Or, A Mother's Ultimate Revenge
OK, so I gave y'all the review of the fantabulous show at Foxwoods last Saturday night. You heard how utterly, brilliantly hysterical Jim Jefferies was, etc. (And thanks to all the friends who have given me shit about the picture. I love you, too. ;-)
So... The trip itself.
Now, regular blurkers are aware I got a little wrecked on Friday night/Saturday morning. I was catching up on the podcast, the mood was right, and I wanted some fucking tequila. So I had some tequila. And then I went to bed and overslept a wee bit, which means I was running a shade behind on Saturday.
You know where this is leading. You've been down that road with me... you know what I'm like. A madwoman. So, I run around the Somerville/Cambridge area, fueling up the car, getting coolant (and yeah, there's definitely a problem with the Blue Bomber's cooling system which means large repair bill headed my way if I want to drive to Nova Scotia in April and see Jim in PGH in May. Shit), directions, etc. Before I head out, I make sure St. Teresa's arse is in gear because she's sod-all slow and dithery, and no effin' way am I going to miss the damn show because she's dawdled and I got stuck in traffic in $%^&*()_ Connecticut like on the trip to PA.
So... Yeah. I get the missions accomplished, get my ass back to the house, showered, dressed (and was incredibly disappointed to discover that the brand new black jeans were boot cut instead of pegged. Sod that--not with brand new, custom painted Chucks. Besides, I hate boot cut--they make me look short and fatter), the Amazing Tess arrives, I manage to get makeup on, and finally out the friggin' door.
Half an hour behind schedule. NOT happy.
Get Mum loaded into the car along with her blasted walker.
Allow me to describe her walker. I wouldn't call it the Cadillac of walkers (thinking back to the time when Cadillacs were actually elegant and an automotive thing of beauty, rather than the pieces of ugly, generic, over-priced shit they are today; show me an Escalade, and ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I can show you an asshole behind the wheel of it), but it's definitely a luxury model: padded seat that flips up to reveal a storage space, mag wheels that pivot, hand brakes, sparkly paint job--definitely NOT your bog-standard hospital-issued brushed aluminum mobility aid.
It's also a pain in my fucking ass because I'm the poor sod who has to get it off the porch and somehow wrangle it into the car. Accomplishing this took moving up the driver's seat, unpacking everything that had already been packed, wrestling with the blasted contrivance, and a whole lot of swearing whilst Mum attempted to be helpful and yell suggestions and other cars swerved around me, honking, because there's still a fair bit of snow on the streets. Oh, yeah, and a high, biting, whipping wind.
Now I am running behind, am freezing, and am THOROUGHLY annoyed.
"I have to go to the bank!" announces the little old lady in the HUGE blue puffy coat in the back seat.
"Both of them!" she adds.
*slams head on the steering wheel*
So, stop at the little bank on the corner. She spends five minutes just trying to dig out her card. I get out of the car, come around, and look for it for her. In the high wind.
As I said, Tess is amazing, so she is maintaining her good humor and being cool.
A couple of minutes later, the woman who had been standing inside the ATM knocks on the window to let me know that she has had to explain to Mum how to operate the ATM because she was leaving the card in the slot.
*slams head on the steering wheel*
Ten minutes later, St. Teresa returns to the car, annoyed that the ATM won't give her what she wants. Now, she KNOWS there's a daily limit to how much you can withdraw. She KNOWS this. But she is not acknowledging this. So I now have to drive to the other bank across town. Steam is starting to come out of my ears despite the cold.
Get there--swearing at other drivers along the way--get the card from her, go through the drive thru, and she instructs, "Get me five hundred!"
At which point, I keep myself from diving over the back seat and strangling her because I can just imagine how much money she was originally planning on pissing away on the many-buttoned bandits. I get her $300, which is the limit the ATM will spit out in a given shot, and which is PLENTY to spend on a fucking slot machine. Too much, if you ask me, but then, I don't gamble on anything but myself and the occasional date (usually to my detriment on the latter).
THEN I speed across town to my Starbucks because I need coffee for the fucking road. I mean, if I don't have caffeine, we aren't going to get there safely nor will we get home safely. (Granted, I had stashed my tin of Via iced coffee packets and a quart of half-and-half in the back seat, but better to have it ready-made with an extra shot or three of espresso for safety.) Of course, I have to get Herself a cup of tea.
Now, I know how to make my mother's tea. Stas, lovely fella that he is, knows exactly how to prep her tea from the barista side of the counter. I grab a protein pack, Mallorca sweet bread for her, water for Tess, St. Teresa's tea, and two trenta's for me. Because that's how I fuckin' roll, dammit.
