So, after every visit with my parents (in the last 5 years or so) I come away feeling both proud and scared shitless that I am becoming more and more like my mom. We fight a lot and I've been able to distinguish that, for the most part, this is because we are so alike. And yet...so different. I suppose you could say that some of my mom's bad habits I subconsciously found to be endearing, and so I adopted them. And some of them I found to be abhorrent, and so I abhor them. The ways I have adapted to be opposite of my mom piss her off to no end (like being on time and organised!) so we fight, and the things we do the same are unfortunately things that cause fights (nagging, thinking we are always right, stubbornness, yelling, etc) and so...we fight. Oh yeah, and potty mouth-that comes from my mom too. So, when we fight it gets dirty.
In any case my organised, timely, cleanly self decided that this trip I would really need to let my preferences fall to the wayside. I did not want to fight on this special first trip home with my son. I think I did a pretty good job. But here's what made me vomit in my mouth every day I spent there (but I never let any snarky comments dribble out!):
My mom's car is like a hobo's shopping cart; Items loosely flying around the floor, long forgotten and ground with mud. Once useful and important enough to bring along, now so dirty and lost they are garbage. Here's the list: old graying pair of sport socks (including string-y elastic thread from ankle part strung out and tangled up in seat bolt), three pairs of shoes, an evening purse with a mud footprint on it, numerous used tissues, 5 or 6 empty water bottles, a crushed can of coke, 4 cd's, 2 winter hats (both leopard print), one glove, a plastic bag, a no-name MP3 player, a paint chip sample wheel (my mom was an interior decorator), a binder with papers crumpled and falling out (no doubt for her ongoing real estate deals), a broken umbrella, many receipts stuffed into the door pockets, a daytimer, of course loose change (or should I say sticky change?), an opened bag of gummi bears, and the piece de résistance-McDonald's lonely, spongy french fries. I'm not exaggerating. That's the list.
My mom is a successful woman. She can find shit in that disorganised mess, too. Kudos to her-I just hated sitting among it. Her car is new and I have no idea how you can let it get so bad, but instead of being snotty and judging her, I took her car for a car wash. Ok...that was mildly selfish. You see the car is two door and every day when I was climbing and crawling into the back seat to put baby in the car seat I emerged looking like I had a fight with a Pigpen from Peanuts.
Here's the best part- when I pulled up to the car wash and punched in the code, the automatic window got stuck. I started to panic. Here I was with that screen in front of me blinking "Put car in Neutral" and I could feel the rumblings of the track beneath me, with baby in the back- I pictured myself having to get out and pull him awkwardly out of this god-forsaking two-door car to save him from being soaked...and part of me wanted to send the car through with the windows down anyways because it was so rotten. Alas, after twenty or so frantic back and forths on the button, in addition to me pulling upward with my other hand on the window, it went up.
Yeah you could say it is relaxing to be home. It just seems this is how things always worked, or didn't, in my house growing up. I fondly remember the car my mom and I used to share. If you went into the mall on a sunny day but came out to find it had rained, you had to pop the hood and spray all the wires under there with WD40 to get her started. I couldn't tell you why...or what wires specifically-so we just sprayed them all. Good times. And now I almost insist on having things in a good working order around me. So call me anal if you like: I come by it honestly.
And don't even get me started on my parents basement. I went to do my laundry when I was on the phone catching up with my husband. I had to stop mid-sentence and just list things I saw. I won't give them all to you, but just for fun: A package of instant Thai noodles stuck up on a ceiling beam. Was my dad thinking he'd start hoarding non-perishables for a bomb shelter?