My mother has arrived for the holidays. She is staying for a whole week and I get her all to myself! I am very excited to have her here. She is really good company and is very low maintenance, except when it comes to big decisions like what necklace to wear or what to have for lunch. She needs help with these decisions. She can raise children, build libraries, teach school, and organize conventions, but she can’t figure out if a brooch and a necklace together is too much. God, I love her.
We don’t have too much planned for while she is here. However, she usually wants to have her hair done at some point during the visit, and up until last year this was the most stressful thing about her visit for me. I would make an appointment for her with stylists I thought might be good at doing “mom” hair but she’d always come out saying “Oh, it will do, but it’s just not like how when Char does it”. This is akin to saying to me “Daughter, you have failed me once more”.
My mom has been going to the same hair dresser for about 20 years. Her name is Char and I don’t think she’s taking any new clients, so don’t even bother. I’m pretty sure Char will trump me in the will. Char could make a painting out of entrails and my mom would say it was the best thing ever. If my mother won the lottery she would truck Char around with her everywhere to make sure she had perfect “Char” hair every day.
My mom and I will play several hands of rummy, in which we are equally matched. When we play, all pretense of good sportsmanship is abandoned. We call it “Cut Throat Rummy”. The winner gets to gloat and the loser gets to call the winner bad names.
We have kept many of our score cards over the years. I have searched the house for one, as she tends to mail me score cards that show her winning by a huge margin. Just to keep me in my place, I guess. I can’t find one though. I imagine she has them tucked away somewhere. Stockpiled. Ready to strike. Here’s what one might look like:
One of the best things about my mom’s visits is that she doesn’t require a lot of management. She’s as happy as am I to just sit around, reading and talking about how much we’d like to be eating chocolate and how much better cats are than most things in the world.
She has always had cats
My mater has instilled in me - to my marrow, I tell you - that cats are better than every other thing on the face of the earth.
My cat Fiona, for example, is a world of awesome packed into a 10 pound purring fur bag.
Fiona plays fetch. In the middle of the night we’ll hear these tiny mews and in the morning we will wake up to gifts she has brought us throughout the night. Pens. Cat toys. Rolls of plastic dog-poop bags. One sock.
She has a definite routine and knows when it’s time to get brushed, when it is time to get evening snacks, when it is time to play the flop on the floor and let Daddy scratch my belly game, and when it is time to go to bed. She’ll meow at me if it’s time for afternoon nap and I’m not accompanying her. I do my very very very best to accommodate her napping needs. She follows me around the house looking at me like I am made of gold and light (and that kitty kibble flows from my sleeves).
Brian is not so sure of Fiona’s amazingness as she has been peeing on his stuff lately. Not mine though, so we can’t tell if she’s got an issue with her urinary tract or with Brian’s existence. He knows better than to ask me to chose between him and the cat. She pees in Brian’s sock box (he keeps his 8,000 pair of identical grey wool socks in an old milk crate).
She chews the wires of Brian’s expensive fancy headphones. She sits on the bannister above a two story drop, just to freak us out. She weaves in and out of our feet when we are going down the stairs. Apparently she can’t decide if we are awesome, or if she wants us dead.
She will sit on my needlepoint when I’m needlepointing, but not on my lap.
She will not sit on anything that is faux fur, but she will bathe it. Maybe she thinks it’s kin.
So for the next week, the girls will be all together in the living room - my mom, Fiona, Gracie (my heinous sweet sheltie) and myself. Knitting, shedding, being angry and needlepointing, respectively. Brian will be in the basement with Sam wondering how two women can talk about doilies for so long.
We'll miss you, Brian. Your supper is in the fridge.