Show off my new custom kicks and the fabulously vulgar yet elegant blouse (I'm going to have to replace some of the crystals on the hand if I want that to be my stage shirt), and get a pleased crack from Stas about getting flashed (I was mortally embarrassed, but he was teasing. I mean, I love my tits, but I'm not flashing flesh in Sbux, y'know?). Hit the ladies, prep Ma's tea, and hop back in the car.
To almost get into an accident from an ignorant piece of shit coming in the exit. I really, really hate people. He tried to get into a pissing contest with me, but a) I drive a Buick; and b) despite being expressly female, I have bigger balls than God when I'm in a hurry and behind the wheel. I called him an ignorant cunt and went around him, despite his attempt to prevent it. No way some dumbass mofo was making me any later to see Celebricrush.
OK! On the road! Backstreets through Cambridge, out to route 2, on to 95, cruising and doing a fair clip at 75-90 for most of the way until I hit traffic in Rhode Island. *shrugs* It lasted about five minutes, and I hit Foxwoods about 8:30, cutting the drive time by about fifteen minutes--not my best time, but still, not bad. St. Teresa keeps asking for napkins because she has spilled her tea all over her coat. *sigh*
Parking was fairly simple, the wind was fiercer than a blow torch, and we managed to finally, FINALLY get inside the fucking casino. OK!
Drop Mum off at the Dream Rewards counter, check she has her cell phone, tell her that the show will be out around midnight, and I WILL CALL HER AS SOON AS IT'S OUT.
Then... pick up the tickets, catch Jim at full throttle in the background, walk out grinning grinning grinning and PSYCHED up for the show. You know how the show went--you know how awesome it was.
And then... it's 12:35. I'm sobering up (thank you, gastric bypass), hungry, tired and ready to find Mum, grab a quick bite, and get on the road.
So I call her cell phone. Five rings, and the canned voice, "I'm sorry, but the person you have called has not set up their voice mailbox."
Wait a minute, call again.
Five rings, canned voice, shit.
Wait three minutes, call again.
You get the picture.
Tess and I start walking down towards the casino room--I am still OK, still fairly up (I mean, hey, I just had Jim Jefferies's arm around me and a great convo with Pat Oates. Life is awesome!). Tess takes a troll around, doesn't see her, we walk down to the food court in case she's gotten tired and sat down... No Mum. I hear a page over the speakers, get the idea, we walk back, ask the guard at the door and get directed to the security desk in the back.
This is where my high ends. I HATE casinos. I REALLY, REALLY FUCKING HATE casinos. Too many people doing something I find really fucking stupid and useless, and now, I have to enter one. Immediately, my spidey senses start screaming because there is some dark and ugly energy in the room. I mean... it's like being in Dawn of the Dead, and there is a part of my soul screaming, "GET OUT GET OUT GET OUT BEFORE THEY EAT YOUR BRAIN!!!!!!!" I mean, seriously, it was not a happy experience, just walking through, and no sign of the little Irish American lady with the giant coat and tricked out walker.
A lot of people with drinks, cigarettes and crap food mindlessly whacking buttons. *shudder*
Soooooooo... I have her paged.
Go outside, wait in the corridor.
Go back, have her paged again, tell them to tell her we're in the food court.
Tess goes and looks again.
I am getting pissed.
Angrier than hell.
Because she was VERY unsteady on her feet. So now I am scared that she's taken a header and no one has been able to get in touch with me.
My groove has been so harshed the record has been shattered into a gajillion shards of vinyl.
We actually walk back down to the club in case she's wandered down there looking for me and run into Pat Oates who I'm SURE didn't need a panicked me asking him if he'd seen a little old lady in the club lost and looking for me.
Jesus, I felt like a loser. I mean, seriously--43 years old and I take my mother along on a trip to a comedy gig. I mean, yeah, it was the right thing to do--she needed to get out of the house and have a good time for herself, but... sheesh. WHY DID I HAVE TO BE INVOLVED?!?!?
ANYWAY... now, I am mad enough to kill. Fed up. Panicky. HUNGRY. Exhausted. Groove harshed. And still no St. Teresa. Tess needs to get home--she has a lovely man waiting for her. We were supposed to be on the road looooooooooong ago and on the way back to Boston. Back to the security office for another page, and this time, the guard asks if she has a Dream Rewards card because they can track her down with that.
Thank the fucking Gods.
So, as they're pulling up her info in the computer (which I find really, really creepy but was thankful for), Tess comes rushing back--"I FOUND HER! I must have gone past her a dozen times, she's tucked back in a corner. I told her to stay put!"
Bless Tess. She is going to be an amazing therapist some day (if that's the path she chooses). She really deserves the modifier "Amazing" because anyone who can deal with me dealing with my mother and remain positive and pleasant is a saint.
