01 May 2008

Report Disturbing Thoughts or Behavior

After some trial and error, we've found some good aides to help our mother. The first one was lovely, but my mother just wasn't ready to accept that kind of help then, saying "she just sits around watching me". The next one was sent through an agency, and she was an inept woman drenched in bad old lady perfume; my mother dubbed her the "smelly Persian". But now we've a pair of kind, strong, capable women - they know how the equipment works, they have initiative, and Trudy roasted a mean chicken last week. The only thing is, they're both quite religious. One threatened (jokingly) to whisk my sister's kids off to church when she heard they were unbaptized.

For Christmas, I'd made my mother a cross stitch. Unfortunately, she's afraid that the ladies will be offended by my handiwork, so it's spending most of the time in a drawer. I pulled it out the other day, because I needed to have a picture of it. The aides haven't quit, so I guess someone remembered to put it away again.

I've once alluded to the "family wig" - Miss M. is wearing it in this picture (along with a camisole on top of a long-sleeved shirt). Years and years ago, a single woman moved out of a house down the street, leaving behind a rich pile of garbage which the neighborhood children ransacked. There were negligees, there was a pair of brown and white patent leather platform shoes. And there was a wig. A horrible brown wig, half shag, half mullet. It has been kicking around ever since. I pulled it out the other day and plopped it on my mother's bald head, atop her headcover. Later the wig ended up on Miss M. It's a dreadful thing, that wig, but it's awfully nice to have around. You never know when it's going to come in handy.

I think my favorite moment last weekend was when the doorbell rang while I was in the laundry room collecting the bedpan. I answered the door, and found a young man selling candy. I brandished the bedpan at him and said "Not now!". He left in a hurry.

My sense of humor is peculiar, but I do believe that I've gotten to the root of it. I was looking for something in my mother's medicine cabinet, and, between a crude clay pot with failed glaze (made by me, way back when) and a bottle of Tylenol 3, I found an empty pill bottle with only one label left on it:

Report disturbing thoughts or
behavior

Really. Clearly my tendency to collect weird bits of whimsy comes from the woman who keeps that empty pill bottle in her bathroom.

35 comments:

Aunt Becky said...

I am in love with your cross-stitching. It's high-freaking-larious.

Waiting Amy said...

Love the cross stitch.

Hope you mom is doing well, and you are too. She sounds like such a fun, interesting woman.

Mayberry said...

Oh that's perfect. PERFECT.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

It is truly the laughter that will save you.

kathy a. said...

that's great your mom's got good aides -- and that you all have the family sense of humor!

She She said...

Some great things are handed down (wigs & humor) in your family.

Aliki2006 said...

That cross-stitch is perfect, and the fact that you cuold even make it for your mom, and that she would keep it, speaks volumes of how great you both are.

That pill bottle...what can I say?!

Her Grace said...

I love this, I truly do.

Sober Briquette said...

report to whom? Feckless or Draconian? It's an important choice.

Aurelia said...

That is a lovely cross stitch.

I'd display it proudly myself!

womaninawindow said...

I'd like to put you in a tall cool glass and drink you back. You are just that crazy and enjoyable to read. I appreciate your perversity. (Hope this doesn't depress you.)

Julie Pippert said...

I think I just fell in love with your mom a little because of that pill bottle. I admire greatly a highly developed sense of the ridiculous.

It sounds like you've found a good rhythm. I'm so glad.

Janet said...

Wonder if that's where she kept the lysergic acid diethylamide...

Nap Warden said...

Nice cross stitch!:)

the queen said...

Excellent! This was great in all ways. Thank God Mom walked down the aisle at the Baptist church when she was 13, I couldn't have gotten past the Nurses of God. I asked one that if hell existed, wouldn't someone, at sometime, say right before dying, "Hey! What's this Lake of Fire doing here? What the fu-----(rattle)."

susan said...

You and your family are just the quirkiest most likeable people--I'm sitting here with a big smile on my face reading this, even though I know that some of what's underlying this (like the aides) comes from some difficult moments.

Eva said...

My grandmother has yet to accept any of the people we've tried to hire to help her. I guess we haven't found the right one!

Karianna said...

In the third grade I wore a hideous wig as part of a Halloween costume. Several people actually asked me if I had curled my hair special for the holiday. I actually cried with horror.

That pill bottle is truly awesome.

flutter said...

oh how do we adore subversive cross stitch!

Kelley said...

I think I just fell in love with you a little bit more...

Libby said...

oh, excellent in all ways!

btw, if you feel like playing, I just tagged you for a meme. It's on the lit blog (http://tortoiselessons.blogspot.com) just in case...

Ophelia Rising said...

LOVE the cross-stitch. Perhaps you might market them...?

(I think my mother had a wig just like that one, which I faithfully wore during my dress-up days).

Barb McMahon said...

I've been down this road.

The cross-stitch is great - it's good to keep the aides a little off-kilter.

The bed pan, too. You might want to keep it handy at all times.

And if you ever need to plain old bitch, I'm here.

painted maypole said...

i remember asking about that wig when you mentioned it before! :)

Julia said...

Love the cross stitch and the bottle. And I do believe you cracked the code.

nonlineargirl said...

Let's hope the candy seller doesn't follow that bottle's directions!

slouching mom said...

cross stitch? perfect.

bottle? even more so.

Melanie said...

Wow. Between the ancient fruitcake and the family wig, our respective families could really hang. Remind me to tell you about the ceremonial fez and the 25-year-old chocolate-covered kiwi some time.

MotherPie said...

I love your cross-stitch. I'm so lucky my mom is in good health now, but I'm 12 hours away and that is hard.

The medicine cabinet was pretty funny!

Furrow said...

It's good to keep reminders around the house. "Milk, eggs, report disturbing thoughts..."

Victoria said...

This made me snort. And I needed a good snort today.

=)

liz said...

That is a rocking cross-stitch. I am thinking of you and your mom.

That pill bottle is also very very cool.

BipolarLawyerCook said...

Wishing you non-disturbing thoughts and lots more laughs with your mother.

wheelsonthebus said...

I think accepting that kind of help can be very, very hard for a lot of people. ANd I totally get why, although I think I will take any help I can get...

Kizz said...

I feel like that bottle sends a message along the lines of, "You should definitely report disturbing thoughts or behavior. We don't have any CURE for them but you should report them as soon as possible! We want to know!"