What is it about moving that creates such a stir in the cosmos? It really doesn’t matter how much planning goes into your move, things are going to get wild. There was nothing left to pack on the day before the move, so I left Mom alone to get her hair done and rest up some before the big day.
I sat at my desk all day, clearing off the debris that gathers when I don’t have time to sort through the clutter. I caught up on reading all the blogs I follow. I was having a lovely time. I was relaxed and rested when my husband suggested I go with him to the driving range. I don’t golf, but after years of watching tournaments with my dad, I have a pretty good idea of what somebody’s supposed to look like when they hit a golf ball. So, I’m Bill’s golf coach.
I put my phone in my pocket,to make the daily call to my parents while Bill warmed up and that’s when I realized I had a bevy of missed calls and messages. I groaned when I realized that I hadn’t turned my ringer back on after I’d seen a movie the night before. I imagined my mother leaving a message calling off the move.
Rather than listening to the messages, I called my parents’ house. Mom was out and Dad delivered the bad news. Mom hadn’t called off the move, but she’d had an awful day. The bank had royally screwed up her bank account. We’d been to the bank earlier in the week to put a stop payment on a blank check my mother had lost, but instead of putting a stop payment on that check, the stop payment had been applied to all checks.
When mother arrived at her hair stylist’s, he informed her that her check from the week before had been returned. To make it all more fun, the employee who had taken the stop payment order wasn’t available and everyone was more interested in finding someone or something to blame than they were in resolving the problem.
As if that wasn’t enough, in the midst of all the stop check phone calls, Mom found another problem. Their dermatologist had recently removed a skin cancer on Dad’s arm and when Mom changed the bandage she discovered an infection. So they had to go back to the dermatologist. The dermatologist wrote a prescription and because the prescription was something out of the ordinary, no one had it.
And through it all, I was of no use whatsoever, because in this wireless world, I’d silenced my phone. I was angry at the bank and the pharmacies, but I was mostly angry at myself. I was also overwhelmed with guilt.
In all of this, the balancing act required to juggle all the balls of my life is the hardest part. I knew I needed to talk to my Mom and let her vent her frustrations a little bit, but I also knew that as soon as Bill finished hitting the golf balls he expected date night to continue. He did not want to sit by patiently while I placated my mother. She’s already had entirely too much of my life recently.
Since our plan was to head home after the driving range and clean up for a nice dinner date, I thought I’d be able to squeeze in the phone call, but spontaneity took over and I was soon on a patio at a local mall listening to a band. I enjoyed it for a while, but in the back of my mind, I knew I had to call my mother. Finally, I had to say, “You continue to listen to the band. I’ve got to call mother and it may take a little while. She’s had some problems today, but I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
Bill and I had two minds about the phone call. He decided I could make it, but it should be, “I hear you had a bad day. I’m sorry. I’ll see you in the morning.” I knew the call would be like lancing a boil and would take a lot longer.
“Hello Mother.” It was ten or fifteen minutes later when I finally got a word in edgewise. I tried to apologize for the problems with my phone and but she took off in another directions. I tried to truncate the call, but Mom needed to reiterate it all, just in case I’d missed any of the gory details. Bill was fuming when I returned to the table. Somewhere deep inside he understood, but it was too deep to do me much good right then.
I’d diffused the problem with my Mom, but I hadn’t made any points with my husband and he was critical to my success with the move. We kissed and made up before the night was over, but I hated that something as stupid as forgetting to turn on a ringer had caused such drama. Am I the only one that has this sort of thing happen? Does the convenience of technology ever cause you trouble? I’d really like to know that I’m not alone here.
(Faithful Readers – To celebrate the holiday season, instead of continuing with the saga of moving my parent’s to their new home, we’re taking a festive break. Watch for a series of posts about Christmas ornaments I’ve inherited from my parents and my sweet Aunt Edie.)