My mother, the twat.

All of you with kids – does your mother charge you for babysitting?

I’m not talking regular sitting, because that, in my mind, would call for some remuneration. I’m talking once-in-a-blue-moon sitting. In fact, this is only the second time we’ve ever asked untitledmother to watch untitledson in all of his four years. I’ve got to ask, because untitledmother recently charged me $100 for watching untitledson for one week. It was during a Montessori sabbatical, and the sitter we had lined up bailed at the last minute. We were in a major bind.

So I called untitledmother about two weeks prior and asked her to come down for a week and watch him. “I can even pay you,” I said, being what I thought was gracious and now know was just plain foolish. “Yes, I can do that. But I WILL need to get paid, since I am taking some days off work.” “That’s fine,” I said, since I had no other options. I mean, she wouldn’t actually follow through and demand payment, would she? I thought that perhaps after spending some time with her untitledson, she’d melt a bit and see that taking money for watching one’s own grandchild would be a bit callous. I was wrong. She cashed that check faster than Larry Birkhead.

A little context here – two weeks after watching untitledson, I took off four days of work to stay with her during her bariatric surgery. During this time, I incurred numerous expenses, including about $100 in gas and $60 in meals. This doesn’t even count the pain and suffering I endured while watching her sleep off the anesthesia (which was like watching an old troll suffocating on her own neck fat).

During the hospital stay, I had to beg her to spring for my motel room (she was going to make me sleep in a hospital recliner, until hospital staff informed her that isn’t appropriate). Did I ask for reimbursement for my meals and parking and gas? No. Did she even offer reimbursement for these things? No. So how can she charge me for watching untitledson, knowing that in two weeks, I was going to take four vacation days and numerous hits to the pocketbook to take care of her?

What a twat.What makes me fume even more is that every year, she watches her granddaughter (my brother’s daughter) for one week during the summer. She takes about three days off work, and pays daycare for the other days. Total cost to my brother = $0. Why does she charge me for sitting, but not him?

I’d bring up all this fuckery to her, but she has a way of justifying everything in her own mind. It’s the same thing that makes her quietly retreat when it comes time to pay for dinner. She’ll weakly say, “Oh, let me get that…” as I pick up the bill, and drop her hand back to her lap before I can even respond.I believe in karma, in so much that it is my karmic responsibility to usher justice to her doorstep. I’d love to recoup my $100 (and the $160 she owes me for the gas and meal expenses I incurred during her surgery stay). But teaching her a lesson is most important here.

Oh, did I mention that I have her credit card info written down here in my dayplanner? Seriously, I do. Half-tempted to publish it right here and let you guys have it at.

Mother of the year.

I think we’re long overdue for a flaming post about untitledmother. She makes it so easy, continually providing material for me. How thoughtful of her. This past week, she did something that was by far the most hurtful and infuriating thing she has ever done.

For an entire year before I had my weight loss surgery, I contemplated whether or not I should tell her about it. She is notorious for not being able to keep a secret. Not sure whether it’s due to laziness, vindictiveness or stupidity (methinks it’s a combination). I don’t tell her a whole lot anymore, for I clearly remember when she told everyone I was pregnant with untitledson – AFTER I told her not to tell (it was five weeks out, and I had just fallen down a flight of stairs and as a result, had to have ankle surgery). I told her not to tell anyone – I just wasn’t ready to share, and it was quite risky, given what I had just gone through. Of course, she told. Fucking whore. I mean, is nothing sacred?

So this time around, I thought for an entire year about whether I should share my weight loss surgery with her. For 11.5 months, I decided that no, she should not know. She is not to be trusted. As surgery neared, I thought, “What if something happens to me? She needs to know. What kind of child would not tell her mother that she was about to undergo major surgery?” I also thought how heartbroken I’d be if my own child could not trust me with such news. If untitledson had kept this from me, wouldn’t that mean that I had pretty much failed as a mother? I think so.

