Phone calls

After my uneventful (despite the ants) visit with Mom on Saturday, I tricked myself into thinking I was off the hook for the weekend. I finished up the day by watching basketball and having a nice surf-and-turf dinner cooked by my husband in honor of his parents’ visit, and we watched a movie on HBO. On Sunday, we had a leisurely morning. My mother-in-law and I did a little shopping. We reconvened to watch one more basketball game before heading out for dinner about a half-hour away, near my husband’s aunt’s house, my in-laws’ next stop. That evening, though, I figured I ought to check my work voice mail just in case Mom had called. I had two messages waiting for me. Both were timed shortly after 3 p.m. on Saturday. I felt awful. I always try to call Mom back on the same day. Here is what she had to say:

Saturday 3:47 p.m. “Hello this is B and, uh, I just wanted to let you know the cat. I don’t know, I think the cat’s OK but I’m worried about the other cat. The other animal. OK. Bye. Hello?”

Saturday 3:49 p.m. “Hello this is B trying to get in touch with her, uh, because yeah, anyway [chuckles.] You can talk to me…call later.”

I didn’t call her back because it was fairly late, and by dinnertime, she takes two meds that make her sleepy. I didn’t call Monday either. I was exhausted. My in-laws use our bed so my husband and I sleep on a futon-like couch, except that it is not firm and stable like a futon, but instead sags on my side. So I never sleep particularly well when they visit. I also might have some remnants of a cold, or maybe allergies, so I have just been a little run down, and I could really feel it on Monday. I happened to stay at the office late Monday for a non-work-related workshop, and I had a voice mail waiting for me after 5 p.m. Unbelievably, it was Mom again. She rarely calls in the evening. I have no idea what might have prompted her to think about calling me after her dinner. Below is what she had to say this time.

Monday 6:07 p.m. “This is E, I mean not E. 292-8310 [she does this with some regularity, recites my phone number into the voice mail, sometimes over and over]. I couldn’t figure that out. I don’t know if you could get in touch ’cause you had told me you would cut my hair and change it and I haven’t heard anything since then. So I guess I’ll talk to you later. Bye.”

So she called herself by my name, which she also does occasionally. And she was recalling our conversation about her upcoming haircut, scheduled for a few Saturdays from now. I called her this morning, Tuesday. I told her she left a message last night wondering when I was going to cut her hair. “Did I say that?” she said. She has no memory of the call. “I like that stuff you gave me, in the containers,” she said. That was a reference to the cashews and almonds I took over on Saturday. “I did try to call once, but everything is OK now. I haven’t heard any bad news.” I’m not sure which phone call she was thinking of. Before we hung up, she said, “Let me know so I don’t have to come out naked.” My interpretation skills must be improving. I was pretty sure she was referring to when I take her to get her hair cut, and she confirmed that.

All in all, despite the evening call, nothing too far out of what I now consider ordinary.

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