Keely, over at Unmom, does this thing.
You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it.
I don’t think my thoughts are very random, y’all. If you knew my parents, you’d understand. They are both very anal about being organized, keeping a schedule, being on time, making plans, knowing exactly where they are sitting, what they are doing, and where they are going to be. Every minute of each and every day.
Did I mention that they are both a tad inflexible?
If you invite my mother over for dinner, you’d best be specific. “Y’all come on over for supper tomorrow night” just won’t do. If you want to avoid multiple questions, sighing, whining, helplessness, and a major guilt trip, you have to say something like this:
“Hi Mom! We were thinking about having y’all come over tomorrow night for supper, but, of course, we need to check first to make sure you don’t have anything already planned, like a funeral, or a hair appointment, or a Sunday school class dinner, or a shopping trip, or a salsa lesson, or a dance cotillion, or your routine tanning bed visit, or ironing and packing for your next trip. You’re available? Really? Great! Well we were thinking about grilling out. Is chicken OK? No? You had that yesterday and you don’t want it twice in a row. OK, how about steak? Oh, I forgot, you have trouble chewing. Hamburgers? Oh, right. Too greasy for the cholesterol. Tacos? Oh yeah, you “do” spicy. I forgot. Homemade spaghetti? Yes? OK, fine, as long as we don’t add too much pepper. Got it.”
OK, now that we have the menu kinda/sorta nailed down, we move on to the item. “We were thinking about six-ish” is a big No-no. Here’s what you say:
“I know y’all like to eat early, yes, I know you can’t sleep if you eat too late. How about if we eat at 5:16 PM. Yes, Mom, we will eat at 5:16 PM. On the dot. Yes, I will have it ready. On the table. At 5:16 PM. What’s that you say? What time do we want you to be here? Be here at 4:44. Yes. That will give us exactly 32 minutes to say hello, have a pre-dinner drink, pat the dog, wash our hands, help me set the table (with matching silverware or SOMEBODY’S gonna die, y’all) and, most important, figure out the best seating arrangement for everybody.”
Other details that have to be discussed are: what can she bring? who all else will be there? what are we wearing? how long do we expect them to stay after they eat? has the dog been bathed lately? and are we sure that we can have everything prepared and ready by 5:16 Pm, on the dot. Because, Lord knows, don’t ask her to waste any of her precious time by having her show up five minutes early. She’d have to sit around and WAIT, for God’s sake!
Oh, and have real napkins. I know a folded paper towel is acceptable to most people, but it is not a real napkin. Just trust me on this one.
My dad is just as bad. He lives out of town, and he comes to Wilmington exactly twice a year. The weekend before Christmas, and the weekend before Mother’s Day. And it’s always the same. First, we have “the call.”
“The Call” is to announce his plans. It goes something like this:
“Hello, Ginger. This is Pa Bill. We are thinking about coming to Wilmington in two weeks, but we wanted to get y’all’s work schedule. Of course, now, we can’t come next weekend, because we are going to Myrtle Beach afterwards, and we don’t want to be there during Bike Week. We can’t stand all those crowds. And we can’t come the week after, because that is Black Motorcycle Week. And then the week after that is Gay Motorcycle Week, and then starting every weekend after that, I have to teach Sunday school.”
Me: “OK, Dad, well I guess two weeks from now will work out perfect.” (I know better than to challenge his plans. I can do a shift swap, ask for a vacation day, or risk an incident by calling off, but I won’t dare to say I have to work.)
Dad: “Great! Alright, we’re leaving here Friday morning. We’ll stop by the cemetary to put flowers on your grandma’s grave. We’ll get into Wilmington about 4 o’clock. After we get checked in, I’ll call you. That will be around 4:30. Then we’re going to go to dinner early at the Cracker Barrel, because Shelba will be tired. Saturday morning, we are going to take your aunt out to breakfast. Then we’ll go by and pick up your brother and take him to lunch. We will then go back to our hotel room to wash up and rest for a while, but we’ll be out there to your house about a quarter til five. Can you invite all your boys (I always do.) and tell them to be there at 5 o’clock? We want to get there early so we can get the best parking spot (in my driveway, not on *shudder* the street)”
Me: “OK, Dad, sounds great!” (Thinking to myself that if any part of this schedule was ever any different, the world as we know it would surely end.)
Next, we have to talk about the menu.
Dad: “Now we don’t want you to go to any trouble. We’ll eat anything.” (SO not true! Shelba can’t eat rare meat, steak, mustard, anything with seeds, anything with spices, collards, Mexican food, Chinese food, fried food or anything that was ever at any time anywhere near the dog.)
Me: “OK, great! How about hamburgers on the grill and potato salad?”
Dad: “Hamburgers sound good…but Shelba can’t eat alot of things that are in potato salad….how about just having potato chips? And make sure you get plain rolls. Shelba can’t eat sesame seeds.”
Shelba also can’t tolerate being hot, being cold, drinking from a “heavy glass without a handle”, being outside, going up stairs, sitting on too low of a seat, not having a pillow behind her back, staying out past 7;30 at night, or being in the same room as my dog. And Dad has to have coke, rum and toothpicks. But they are “no trouble”, y’all.
So y’all can see why I am way too organized to have a bunch of random thoughts?
I might could come up with a few things, but it really would be just a list of things I am planning or already have in the works. For instance, I started a new blog, called Wilmington Daily Photo that is taking up a bunch of my time.Y’all check it out!
Also, my middle son’s girlfriend is due to have her baby in about two weeks and I just received the thrilling news that my oldest son and daughter-in-law are finally expecting, too! So we’re about to become first time grandparents of two babies within a year!
But right now I have 27 minutes to shower, dress and let the dog out. Then I’ll have just enough time to drive across town and make my 10 o’clock hair appointment. After that, I’ll swing into Home Depot and pick up a nice houseplant for a housewarming gift for friends that invited us to dinner tonight. At 1:00 PM, I’ll pick my husband up from work, and we’ll need to get groceries and pick up a little something for the new mother, before coming home to make a salad, walk the dog, do a load of laundry, get our Mother’s Day cards ready to mail, practice hitting golf balls for our golf trip tomorrow, and get ready to go to our friend’s house for dinner. At 6 PM, sharp. I’m not sure exactly what time we’ll be eating, but I do know we’re having steak and I volunteered to bring the salad.
Yes, I asked them what time. And about the menu. But I don’t have to have a real napkin. I swear.