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Thursday, June 30, 2005

She Drives Me Crazy, Like No One Else

Visiting with my mother is always an experience. Taking her out in public is always an adventure. The thing is, Mom doesn't drive, which means, she doesn't get out often. When a sucker like me comes along and says, "Hey Mom, let's go shopping." she can't get ready fast enough.

On day two (See yesterday's post for day one.) of the birthday shopping bonanza, I thought Menards would be a good place to take her. I was hoping to buy her some chairs, a table and some hanging baskets for her patio. In her mind she was compiling a list of things she wanted to check out. I could see her wheels cranking. All the warning and danger signs were there, I should have known better than to take her to such a large store.

When I shop, I know what I want and where to find it. I grab it and go right to the checkout counter. I was hoping that was how Mom and I were going to shop since I told her what I wanted to get for her. I was hoping our lollygagging was all used up the day before.

Mom basically goes mental in stores. She completely forgets why she is there and what she is supposed to be getting. Have you ever gone to Las Vegas and seen people who are so lost in their gambling that their eyes glaze over? Well that's the same look Mom gets in almost any store.

"Is that not the coolest screen door you have ever seen?"

"Um, yeah Mom. It's great. We aren't here for screen doors. How about we go over there and look at all the patio stuff?"

"Oh, Lois, look! Isn't this the cutest..."

Dragging her by her arm like you would a misbehaving child, I told her to try and stay focused on the task at hand. Whoever built a snack shop in the middle of this store must have a mother like mine. They have vending machines with candy, chips and soda complete with tables to sit and relax. Who the hell needs to sit and relax while in a store?

I tried to block my mother's view of the snack stand. "Mom! Look!" I said, as I pointed excitedly in the opposite direction. Thankfully, my little trick worked. By the time we got to the bathroom fixture section of the store, my mother was reminded that her bladder was calling.

"Well have a seat," I joked while pointing at a toilet high upon a shelf.

Lane 2 almost pissed her pants as she watched her grandmother hike her leg up the shelving unit.

Three generations shopping and laughing together. Sounds like a blessed event, only problem with that is my mom is a nut and a bad influence on my daughter. Lane 2 quickly took her seat on a toilet placed at ground level. She hunched her little body over, placed her elbows on her knees and grunted. My mother laughed an evil giggle as if she were proud of the example she had set.

"Grandma, there's no toilet paper." Lane 2 giggled.

"Well just use this," my mother said handing her a toilet brochure.

It was at that moment, I began praying Menards didn't have surveillance video of this blessed event. Home movies are highly overrated.

Finally we made it to the patio furniture section. Decisions, decisions. Mom is no good at making simple decisions so I helped her. I grabbed the first couple chairs and table that matched and ran like my ass was on fire to the checkout counter.

I would have managed a 30 dollar gift if not for my darling daughter who managed to talk her grandmother into even more candy. I asked the lady at the checkout counter if they had any plants or flowers in hanging baskets, thankfully, they didn't and we were out of there.

Begging for trouble, apparently, I took this woman out to dinner. My daughter whispered to the waitress that it was her grandmother's birthday. When Mom's potato pancakes came with a candle and we all started singing, really loudly and off key, and my mom's cheeks turned a little rosy, I almost felt like she'd been paid back. Almost.