Thursday, January 22, 2009


In my "honesty" post, I mentioned that my father is one of my best friends. I should probably include my mom in that category too, but every once in awhile she does something that makes me want to completely banish her from sight for a couple of weeks (which works out since she lives a gazillion miles away).

The problem is that my mom is an incurable packrat. And I'm not. I start feeling claustrophobic if I own more than five pieces of furniture, including the kitchen table chairs. I don't buy more than I need at the grocery store - a quart of milk rather than a gallon is just fine. I limit myself to one moisturizer at a time, and four towels are plenty, thank you. When I travel, the greatest compliment I receive is "your backpack is so tiny." Yes, it is. That's so I can pack up and hit Wyoming at a moment's notice. Like when the debt collectors start knocking down my door.

The packrattishness has become a joke in our family that she doesn't find funny, and therefore the purchasing of the fifth blender because the other four were lost in the fray continues. Every once in awhile she realizes she might have too many of the same thing, so she comes up an excuse to come down here to give it to me. And I turn around and immediately donate it to AmVETS. Those people love me because that merchandise is still in its original packaging.

My father often comments he's too afraid to have people over to dinner because they may never return from a trip to the bathroom and we will find their corpses, arms and legs askew, behind the hundreds of dolls and stuffed animals she seems more attached to than my sister or I ever were.

I've had several little interventions with my mom over this. I point out again and again that we don't have the same taste (I like my abode to be like a hotel room, except even more lacking in personal effects) and hers conjures up images of flowery parlors in the redneck town where I grew up where one can never have enough lace or pink.

But no. No, no, no. She's my mom. She's not supposed to listen to ME - that's a role reversal. So tonight, when I returned from a long day at the office I was greeted by seven large boxes at the bottom of my stairs. All of which contained dog beds.

I have two dogs. Just two. And they already have a nice big bed.

Maybe her point is to have somewhere for my guests to sit when they come over. Like a nice little harem vibe going on. But I usually resolve that problem by having my parties in the garden or dragging the garden furniture inside.

She just called BTW - and I probably somewhat deflated her enthusiasm when I asked her why I have seven dog beds. I should have anticipated the answer, which is what the answer always is with southern mothers:

"They were on sale."

My sister and I make a point never to buy anything on sale. We will go out of our way to drop $40 on a white t-shirt, and that phrase is why.

To be fair, it was really only six dog beds, and she says she'll take two of them back with her next time she visits so they have a place to sleep in the good ol' NC backwoods.

The seventh package was an incredibly heavy rolling pin. I'm not sure what this is for either. I actually don't have what those fancy realtors call "counterspace." All rolling of stuff needing to be rolled would probably have to be done on the floor. And no one wants cookies that have been rolled on the floor. That's disgusting.

I didn't give her any grief about this one though, because it can make a highly effective weapon. And is certainly cheaper and more time-efficient than going through concealed weapon training in Louisiana.

Love you Mom. But please stop wearing socks with sandals. Please.

1 comment:

steetoa said...

I never knew your mom was a packrat. The packrat gene lies in my mom's side of the family (she was spared) but I could tell you stories.