Lawd have mercy, children, I need to wash down a big ole nerve pill with a glass of vodka this morning. Bear with me as I weave through the details as best I can so you can suss out what exactly is going on. (Extra points if you can actually do that, I haven’t been able to.)
A little background. My crazy mama has, save for the few days she spent in the Loony Bin a few weeks back, been shacking up with Kenny (the uncle of the last gentleman she dated, mind you) since about Thanksgiving. Now, as mama’s men go, Kenny seems a prize–he actually has a job, his own home, and a working automobile. How exactly things progressed from something resembling a date to mama basically living there the past two months is beyond me, but I’ve gotten the impression that whenever a discussion of her heading back to her own house for a spell comes up, Mama mysteriously falls ill and must stay on at Kenny’s because Lawd forbid she sit alone with a cold, a stubbed toe, or not have someone to wait on her if her ears start ringing. But that’s all conjecture on my part, and it may be that Kenny’s idea of true love is a woman who keeps the paramedics on speed dial and has a room at the psych ward decorated to her taste. There’s a lid for every pot, isn’t there?
Mama has not called me since I had a little chat with her therapist a few weeks ago. Until this past weekend that is. On Sunday, she called, with some “reminder” about how she, my sister, myself, and one of my oldest friends had once “Lit a Candle in the Circle of Friendship” (I have no recollection of this, and I suspect it’s something she saw on a Lifetime movie once).
“I need your help!” she said. This is her common greeting, in as much as most people might say “How are ya?” It goes without saying that if the phone rings and she is on the other end, some sort of help is needed. On this occasion, she had decided it was time to leave Kenny’s and go back home. When I asked if they’d had some sort of falling out, all I got was some fragments about how she had asked him to make her a doctor’s appointment. In case you haven’t gathered already, Mom’s life somewhat revolves around her doctor’s visits. Between the psychologist, psychiatrist, general practitioner, gynecologist, rheumatoligist, and neurologist, Mama keeps a full schedule of appointments at the best doctors that government entitlement programs can pay for. If there is any sort of health scare on TV, she has it before Oprah can even do a special. Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Fibromyalgia, Osteoporosis, Restless Legs, Arthritis, Pre-Menstrual Dysphoria, Degenerative Discs, Erectile Dysfunction–if there’s a commercial on TV, she has it. The truth is, and I truly believe this, she has Munchausen’s Syndrome. (Read all about that HERE)
She went on to complain about her cell phone plan and how it didn’t have enough minutes. (Which she pays NOTHING for thanks to some hairbrained government program). But the meat of her call was that she had two flat tires and needed help.
“Why are they flat?”
“I dont know”
“Will they hold air?”
“How can I tell?”
“Put air in them?”
“Um, well yeah. Or get someone to do it for you.” I may as well have told her to chop down a rubber tree and fashion two new tires herself. The smallest most mundane tasks must be HIGH DRAMA and cause for the input and “help” of every friend and family member, after all.
There was some more chit-chat and she asked when I planned to come up for a visit next. I told her I’d likely come sometime next month.
“Can I come back with ya?”
Now…I have made it clear 100 times that she is welcome to come for a visit anytime. But I will not make it my responsibility to get her here or home. The notion that I wouldn’t want to drive 600 miles one weekend only to turn around and do it again a week later is lost on her.
“Well, if you get me there, I can find somebody to get me back.”
“Find that someone and we will talk about it.”
Now, here’s where things get swirly. Apparently, the next morning she called my grandmother (the sweetest 84 year old you could ever hope to meet) and moaned that she “didn’t want to go back” to her own house, that she “needed out of there” and that “no one cared or will help her”. I’m not sure what she wants here, for someone to take her in? Ain’t gonna happen! And I believe mama realized it wasn’t gonna happen, so when Kenny took her home she “fell” in one of the bedrooms (imagine that!) and had to be carried off in an ambulance. Further, in her absence, someone had broken into the house and “made off with all her joo-ree!”
And, that, my friends, is the real tip off. The imaginary thief! I can think of at least four times when “thieves” have come into mom’s house and made off with her jewelry (and, usually, her medication). One of her ex-husbands twice stole her joo-ree, last year “home invaders” knocked her to the ground and made off with more jewels and all of her medication, and now once again, mama finds herself whisked off to the hospital with vague injuries, leaving behind an imaginary crime scene, where greedy ne’er-do-wells have stuffed their pockets with her jewels. She never even had more than 5 pieces of jewelry that were worth anything! These stolen jewels may sound plausible to whatever man wasn’t around for the last “heist” but those of us who know her realize that she ran outta jewels to be stolen a lonnnnnng time ago!
My patience with her has almost worn completely through. I can’t decide if I dread or look forward to the call I’m sure to get in the next few days.