Well, if you kept up with the comments in my last post, you know by now where I spent my weekend. I’ll try not to prattle on like I did last week, but no promises!
Thursday night, I was in Charleston, SC for a big awards banquet and ceremony. A house I designed and decorated last year was chosen to receive an award, so I had the awkward task of getting dressed up to eat dinner with people I didn’t know and try to stay awake during speech after speech after speech. And when I say I didn’t know anyone, I mean that I knew absolutely NO ONE. And I went stag, which makes it all the worse! Talk about a boring and awkward evening.
It was somewhat last minute that I went to the ceremony. The invitations indicated “Black Tie Optional.” You know how I feel about ties…so it should be no surprise that I don’t own a tux, and there was no time to rent one. So I worried I would be underdressed. And, again, I was worried for nothing. Most of the men had dressed in a suit and tie like I did. But one older gentleman pulled out ALL the stops and came gussied up in a camouflage tuxedo. Everytime he walked past one of the big floral arrangements, he disappeared. It was an uncomfortable evening, but I got through it.
And then I went for drinks. Luckily, I have an old friend in Charleston, and I met him and a few others for a few shots and cocktails that made up for the unpleasantness of the rest of the evening.
The next morning, I headed to West Virginia. I picked this weekend to go for two main reasons (not that I ever need a reason to go home). For one, I had promised to go see my 6-year old godson (the Golden Boy) play in a basketball game. He joined a church league this year, and has been very excited to make new friends and the exercise and teamwork is, of course, great for him. And, two, it was Valentine’s Day and the honey had to go back to the outlaw’s house because Clyde got a new hip and Bonnie needed someone to help her take care of him. Valentine’s Day also marked the one year anniversary of my sister’s death, and I thought my crazy mama might need a shoulder.
The basketball game Saturday morning was great–the six year olds were amazing to watch. When one team was a member short, the other team offered up one of their players to round things out. When anyone fell, the others would stop to help him or her up, even if it meant missing a pass or an open shot at the basket to do so. (at what age do we lose that sort of humanity??).
The highlight of the weekend, though, was SNOWTUBING! My dad, little brother, the Golden Boy, another friend’s son (the Social Butterfly) and husband, and myself all went to Winterplace ski resort. Luckily, there was plenty of snow on the tubing runs–it has been unseasonably warm there the past week or so, and I was worried we would be mudtubing!
The night before, I had gotten on youtube to show Golden Boy what snowtubing was. One of the clips we saw featured two bespectacled folks with heavy southern accents screaming and hollering as they rode down the mountain. Once we got to Winterplace, Golden Boy was on the lookout for “Those dorks we saw on the computer.”
It’s hard to say who had the best time–the kids or the adults, but before we knew it we had spent five hours riding down the hills. The kids were well behaved, the lines not too terribly long, and we ended the day exhausted!
The Social Butterfly talked to EVERYONE he met in line…and when he and Golden Boy passed the time in line by making “THE BIGGEST SNOWBALL!” it gave him that much more to talk about–they were offering this huge snowball for sale to anyone willing to give “ten dollars” for it. With no takers, the Social Butterfly lowered the price to one dollar, while Golden Boy sought to give it some exclusivity by raising the bar to one hundred bucks. For the first few times in line, they made a new snowball–giving their creation away as our turn to go up the line drew closer.
At some point, they decided to keep building on the same snowball. It rode up the conveyor belt that carried us to the top of the hill inside one of the tubes, somehow managed to remain intact on the ride down, and was then added to as we waited in line again. The giant snowball, nicknamed “Garfield” by the Social Butterfly, waited outside while we had lunch, and probably made 10 trips up and down the mountain.
As we headed to the car, Golden Boy and the Social Butterfly had some disagreement about just who Garfield belonged to…and were convinced that it would ride home with us and continue it’s “life” in someone’s freezer. We were halfway to the car when I made them see that Garfield would be better off spending the rest of the winter on the slopes, where he might melt away come spring, run off into the creek, and continue the circle of life.
