It's official: the holidays are here. Already I've seen more of my family this week than I did in the past 4 months. I spent some time with my mom and sisters yesterday, and we "popped in" to say "hi" to my grandparents first. Now usually for my mom, "popping in" to say "hi" means "my friend bought a bottle of gin, can someone come pick me up in a few hours?" but yesterday she was apparently practising abstinence because she didn't drink until she got home. We really did just say "hi", but in the few minutes we were there, we were treated to this little gem:
The phone rings, Pa answers. "Hello? Hello?...Hello?"
Nanny says to us, "Now watch, he'll get all mad."
Pa starts pressing some button on the phone furiously. Nanny and Pa are sitting on a few dollars, so they do donate to their favourite charities on a regular basis. This has put them on the call list for every charity and telemarketing firm in the world. The people making the calls don't even bother to pay attention, it's a surprise to them if someone actually picks up, so my grandfather gets very flustered when he can hear the din of a hundred people in the background, but no one answering his hellos.
I assumed that he was pressing buttons to make an annoying noise in their ear or something, but no. Nothing rational like that.
"I hear that if you press the # key, it buggers up their computers."
T was done work at 7, done work for the season actually; she worked all summer as a 'horticulturist' at one of those flower stands, which morphed into selling pumpkins and such during the fall, and lately Christmas trees. Now she's done until the spring, when it's flower time again. She needs the break because for the last month she has come home covered in sap from carrying and loading Christmas trees into people's cars. Now, T is a little girl, meaning she could fit in your pocket. She's very dainty. But she was throwing trees over her shoulder like they were just pretty little purses, and has discovered that sap is near impossible to get off your skin, and quite impossible to get out of your hair. Out of the hundreds of trees she has heaved into people's cars, only one person thought to tip her. Poor, poor T, she really deserves to be recognized for her hard work, especially since she got through this transaction just yesterday without cracking so much as a smile (until she got home, where she laughed uncontrollably):
Lady at the tree place: Can you put that tree in my car?
Lady: You'll have to put it in the back, I've got too much junk in my trunk.
Junk in her trunk.
So later that night, we were all sitting around, doing what we do best: bugging the crap out of each other, and the conversation turned to one of our favourite topics: mom's death. J, my oldest younger sister, is a nurse, so naturally she has taken it upon herself to care for my mother in her old age. But should J not be available for this task...what then? Mom doesn't want to go to a nursing home. There are 3 of us left. Who's the backup? T, Jan, and I all looked at each other with that wild, panicky look about us. The conversation went like this:
(long, awkward pause)
Jamie: Not it!
Mom: Not it! I was sitting here waiting for someone to yell 'shotgun!' and that's
what I get?
J: Well T can't do it, she has no compassion. She'd yell at you if you ever
had an accident.
T: I would not. I would feel bad if she fell.
J: No, I mean if she wet the bed.
T: (gagging) Oh, god...gross...
Mom: Well Jan can't do it, she's way too high-maintenance herself.
Jan: Yeah, I'm totally not doing it.
J: Well that leaves Jamie.
Jamie: Hey, don't look at me. I am way too self-involved. I had my husband clipped so
I don't ever, EVER, have to change diapers. Mom, if you wanted someone to take
care of you, you should have had another kid for back-up.
Mom: I had 4 daughters, I thought that was enough back-up!
Don't worry Mom, I'm sure someone will come visit you in the home.