Monday, November 24, 2008

A Conversation with Mom.

“Mom, I have 6 months to live.” I hold the phone to my ear while I hold my cat in my lap.

“Really? That sounds awful. But I thought your father and I told you to stay off of Webmd. What are your symptoms?”

“A runny nose and a headache.” I get a piece of paper and start jotting down things I might want to leave my family in the case of my immiement death. My shoes are definitely not up for grabs. I will be buried with them.

“You are going to die from a runny nose and a headache? Seriously, Kristen? What exactly goes through your head? I am afraid to know.”

“Well here’s the thing. The other day I got a pedicure. She sort of clipped the cuticle a little too short. I think I contracted a rare infection that unufortunately I can’t pronounce, and now I am showing the early signs of it going straight to my brain. You don’t sound mortified Mom. Aren’t you worried about my short time left on Earth?”

“I have been a nurse for 30 years. Isn’t it Wednesday? Don’t the gardner’s at your apartment cut the grass on Wednesday?

How does she know these things? She is 1300 miles away. She is concerned with the maintenance and landscaping of my rented apartment, rather than buying airplane tickets to come spend the final weeks with her dying daughter?

“What exactly is your point?”

“Did it ever occur to you that perhaps your allergies are acting up? You are allergic to everything that emits Co2 into the air and needs sun and water to thrive. Oh, and dust mites. It didn’t occur to you that you aren’t dying from a rare disease of your toe, but rather you need to pop a Zyrtec?”

“You are deliberately downplaying my devasting news because you are upset you didn’t discover the disease, and Webmd did.” I jot down that my mother will NOT be inheriting my beautiful handbag collection in the instance of my death. She is not showing any signs of grief whatsoever. I could really use a Sally Field’s “Steel Magnolias” moment right about now.
“I am sorry that you are plagued with an incurable toe infection that has spread to your brain. I am even sorrier that you were able to unblock webmd even though we tried so hard to get that website banned from your computer.” There is a loud beeping noise and I hear my mother begin to shuffle around.

“What are you doing?”

“I was just paged. I have to go triage a patient who was in a bicycle accident. I will call you later when I get off from work. And stop writing your will. I can hear you scribbling.”

“A bicycle accident? Mom! The clock is ticking on my life and you are going to help a kid with a scraped up knee? Put a Mickey bandaid on him and send him on his merry way. I need you now. You should be on your way to Nashville to spend my final days with me. But no, you have to “triage” a clumsy kid who obviously can’t ride a bike. Thanks mom.”

“I love you honey. I have to go. Please get off the computer and go do something productive.”

“You are definitely not getting my handbags now when I die. And my glorious Burberry shoes? Consider them a distant memory mom. Just like me.”

“That’s great sweetie. Talk to you later.”

“Hmph.” I hang up the phone. I put the cat on the floor, wipe my runny nose and go into the bathroom. Sure... she thinks I am suffering from allergies. Does she understand the dangers of cutting a cuticule too low? My brain is infected! I am going to die! I take a drink of water and swallow a Zyrtec. I begin to wonder if I could sue the nail salon for millions of dollars and finally be able to get myself on 20/20 which has always been my dream.

I sit on the couch and shoo away my cat who must understand the dire situation I have gotten myself into. He won’t leave my side. He will be an orphan left to fend for himself because his Momma died from a botched pedicure. I turn on the TV and within mintues my headache begins to subside and my sniffles cease. Damn allergies.

She was right the whole time. I am relieved to know that I am not going to die in six months, but seriously, I won’t give my mother the satisfaction of knowing she was right about my symptoms. I begin to contemplate suing the landscaping company. There really is no reason to plant that many shrubs or cut the grass as much as they do. They are just out to make me miserable and bring about my demise. Next Wednesday, I will begin “Operation: Black Thumb.”

1 comment:

William said...

OK, after reading this I am once again reminded of the genius of satire that is you. And the reason you do not have a syndicated column at this moment is what????? If I have passed anything on to you it is the gift of being a true smart ass, which is almost a quote from your movie Steel Magnolias, "Spoken like a true smart ass." I have to run for now, Obama is on the television and he is saying he is going to save the country. Well, actually I need to change the litter box, clean the dog kennel, shovel some snow/slush and make some lunch. Not necessarily in that order.