So I took a leap of faith. I put my balls in the blender. But first, I swore her to secrecy. I must’ve prepped her for 10 minutes before telling her. “You must, under NO circumstances, EVER share this with anyone. ANYONE. Especially vindictive and jealous untitledsister-in-law. If you ever do tell, know that I will confiscate all those bottles of unused fat burning pills of yours – the ones you spent my college fund on – crush them and make you snort them like Keith Richards at his father’s funeral. Do you understand? DO. YOU. UNDERSTAND?”

She said yes, of course. OF COURSE SHE COULD KEEP A SECRET. Then I told her what I had told only five other people in my life (untitledhusband, boss, untitledmother-in-law, and untitledbrother-in-law and wife). These other people, I trust completely. Every conversation about the surgery since then, I have told her, “Remember, you cannot tell anyone. Even if they wedge your maxed-out credit cards under your toenails.” Yes yes, she assured me. She would under no circumstances tell.

So here we are, three months later. And guess what – she has told. Not just anyone – untitledsister-in-law. The one person who most did not need to know. She left me a voicemail about it on Mother’s Day (after I had traveled home for the weekend, given her a gift, and paid for her lunch, no less). “I screwed up! I told her about your surgery. It just slipped!” Notice there was no apology in there.

I’ve spent the last week thinking about how I want to deal with this. I have not talked to her yet (we normally talk at least every other day). I am upset that she told, but I am more upset that she has showed zero contrition for her actions. No apology note. No flowers. Nothing.

What kind of mother does this to her child? She knew how serious this was to me. How do you let something like that just slip? She said it came up in conversation.

untitledmother: “Oh, I saw her last weekend. She looks so good.”

untitledsister-in-law: “What do you mean, she looks good?”

untitledmother: “Oh, you know, she had the SURGERY.”

I feel so completely betrayed. I cannot trust untitledmother with anything, whether it’s a secret, watching untitledson for the day or bringing a dish to pass at untitled-mother-in-law’s holiday potluck (that’s right, she just shows up to eat). A true class act. At every turn, she disappoints. In lieu of helping us unpack after the move, she gave me a jar of jelly and a jar of salsa. I had to literally beg for her to work with untitledsister-in-law to give me a baby shower (first child, and probably only child for me, no less). Imagine having to beg for your own first and only baby shower. The only reason I haven’t cut ties to her is that I would never do that to untitledson. He needs to know his grandmother, even if she is a louse.

I suppose she is waiting for me to call, thinking, “Oh, she’s probably mad about this, too. She’s always overreacting.” I don’t think I am. I mean, I just want my mother to have my back every once in a while. I need to know she’s still looking out for me – and not just to find me so she can stab me. I know for sure that I will never tell her anything again. I don’t plan on calling her so often, if at all, anymore. I thought about telling HER dark secret – that she has a son she adopted out before my brother and I were born (my brother does not know). Do you have any thoughts on how I should handle this?

Truth in advertising

I got a phone call from untitledmother the other day. She had my sister-in-law sign her up for eHarmony, and she wanted a good photo of herself for posting purposes. You know, a photo in which her head isn’t being swallowed by her neck and her teeth are a color other than camel.If she had her way, she’d have us Photoshop her to within an inch of her life, removing the rolls and wrinkles, giving her hair, bone structure and other such physical accoutrements. I feel bad for the poor schlump who responds to her post. There he’ll sit in a coffee shop, waiting for Sophia Loren to come walking in the door. Instead, he’ll get Jabba the Hut.

On her profile, she listed the following as her priorities: her children (the ones she shops for at the dollar store only after she has spent the bulk of her money on Lancome for herself), church (the one she only attends every six months and blames it on pedophile priests), and travelling. Stopping by the KarmelKorn stand in the mall qualifies as travelling, no?

In reality, the last time she travelled was five years ago, and it was with me. We went on a cruise together. She got so stressed out by the whole experience that she spent the entire flight home in the airplane’s bathroom with a case of the atomic shits. She emerged from the crapper looking like she’d just spent a year in the bush, eating grubs and sleeping in an earthen quonset. untitledhusband picked us up from the airport that day and about lost his shit when he saw her. His amusement was soon replaced by horror when she placed a newspaper under herself in our car, and then proceeded to soil it like a common barn animal.