Yours Truly stalks across the back of the casino, holding back my rage, and muttering, "I am going to STRANGLE her!"
Sure enough, there she is, tucked back in a corner, whacking away at a slot machine.
"Oh, hi! How was the show?"
"DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?!?!?"
The exchange that ensues goes like this:
"It's two a.m."
"It's two a.m."
"WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?"
"I've been here the whole time!"
"Ma, the show was over an hour and a half ago; I told you midnight, it's 2:00 a.m."
"Why didn't you call my cell phone?"
"I've called YOUR CELL PHONE A DOZEN TIMES!"
"I need a new one."
You get the picture.
To make matters even worse, she turns back and starts whacking the button again. At which point I stand up, announce, "I am leaving. NOW."
"But I'm winning!"
"NOW. Or take the fucking bus home." And I turn around and stalk out.
What makes this really amusing--in a dark and twisted way--is that she and I have had the same conversation, only she was the one in the rage making pronouncements.
Well, she eventually dithers out. I am ensconced on a bench, taking deep breaths, trying not to flip out or make a scene because I am ready to fucking lose my shit right then and there. And she says to me, as I sit on the bench, glowering, trying NOT to yell, "So, where are we going to eat? I haven't eaten yet."
It is after 2 a.m. in the morning. We have been here for almost six hours. And she Never. Ate. Never. Ate.
NEVER FUCKING ATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I explain to her--in a very, very quiet voice, the voice that makes most people who know me run for the fallout shelter, that everything has closed--all of the shops and restaurants. And We. Are. Leaving.
I stalk off, looking for the elevators downstairs, walk past them because I thought they were the wrong elevators, and find myself lost, heading for another fucking casino. I mean, it's worse than the mall! And zombies... so many zombies, smoking, doused in cologne and perfume and trashy clothes, and I'm lost and REALLY starting to panic and can't take a Xanax because I was drinking tequila three hours ago and it will put me to sleep and REALLY fuck me up.
Finally get to the correct elevators, the doors open, and I here a *thunk* behind me. Mum has taken one of her famous falls, and now I am panicky, angry, upset, scared, and feeling GUILTY because I have been mean to an old lady who is now on the floor and has knocked her head on the crown molding. So I switch immediately from Raging Bitch to Terrified, Highly Competent Caretaking Daughter, lift her back on to her feet, deal with the nice man from the casino who has an EMT meet us in the lobby downstairs while the Amazing Tess runs to get me a hot dog and a bottle of water because I need hydration and protein, and get her downstairs and checked out.
Still with me?
Get her settled in her seated walker, order up the car from the valet service, wait for the car and listen to her complain about everything and ask inane questions. Including, "Can we stop at Dunkin Donuts on the highway?"
Get her into the Blue Bomber, wrestle the walker back in as the razor wind rips through me, and try to find my way out of the fucking casino. I get turned around, take the wrong exit out of there, and end up tooling around the back roads of rural Connecticut at 3:00 in the morning. Ma announced she was hungry and got handed the protein plate from Sbux.
Thanks to Google Maps and my Droid, we eventually made it to 395 north. We passed Mohegan Sun on the way. We skipped Rhode Island completely. I almost cried when I saw the sign for Worcester and the Mass Pike. If it had been warmer, I probably would have pulled over the car and kissed the tarmac after we crossed the Mass border.
Around 5 a.m., I pulled up in front of Tess's man's place. Thankfully, he only lives a few houses down from me. I found the last parking space on the street, got St. Teresa out of the car and headed for the house, and got myself in. I left the walker in the car.
I was in bed, asleep, within about fifteen minutes. I think I hit the bathroom before I made it to bed. I managed to get my vitamins and some water into me; beyond that, the details are fuzzy.
The next night, after blogging from Starbucks, I pulled up at home and cleaned up the car. I finally got the damn thing tidy (instead of looking like a frat party aftermath), I wanted to keep it that way, and I damn well didn't want anything rotting in the backseat (because Mum is a cross between a toddler and a teenager with the car habits, and it just ain't pretty). Sure enough, there was the protein plate on the floor, egg still intact. However, the packet of Justin's Honey Peanut Butter was still in there, unopened, and damned if I was going to let THAT go to waste.
I picked up the protein plate. I opened the protein plate. I lifted up the packet of Justin's. I screamed.
Underneath, I found her bottom set of teeth. There is nothing more disgusting than dentures (well, except shit, but you get my drift).
The next morning, I couldn't find my keys. She'd borrowed them to find her teeth. The ones sitting right next to the chair she was ensconced in. She left my keys in her coat pocket and made me quite late for work.
The way I see it, my mother has paid me back in spades for any trespass I ever committed.
And I'm a saint.