Monthly Archives: August 2012

Mom vs. Not-Andre

For decades, my mom has had a good friend whose name is Marjorie. “Margie” is what everyone calls her. Margie married a Frenchman named Andre. As he aged, he became slightly more round (as most of us do), and his hair and beard went bright white. Picture that . . . okay, good. Now understand this: my mom tends to notice things and act quickly before taking in the whole situation. Andre, or, to be specific, a gentleman who is not Andre, is a perfect example. You see, there is at least one other gentleman in town who looks fairly similar to Andre. At least from the corner of your eye. When you look straight at him, it’s completely obvious that he is not Andre. But by the time my mom gets a chance to look straight at him, it’s already far too late.

This is because as soon as she sees him out the corner of her eye, typically across the street or outside the window of a shop she happens to be in, my mom immediately begins to wave at him: “There’s Andre! Hi, Andre!” Then comes the actual observation, followed by a muted, “Oh, that’s not Andre,” and a called out, “Sorry! Thought you were someone else!”

It wouldn’t be so bad if Not-Andre was not always with a woman I presume to be his wife.

Yeah. Not good. This woman stares daggers back at my mom every time. Gee, I wonder why. (For the record, she looks nothing like Margie, so it begs the question why my mom didn’t wonder why “Andre” was out with some other woman.)

The last time I recall this happening, Not-Andre and his wife were passing outside the window of the restaurant where my mom, my wife, and I were having lunch. Same routine: as she notices, the arm begins to go up, her face brightens, and between the words “oh” and “look” she has already begun to wave. “There’s Andre!” Then she quickly averts her eyes, brings her arm down, pulls in her shoulders, and makes herself smaller. “Oh, that’s not Andre.” Then she sort of waves again through the window and mouthes “sorry!”

This time, we could see the fury on his wife’s face as she lightly struck him on the shoulder and I could clearly read her lips. “Who is that woman? How do you know her? What is going on?” He shrunk back from her blows and the verbal barrage, shrugging, hands raised, palms up–I could not see his lips, but his body language was obvious. He had no idea in the world who my mom is, nor why she kept waving at him. Poor Not-Andre. Getting accused of an affair and not actually getting the benefits of one.

It’s over now, though. The real Andre passed away last year. Margie is dealing with the loss as best she can. My mom is there for her, so that’s a plus.

I do hope, though, that Not-Andre was able to salvage his marriage.

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Mom vs. The Remote Control

Mentally speaking, my mom lives in a world apart from the one where we are physically present. Technical things are a mystery to her. Take, for instance, that most common and omnipresent of objects in the Western household, the remote control. After several years of owning a particular TV, my mom’s remote control began having issues. Based on previous stories, one might be tempted to think a hot caffeinated beverage might be involved. Not this time, at least.

Eventually, the remote control gave up the ghost and stopped working altogether.

I was at her place the day she had bought a new universal remote from Radio Shack. She opened it up and asked me to set it up for her. I read the instructions and then asked her for batteries.

“Batteries? Why would you need batteries?”

“Because that’s how they work, mom. The batteries supply the power to send the signal… Mom? Did you try replacing the batteries in the old remote before you got this one?”

“That one doesn’t take batteries.”

“No, mom, I’m positive it does. How else would it work?”

“I thought they worked by magic.”

(Arthur C. Clarke had not yet died when this happened. His adage was proven right within his own lifetime.)

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I Hate It When I’m Forced To Be An Asshole

Some people have no problem turning on that asshole switch, gettin’ their bitch on, or whatever. It always leaves me twitchy. I absolutely HATE doing it. I prefer to be respectful and, in turn, I expect to be treated in a respectful manner. But Fred Loya Insurance (see previous post) just forced me into that mode. So now, I’m not only angry at their handling of the situation, I’m even more angry that they forced me into behavior that makes me squirm. It’s also a fine line between getting highly assertive in a vocally upset manner, and Hulking-out. For me, at least. I do my very best to keep him in check, but there are times when that beast within wants to break out and rampage. Hulk smash. I wasn’t in the best mood already, and having them jerk me around was pushing me to a bad place. Interestingly, I got my point across using none of my typical, every-day foul language. But I still had no choice but to act like a total jerk. They wanted me to drive my car somewhere so they could photograph it and blah blah blah. Then they would approve certain repairs, blah blah blah. Seventy two hours blah blah blah. Four words:

FIX.

MY.

DAMN.

CAR!

It’s NOT rocket science. I take my car to the collision repair facility, they fix it, the insurance company pays. Done. It’s been over a week since I was hit. This waiting, dragging heels, and stalling crap from Loya is a farce. Call me, say go, and nothing more. I will not respond to their “jump through this hoop, now go do that” runaround garbage as anything but the asshole they are forcing me to be. And I despise them for it.

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