Friday, June 12, 2009

THE BEST LAID PLANS...

I knew it wouldn't be that simple.

Isis has invited one of her Canadian cousins to come visit on Monday, and since my Favorite Daughter doesn't often get to see her or her family, she wants to stay and enjoy the visit. Never mind that we had arranged weeks ago to drive up on Sunday and stay at my mother's until we needed to be back on Wednesday night. Never mind that her grandmother's nose is now definitely out of joint, and will now take it out of me from Sunday evening through Tuesday morning, when the FD will arrive by bus.

Mind you, she will only talk about the fact the FD won't get to see my loopy eldest Sister from the South, who is In Residence with her ├╝ber-patient husband at my mother's this weekend. It's always indirect misdirection up there: Heaven forbid that she should admit to being disappointed--it must be my sister who will be... or her husband. I hate to complain, but this habit of my mother's drives me a little crazy.

My grandmother wouldn't dream of playing a tired old trick like that: making a federal case out of my sister's supposed fondness for my children, which I've never noticed, personally--none of my multiple grandmothers would have. But then, it takes all kinds to make the world go 'round, doesn't it? Hey, as long as it takes my kind as well, it's OK by me.

You know, I can't really tell them that if I had a choice, I would spend the day with Isis' cousin myself--though I would, gladly. Isis' cousins were one of the best things my marriage brought me. It would be nice if my daughter had put her grandmother first, but she didn't. And that's that.

So now the FD is planning to take a bus to my mother's on Tuesday, and I will drive her home to Isis on Wednesday, when I make my way back to my work hang-out at my grandmother's, where I will have to share the house with a niece [no relation of mine] who is flying in to visit for three weeks. At least I'm only there to queer the punch a couple of days a week, so nobody needs to punch the queer... When I was really worried about my grandmother's health recently, I relished all the company that passes through the house. But now all I see is how the extra people insist on doing things their own way, and force a very self-sufficient person to become their guest in her own house. She would rather eat oatmeal for dinner in peace than have her life turned upside down for veal cordon bleu.

I've gotten rather fond of the fact that my grandmother does the absolute minimum to keep the ball rolling [who wouldn't at 98?]. She teases me constantly about my habit of actually washing the dishes until they are clean. Her standard line once I have polished off and polished up a set of pots and pans is: "Well, that will keep them for another week or two." I've gotten used to it, and I just do what I can to keep the blood-hounds at bay: things could get ugly if the visiting nurse, or the more "helpful" of her other relations, should see things approaching a train wreck in the kitchen...

The Goat doesn't think I get things clean enough, so as I'm getting it from both ends, I figure I must have reached some kind of happy medium...

While the FD and I are at my mother's, we will lure her out to see Pixar's "UP" in 3D. I have to say that it can't be as good as "Coraline" in the 3D department, but it is a Pixar movie, and I'm really going for all the non-3D elements, anyway. Then it's back to the Big Woods and trying to find a movie on Netflix that the Goat is willing to watch for more than ten minutes. It's harder than you think.

I just had to write a progress report on my little job for the College, and the gist of it was that it's all going to take about half again as long as we had estimated at the beginning, and that somebody is going to have to come up with the money to make it happen. Not my department, luckily-- I just work here.

But I do figure I should warn people lying on the tracks about the freight train coming around the bend...

Actually, it's not even so much the money as the fact that it's going to take a lot more time. The whole project is about a deadline, and that's why they hired me: Mr. Deadline. But more time on the project automatically means more time away from the Goat, unless he decides to retire early, and more time being a leech on my grandmother, unless she decides to kick the bucket. Actually, another scare like the one we had last month and the whole family would be after me to spend seven nights a week there... Me, I just generally try to fit into her way of life.

In the meantime, it's back to the Big Woods tomorrow to get a Love Fix before taking off to my mother's.

Now that the Goat is off the hook for the summer, things should get a little easier around the edges. Unless he loses it again next weekend, when everyone else is off at the wedding... Well, here's hoping we've been around that topic often enough to wear it out.

Did I mention that the wedding is next weekend?

That I'm nowhere near ready, that I'm still trying to figure out how much booze to buy, and how to speak at the wedding without making an ass of myself or creating a scene without meaning to...

Hang in there, guys.
You know in your hearts it's all you can do.
C

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