Friday, September 22, 2006

Asking again will not change the answer

These are getting more frequent, aren't they?

Anyway, the theme of this blog is a recurring one with my mother. Here are the pearls of wisdom that surround it:

• When I do not know the answer to a question, asking that question repeatedly is not going to give me, or you, the answer to the question.
o This means that asking me the same question seconds, minutes, hours or even days later-- any period of time in which you KNOW I couldn't have learned the answer to the question-- is not going to give you the answer.
o Following your initial question with the same question phrased differently, is not going to give you the answer to the question to which I don't know the answer.
o If I do answer your question, but you don't like the answer, asking again is not going to change the answer.

Now, some context. Those of you who already know how crazy the last week has been for me, please skip this paragraph. I'll make it short for everyone else:
Sunday afternoon- washing machine breaks in the spin cycle, full of water and a bunch of my clothes. They're much to heavy for me to lift to take to a laundromat, and because of my wrist I can't wring them to make them lighter. That evening I have dinner with my friend Heather, and at some point I mention that I hate taking a whole day off for getting my stitches out and had I known how easy it would be I'd probably have opted to do it myself. She mentions that she's taken out stitches before and that she could do it, but I'd already made the appointment for the following morning.
First thing Monday morning, I call the people the landlord likes to service the washer, and they can't find proof that we bought it from them, so they refuse to fix it. I drop my car off for inspection on my way to my doctor's appointment, which I'd made the morning after my accident, when I'd called to inform my doctor that I'd been to the ER and to ask whether he would take the stitches out. His office assured me he would and that they'd let him know. So imagine my surprise when my doctor refuses to remove the stitches because he doesn't want the liability. Furthermore, he didn't know to look out for the report from the ER, so he didn't process any paperwork, so if I get stuck with the $1,591 ER bill, it's not his fault. He really wants to make that clear. He writes me a referral to the ER, and once my car is inspected, I make my way over there. A few hours and $50 later I get the stitches out, and the doctor and PA think my doctor is on crack. They'd never heard anything like that. Anyway, I get home from the ER, my roommate gets home from work, he calls anyone who will fix our washer, someone eventually comes, and by midnight my laundry is done (I couldn't leave it there- it'd been marinating for over 24 hours).
Over the next few days, I'm making lots of phone calls, trying to get an assurance from my insurance that I won't get stuck with the bill (they also thought my doctor was on crack-- they said they didn't see why I would get stuck with the bill), getting a fax number to which I could sent a formal complaint about my doctor, writing said formal complaint, and changing doctors. Oh and let's not omit hounding my doctor, whose office wouldn't answer the phone or return my calls, because the allergist's office, to which I'm going for testing today, said he hadn't returned a request for referral that they'd faxed almost a month ago (he did get it to them yesterday-- filling someone's voicemail is an effective technique).

Okay you can start reading again. So, that's been my week. And yesterday afternoon, my mother calls. As usual, she doesn't bother to ask about what's going on in my life (similar to the time I'd had an allergic reaction to a yellowjacket sting and was half-passed-out on benadryl, when she called and lectured me about how I wasn't being interactive enough) and just starts lecturing. Of course she does the requisite lecture about how I haven't called (could someone explain this to me-- she HAS my number. If she wants to talk to me, she can call me. It's not like I never call; I call when I have time). She goes as far as to describe my behavior-- this is going to be lost in translation-- as piggish. I tell her I've had a crazy week. She doesn't ask about it; instead, she starts questioning me about my vacation plans. But if I'm such a pig, why does she want to go on vacation with me?

Mom: Can you go on vacation with us in October?

A.: No, we've discussed this-- I'm going on vacation on Saturday for a week... I can't take another vacation so soon. And I'm not comfortable planning any vacations far in advance right now.

Mom: Where are you going?

A.: San Francisco.

Mom: [Sneers] Oh, yeah. Well, when can you go on vacation?

A.: I'm not comfortable planning any vacations far in advance right now.

Mom: You don't want to go on vacation with us in October?

A.: [Well, no, but that's beside the point.] I can't go on vacation in October.

Mom: Well, when will you want to go on vacation again?

A.: Mom, I don't know!

Mom: Well, think about it.

A.: This is a bad time and you're cutting out. I'll call you later.

Mom: Can you go on vacation in November?

A.: Mom!

Mom: Well, can you?

A.: You're cutting out... I'll call you later.

Mom: Think about when you'll want to go on vacation.

Friday, September 8, 2006

One-handed Mom-blog

Since my mother is a big fan of Jim Kramer's and I caught a bit of his show tonight-- in which he slammed the stock through which my mother has decimated my retirement account-- I thought I would call her to let her know.

While I was talking to her I realized I should probably tell her about my arm. I had consciously chosen not to up to today so as not to worry her... Vanessa actually asked me today what my mom had to say about all this and I had to admit I hadn't told her. No need to cause unnecessary panic. But now that it's under control, I opted to tell her.

A.: I cut my forearm. It's fine now.

Mom: What? How?

A.: I slipped on something and reached my arm out to catch myself, but instead my arm went through the window that's on the back door.

Dad: What happened then?

A.: I called 911, they came to get me, and sewed up my arm. Now it's fine.

[I decided to skip the part about the flap and the thirteen stitches-- they just don't need to know.]

Mom: We have the most beautiful marinated mushrooms... all kinds, and I have several marinades going, with different amounts of garlic...

[Normally, for effect, I would transcribe most of the monologue that ensued, but typing with one arm isn't conducive to that kind of detail and it's not the kind of art I'm willing to suffer for.]

[Five minutes later:] Some of the mushrooms are twins... What else did I want to tell you? Did you know that the Potomac is so polluted that it has bisexual, er... hermaphrodytic fish?

A.: I didn't know that.

Dad: What happened to your arm?

A.: I cut it, it's been stitched, I'm fine.

Mom: What did Kramer say about Crystallex stock?

[And so on].

Friday, September 1, 2006

Good night, mom

Background: My mom had left me a message while I was out having dinner with friends. She was concerned about the weather. I called her back on my walk from the metro.

A.: It's not a big deal-- it's raining and it's windy, but nothing to worry about.

Mom: You're outside?

A.: I'll be inside in less than ten minutes.

Mom: You know, Google is hiring hundreds of people a week now.


Mom: It just seems like such a great work environment...


Mom: You could bring your dog to work...

A.: I'm hanging up now.

Mom: Just apply. All you have to do is apply.


Mom: Good night? It's not even 9pm.

A.: Being nagged about google saps my will to stay awake.

Mom: Okay, good night.