Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Grease Fire

There really is nothing good about having a crazy mom, except, maybe one thing:  You can just simply call her crazy and you don’t have to worry one bit about being PC about it.  Technically she is schizophrenic, but really, who wants to use that word?  It’s ugly, it’s long, and it’s hard to spell.  Mentally ill is another term, but again, why use two words, when one will suffice?  I have tiptoed around her “mental illness” most of my life, feeling enough shame and embarrassment for 10 people and 10 lifetimes, but not anymore.  I have simply, and finally, decided to accept it, see the humor in it, and call it what it is, which is crazy, with a capital C.  For example, I’m guessing normal moms don’t call their daughters at on Sunday mornings to warn them about grease fires.  Nope.  Only the crazy moms do that.  Before I get to the “Grease Fire Story", let me back up a bit since this is my first official blog post. 

I am an elementary school teacher.  For some reason mentioning this to non-teachers always elicits the following response:  “Man, you teachers have great hours.”  Technically speaking, I guess that’s true in that the hours we actually get paid for are great.  Let’s be very clear however, the hours that we actually work are not so great.  Case in point, I usually arrive at work at , I work through lunch and the recesses for which I do not have yard duty, and while I do leave by most days, I take at least an hour’s worth of work home.  So, I get paid for about 7 hours a day, but I actually work 10-11 hours a day.  Once you factor in the work I do on weekends, I average about 20 unpaid hours a week.  What’s my point you ask?  Well, my point is that I look forward to being able to catch up on my sleep on the weekends.  I look forward to no 5:00am alarms, no rushing around, no getting to work in the dark, no putting out kid fires all day long, no bells ruling my bladder, and no endless stream of questions and interruptions.  Just pure, blissful, quiet sleep.

Until the Sunday morning before Thanksgiving this year when my phone rang at .  Some people joke that they can tell their parent’s, spouse’s, friend’s, etc., ring from others (and no, I am not referring to ring tones).  In a way I can too, except that the way I know it’s my mom calling is that it’s ALWAYS at the most inopportune time.  Seriously, ALWAYS!  Just in the door with arms full of groceries and the phone is ringing?  It’s her.  Been sitting for a while and get up to go to the bathroom?  The phone rings mid-stream and of course it’s her.  At that critical point in cooking when the dinner can be great or a total bust and the phone rings?  It’s her.  Sunday morning, , and the phone rings?  Yep, it’s her, not a single doubt about it.  I swear to God she can see me and calls at these times on purpose just to mess with me. 

So, , Sunday morning, phone ringing. I pick it up and hear the tell tale “Jane.” She has this way of saying it as both a question and a statement. 

Yes, mom.

Jane, I’m worried about you cooking and starting a grease fire.

Um, mom, I’m actually in bed right now so there’s no need to worry about me cooking anything.

Oh no, Jane, did I wake you up?

Yes, mom, it is in the morning on a Sunday, after all.  I was, in fact, sleeping.

(She doesn’t skip a beat, or, for that matter, offer an apology; she simply continues.)

Oh, well, are you going to be doing any cooking today because I’m really worried about these grease fires.  They can spread very quickly, you know?

Well mom, yes, I will be doing some cooking today, but I am over 40 years old and I have never started a grease fire before, nor have I ever even come close, so I’m pretty sure I’m okay. 

Gosh, I’m really worried though, are you sure you need to cook today?

Mom, I have a husband and kids, it’s the last weekend day before Thanksgiving.  Of course I am going to cook today.  I’ll be fine. 

Well, if you’re sure you’ll be okay, but I’m just so worried about it. These grease fires, you know, they just take off and there’s no stopping them.  (Talk about things taking off and not being able to stop them!)

(Seeing this is going nowhere and wanting to at least get a little more rest – no way sleep is possible at this point – I did what I often resort to doing with her.  Yes, I lied.)

Okay, mom, I won’t do any cooking today.

Great, Jane, thanks so much.  Bye now.  Love you.

Love you too, mom. 

And so it goes…


1 comment:

  1. I loved these two. Such an interesting insight into your world with your mom. Thank you for sharing.