Sunday, August 02, 2009

Anatomy of a day

Saturday started out well. I woke early, went to the coffee shop with the dog. Got some reading and writing done, drank some good coffee and smiled at the passersby.

Back at Mom’s, I had a bowl of cereal and we decided what to do with the day. The plan was something like: look at electronics, maybe get a new camera (mine met with a fall the other day, but is still working…so far) and visit a park for the dog. Then back home, drop off dog, afternoon movie and dinner. After dinner, Mom would drop me at Amanda’s house, where I’m spending Saturday and Sunday nights.  (I saw Amanda on Friday, she’s out of town Saturday, getting back Sunday evening. I’m entertaining the cat in her absence.) 

Things went fairly well though I couldn’t decide about the camera—there are some very good cheap ones out there but I always want more: the best lens on the smallest body with the most manual features. I’ve been happy with my camera but I have doubts now about how long it will last after the drop. It wasn’t a ton of fun. Amusingly, Mom brought the dog into the store. Technically, he is a service dog and thus allowed. No one blinked an eye and the staff were in love. One little girl did give a shriek when she saw him but I think it was more because she wasn’t expecting to see a dog in a huge electronics store than because she was scared.

After the store, we went to a nearby park. Lots of people were out, picnicking and sunning themselves. (I think the “no-tanning” rule may not apply in Seattle.) It was lovely and breezy by Lake Washington and we could even see a bit of the Blue Angels doing their formation flying, which is amazing. We were far enough away, though, that the noise wasn’t overpowering.

However, even as we tossed a flexible Frisbee into the water and sent the dog swimming after it, something started to go wrong. Mom and I were both impatient with each other and not exactly having a great time. I don’t think she’s quite consistent enough with the dog and, unfortunately, I don’t keep my opinion to myself. She also gave me a heavy sigh when I threw the Frisbee in the wrong direction. Which seemed a bit extreme.

Back home, Mom poured herself a drink…and then another. I worked on my knitting and she read the paper. We got going to the movie. I drove.

In the theater, we had a real argument…about nothing. Mom asked me a question, and I got annoyed. It was unreasonable on my part but boy did she overreact. I think. She wanted to know if I’d talked to a friend. Mom wants me to ask this friend a question on her behalf. I’m seeing the friend on Sunday and was planning to ask her then. So, when Mom asked if I’d talked to my friend yet, I was annoyed. I had a tone when I said, “No. I haven’t talked to her. Why would I? I would have told you if I’d talked to her.” (Not great, not terrible—but pretty bad if you add in “the tone.”)

Mom was pissed. She called me on the tone. I responded, “Look, could you please not police my tone? I can’t completely control it. Could you ignore it, please?”

She said, “I’m done. I’m taking you home after the movie. I don’t want to have dinner with you.”

Great. And then we watched the movie in an un-air conditioned theater. That sure didn’t help Mom’s mood any. After the movie, true to her word, mom dropped me at Amanda’s house and I was on my own. She offered to take me by a store or restaurant first, but I declined. Oh, she also snapped at me when I gave her directions, “I used to live right around here.” Yes, I did know that. I just didn’t know that you knew how to get to Amanda’s house.

Oh well! I am glad to have the night and a day off. It looks like our break came at the right time. I just don’t understand how we always get here. I have to say, I don’t think having a couple of drinks after a long semi-tiring day was the best idea. I didn’t mention this to mom. But that doesn’t account for my moodiness…maybe if we’d both been drinking? I can certainly see where I get my testiness from—I just wish there were some way for me to rid myself of it. Enough already.

A little update: Mom very kindly sent me a conciliatory email on Sunday morning. We had a brief email exchange, where issues were touched on—then a phone conversation that was friendly and practical. I wonder if dealing briefly with sensitive stuff via email and then just pretending nothing happened via phone/in-person is a good strategy, but it seemed to work this time. Whew.

Grateful for: calm.

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