One of the traits that she listed as a dislike was “laziness.” This, from a woman who sits for days (again, I wish I was exaggerating) on her sofa, living vicariously through the old westerns, made-for-TV movies and the trashy dog-eared novels that she denies reading. If not for bathroom and food breaks, she’d get no exercise at all. Every now and then, I’ll get a phone call from her on Saturday afternoon. “Say, did you see this movie about the woman whose husband has three legs?” “No, mother, I didn’t catch that one. Was it on Bravo? PBS? HBO? Oh — it was on LIFETIME.” My TIVO must’ve been busy taping re-runs of “Walker, Texas Ranger.”

Someone needs to remind her that dating would require her to actually comb the back of her hair and maybe even walk to her car. Such revelation just might sour this whole eHarmony thing a bit for her. C’mon mother. Get real. You don’t want a boyfriend. You want a little man servant — someone to shave the dead skin off your heels and fetch you chocolate covered peanuts.

Pray for blindness, dear readers.

Last week, I promised a picture of untitledmother’s newly Nubian legs. I am proud to report that indeed, she was in rare form this weekend, and I managed to capture it on the Kodachrome for posterity. Someday, our ancestors will want to know what caused the downfall of civilization, and I feel an obligation to document it. Upon closer analysis, it seems the self-tanner beaded up in chemical retaliation and settled in her skin pores, giving her legs the appearance of broasted chicken skin.

Before you whip your Bain de Soleil at the computer screen, please know that yes, I realize that millions of people use self-tanner (including me, at times). Hey, we all can’t mow the lawn in our thong or play 18 holes every day (or golf, for that mattter). But when untitledmother uses self-tanner, it just plain pisses me off. It’s one more example of her taking the easy way. When I was a kid, she would get in her car and drive a half-block to visit her friend. That’s right, a half-block. Another case in point — her battalion of fat burner pills. She has at least six different bottles in her medicine cabinet at any given time, and each is missing about five pills. She tries them for a couple of days, and when her digestive system fails to transform into a fat-burning furnace, she gives up and banishes them to the land of lost antacids and worthless wrinkle creams. Goddamn, mother. Put some effort forth before you die. Maybe then I’ll be less inclined to bury your ashes in a Swanson’s TV dinner box underneath the stinky Ginko tree in your backyard.

I sense that I’ve gotten a bit off-course here, so without further ado, may I introduce your new desktop wallpaper (and accompanying limerick):

060723_burntchickenlegs.jpg
There once was a woman so white
One look and you’d curse your sight
So she slapped on the juice
And sat down on her caboose
As her legs disappeared into the night

Of road whores and Rhodes Scholars.

untitledmother’s best friends are the town whore and a mentally challenged women. She’s always had this habit of befriending the underdog, the person no one else wants anything to do with.

Before you drag out the hearts and flowers, I must tell you that it’s not a noble act by any stretch. She simply likes to hang out with people who, by comparison, make her look good. It’s a horrible thing, I know. But that’s how my sweet momma rolls.

Her slut friend has slept with half the town. But you have to give her props. Geriatric pimpin’ ain’t easy — especially when you confuse the K-Y with the Ben-Gay and the condom with the colostomy bag. Monday through Saturday, she’s spreading her legs. Sunday, she’s sitting in the front pew. Hey, god loves the whores, too. He ESPECIALLY loves the whores. Hearing Myrtle repent for covetous thoughts about Hazel’s tater tot casserole recipe has got to get old, even for a deity. What a welcome change it must be when when Seniorita Slutbags walks in and drops phrases like “rim job” and “dirty Sanchez.”

You wouldn’t know it by looking at her, but untitledmother’s other friend is mentally challenged. untitledmother says she’s smart enough to figure out how NOT to work. Gee, sounds like some other genius I know. Glad to see you’ve found a role model, ma.

The fact that her retarded friend doesn’t have to work really gets under untitledmother’s skin, for her philosphy has always been “She who naps the longest and manages to do the least amount of work wins.” But you know what they say: It’s hard to soar like an eagle when you’re flying with turkeys. Not that untitledmother would want anything to do with soaring. Cause that would, like, take a modicum of effort.