Only, the only accessible snow at that point was up a very steep embankment. My dad volunteered to take Garfield up the slope and tuck him under the fence at the end of the ski slope…but Social Butterfly insisted on going along to be the one who actually returned Garfield to the snow. After much slipping and sliding, which made a muddy mess of both of them, the giant snowball was reunited with the other snowflakes.
On Sunday, I had brunch with another old friend (the one who correctly “guessed” where I was in the last post–that cheater!), who had been telling me about a place a half hour or so from our hometown called the Sedona Grille. Now, this particular part of WV is not known for it’s fine dining (not that any part of WV is)–and the place is in the middle of nowhere, in an unassuming building with a gravel parking lot. But, I had the most wonderful cucumber salad and sashimi tuna over noodles with peanut sauce. I was amazed that such good food could be found in such an unlikely place. If you’re ever skiing or whitewater rafting in southern WV, look that place up!
By now you’re probably thinking “Damn he is long winded.” And I am. But you might also be thinking, “didn’t he say he was going up for his mom? I am not seeing the expected story of her craziness here!”
Well, here’s why:
11 A.M. Friday, as I’m driving up, and after I’ve tried to call mom a half dozen times earlier in the week, she calls:
Mom: “Grandma said you’re coming home!”
Me: “I am!”
Mom: “Well, I don’t need you to. I’m fine.”
Me: “I’m coming anyway. I’m taking the boys snowtubing tomorrow.”
Mom: “Ok, well give me a call and let me know you made it.”
Me: “Well, want me to stop by when I get to town? We can go have dinner if you want.”
Mom: “Well, Doug and I were thinking we might go for a drive.” Well alrighty then, I thought, a drive that lasts all day? (Doug is her ex-husband turned sometime live in boyfriend whose previous marriage ended when he shot his wife. He and mom are on-again, off-again, but are apparently on again after he sold his prescriptions to pay her bills)
Saturday 9:30 AM
Mom: “Hey what you doin?”
Me: “Watching Golden Boy’s basketball game.”
Mom: “Whatcha doing later on?”
Me: “Going snowtubing, remember?”
Mom: “Oh that’s right, well I guess I’ll see ya in the morning.”
Me: “I’ll be done by dinnertime. Want to get dinner with me or I can bring something over?”
Mom: “Well, if I’m not asleep.”
Me: “Who goes to bed at 6 o clock?”
Mom: “I’m tard!” (not TIRED, tard) “Well call me when you’re done.”
So I did call, before 7 PM. I got the voice mail. I called the cell phone, and it went straight to voice mail, so it was obviously turned off. I left a message on both.
Sunday morning, before 8 AM, mom calls and leaves a message. “Hi! Just wanted to call and see what your plan for the day is. Call me back.” Now, anyone who knows me knows that I do not get up before 10 on weekends. This has been the case as long as I have drawn breath, and will always remain the case. So, if you call me before 10, you know you will not get me.
When I woke up, about 10:15, I called her back.
After the usual hello and how are ya’s:
Mom: “I guess I won’t get to see you this time you’re in.”
Me: “Why not?”
Mom: “Well, when I didn’t hear from you, we just headed on down to Doug’s mom and dad’s house to watch the race.” I don’t know what “race” she was talking about, but I’m fairly certain it didn’t start so early in the morning. (I should interject here that Doug’s mom and dad apparently can’t stand my mom. Mom has told me that when they go to their house for dinner, Doug’s mom will serve everyone else the meat or chicken or whatever, but only give my mom a plate with the vegetables and bread.)
Me: “Well, if that’s your choice…”
Mom: “You’re just too hard to get ahold of!” I was livid! She had preferred on Friday night to ride around aimlessly in a beat up Pontiac, ignored my calls altogether on Saturday evening, and then called on Sunday when she knew she wouldn’t be able to get me on the phone, and then had the nerve to imply it was MY FAULT we hadn’t seen each other??
I’ve only got one thing to say to that: