hmmmm HMMMMMMM . . . Papa hmmmmmmmm hmmmmm . . . Did you hmmmm HMMMMMM . . . " YOU try to stay sane in that situation; I dare you.

Anyway, my mom was sitting up front with me while I drove, and she started shuffling through the tapes she had in the car. "Well, I have a tape Linda made me [because Linda is the good daughter, you know] of Sarah Vaughan and Patsy Cline. Oh! I have a Barbra Streisand tape!" I heard Kevin snort in the back seat, and I COULD NOT LOOK at him in the rear-view mirror because I knew I'd burst out laughing. I almost tripped over my tongue saying "Sarah Vaughan sounds good" as fast as I could. Disaster averted: I think I would have driven off the road in self-defense if she'd put that Streisand tape on.

However. I'd given her my brand-new People magazine to read on the drive--one I had not read yet, let me emphasize--and she summarized every damn article out loud to me. Every article. Articles I hadn't read yet. Did I mention that? Sigh.