I came to the Cape on Thursday for a long weekend of reading, shopping, eating good food, and lazing in the sun (or sitting inside blogging in the rain, as is the case at the moment). And, of course, time with the parents, who basically live here all summer long.
The joke with my mom is that we'll never know when she gets senile. She's always been kind of a fruit loop. Not unintelligent, just a little out of her mind. Sometimes when I think I might be getting juvenile Alzheimer's, I stop and remember who my mother is. This isn't exactly meant to be critical, but when you have quotes like "I hate these bagels! They're TOO BIG!" fired at you all weekend, you can't help but record them for posterity.
My parents are having an arbor put on the front walkway. My mom and I are pulling out of the driveway and an electrician is pulling in. She leans across me to speak to him.
"Can I help you?"
"I'm here about the arbor."
"Oh, really?! The arbor! YAY YOU!"
"I'm checking your wiring."
"I'm so excited!"
He pauses, clearly uncertain as to whether or not she's the right one to be talking to. "Do you have any wires on the ground?"
"Yay! The arbor is going up! Oh. I don't know."
"You know that dinner I made, with the shrimp? Well, when I went to the supermarket, they had one thing of jumbo shrimp that were really huge for $20.99 a pound. Then they had these other shrimp that were pretty much the same size for $10.99 a pound. I asked the woman why and she didn't know. They don't know anything! So I had her get the manager and I said, 'This one is $20.99 and that one is $10.99 and they're basically the same! It's not even TRUE!' [This nonsensical line was said with such emphasis that it may be my favorite thing she said all weekend.] And he said that's just how they're priced."
"Why did you need to talk to the manager? Why didn't you just get the cheaper one?"
"I just wanted to tell him."
"So which one did you get?"
"The $20.99. They just looked better."
"I was at Tracy Elise and the woman who was working there, this Oriental woman..."
"Asian-American! Fine! Jesus. I saw that Tocca perfume I have that you like and I asked if they had a tester so I could check and make sure it's the same thing, and she said no, the tester was empty. And I said, why don't you open one of the new ones and that can be your tester? She said that they have to make the tester specifically to be a tester. I said, NO, the tester is just a tester because of the little sticker that says 'tester.' I should've put the sticker on her and said, 'See? Now you're a tester.' She told me I could smell the cap. The cap! You've got to be kidding me. But then you know what? I looked closer at the perfume and it said it was a room fragrance. Do you think it's possible this whole time that I've been using room fragrance and thinking it was perfume?"
"Your father can be so disgusting! Remember how he never used to need deodorant?"
"Yeah," I say warily, not liking where this is going. (But incidentally, it's true. For years, weirdly enough, he never wore or needed deodorant, even after biking for hours on the weekend. Still, it's not my favorite topic of conversation.)
"Well, now he needs it, and he REFUSES to wear it. When he comes in from his walk and just sits around, I say to him, 'You stink.' And you know what he says? 'No I don't.' NO YOU DON'T?! When people tell you that you smell, you should BELIEVE them! They're not making it up! I swear, that man is turning into Howard Hughes, and he's only going to get worse!" Pause. "I should've dated more."
That's the second time recently that I've heard her compare him to Howard Hughes. They must have just netflixed The Aviator.