I love my mother dearly and she provides hours of entertainment and great stories (all unintentionally of course) but I have to say… there are some qualities about her that irritate me.
The biggest irritation I have with her is how she forgets everything or doesn’t pay attention to what I’m saying. She claims old age but I really just think her brain is getting lazy. She needs a better hobby than slot machines because I imagine the mind-numbing dings of the machine, blinking lights and constant button pushing (she doesn’t pull the handle anymore – apparently that’s for amateurs) aren’t helping to keep her brain engaged.
Some examples of things she forgets…
- Whenever I tell her I’m going on vacation. I’ll tell her weeks in advance but unless it is written down somewhere, she is ‘shocked’ when I come back and tell her I was out of town.
- most of my friends’ names. If she knew you well while I was in high school – she has somehow managed to retain your name. everyone else? Not so much.
- my husband’s name. I wish I was kidding. If she’s in a hurry, she’ll refer to him as “what’s his name” and I make her take a minute to say it or I refuse to address whatever it is she’s asking. She remembers once I force her to… but seriously? I worry about how she’ll fair with grandkids.
But I’ve started to notice that she doesn’t really pay attention to what I’m saying. I called her on Sunday to let her know I wasn’t stopping by (yes, I visit my mom about once a week… usually for 10 minutes because if I don’t, I end up getting a phone call about how much she misses me and how bad I’d feel if she died).
Me: Mom, I wanted to let you know we won’t be stopping by today. We just got back from camping so we have a lot to do.
Mom: Oh? You’re not coming over? Okay…
Me: How are you?
Mom: I’m tired and don’t remember anything anymore. So – you went to your in-laws?
Me: What? What are you talking about?
Mom: You said you went to your in-laws.
Me: You weren’t listening to what I was saying, were you?
Mom: No, not really.
I think this trait of hers is irritating me so much because I’m starting to see it in myself. I half listen to people these days and forget so much (but I suspect it is more about not actually listening in the first place so I didn’t really forget, I just never bothered to pay attention when something was said or committments were made).
I think I need to learn Sudoku or something…