I had to work last night. I got to interview Rainn Wilson of "The Office," which sounds a lot more interesting than it was, given that he had fasted all day and was tired and punchy and ADD and I was tired and had talked to about 20 people who had stories so much more amazing and compelling than his that I was a little worn out by then, so we both sort of bored each other for 4 minutes before jumping up, relieved to be done.
I had told the folks at least three times that I was not coming by their house after work because I had to go to my other job.
At 6 pm I got a call from my dad asking where I was. They were worried.
Crap. I reassured him and told him I would not be coming by in the morning, either, because I was going to work at home.
This morning at 7:45 I got a call from dad.
"Are you sleeping?"
"No, Dad, I'm working."
"Where are you?"
They were worried because I didn't come by. Thus, I learned my lesson. When I deviate from my regular sched, no matter HOW many times or how recently I tell them, I MUST write it on the calendar. My bad.
Today I picked Dad up at 4 and took him to see his tax preparer. We rode downtown and back, chatting.
When I got back to the house, I started talking to Mom.
"....that's what the home health care lady did yesterday," Mom said in the middle of something.
"What home health care lady?" I asked.
"The one that came yesterday," she said, as if that were a perfectly normal occurrence.
"There was a lady here yesterday?" I said.
"Oh, there were lots of people here yesterday," Mom answered. "Firemen, paramedics, ambulance..."
"WHAT?" I asked.
Apparently Mom's new meds had disagreed with her. She hadn't been sleeping and sometime on Wednesday, someone (I still don't know who) called 911 because Mom was feverish and disoriented. She was assessed and refused to go to the hospital.
She doesn't know where the home health care lady came from or who sent her. Neither does Dad.
I tried to pry details from her, but Mom just waved her hands around and insisted I go get some Burger King for dinner for her and dad.
When I got back from BK, I sat at the table as they dove into their hamburgers.
"Why did no one tell me what happened?" I asked.
"Well, we tried," Mom said. "Dad called you last night and this morning but you were busy and I tried to call you this afternoon and you didn't answer."
"Did you leave a message?" I asked. I had not heard the phone ring but maybe I was in the middle of a call?
"Oh no, there was no message, just one ring, and a click, so I figured you did not want to be bothered since you wouldn't answer" my mom said.
I do not generally speak sharply to my mom. Oh, maybe about once every...oh 47 years. But oh man, I lost it.
"LOOK," I said. (If I am mad, you can count on me to say "Look.") "Dad called me last night and didn't mention that you were sick. He called me this morning and didn't mention it. He and I spent half an hour in the car and he did not say a word. And you did NOT leave a message, so how was I to know what was going on? No one told me anything and that is SO wrong and SO unfair and I need to know what is going on because I love you and I would drop ANYTHING, anything if you needed me and you should know that by now!"
Do I need to mention I was sob-yelling by then? Gah.
Yeah, I was mad. And I was offended. And at the same time I understood that they don't have the capacity that they once had.
But the point I was really trying to impress on them, and I think I was successful - was that they really, really need to tell me what is going on and not pussyfoot around.
This elderly parents thing is as much fun as a barrel of monkeys. Face-tearing, testicle-mauling monkeys.
I have a knot in the neck the size of a Cadbury egg. And my teeth hurt from grinding them. So I am going to listen to some old skool Eminem and go to my happy place - while shouting "Aaah-aaah-aaah!"