Saturday, October 3, 2009

Chronicles of A Left Turn at Albuquerque, continued

Ah, the phone calls.

At one point, I was getting so many that, if you averaged them out, it would have been one about every hour and a half.

Sweetie had called to see if I was on my way yet when I was still putting the laundry on the line, and then again when I stopped at the store. That call was to let me know that he had managed to get the posters over the the correct office, signed, and was going to get them back to the lady who wanted them in time for the charity auction.

Over the course of the trip I would get phone calls on every subject.

Phone calls from Sweetie:

"Okay, I've left work and I'm on my way to get Bigger Girl and Neighbor Boy from school."

"What does this instruction mean again?"

"Is there enough money in the checking account for me to go get a haircut?" (Don't laugh too hard, this is an important question in our house, as Sweetie cannot go to the barber shop and get his hair cut for $15-20, including tip, like most guys. He has to go to a specialty stylist lady who charges $50, and he has to leave a nice tip. We live on the ragged edge of disaster every month, and sometimes he has to leave his hair uncut a few days longer than he should, until payday comes around again. He also has to use lots of products in his hair, and takes forever to work on it in the morning. To compare, I haven't cut mine in years, and take less than 5 minutes every morning to brush and braid.)

"I've decided not to order the pizza tonight, because #2 Son is not here, he is with Grandpa, of course, and Little Girl went to the birthday party and to spend the night, they decided to invite her to stay, so we will switch menus and have it tomorrow, so Bigger Girl has some money saved up, and wants to take the two of us over to B-B's place to get something to eat, is that okay? We will order pizza tomorrow." (Bigger Girl saves most of her money, if she wants to spend some of it on that, it's fine with me, why do they need to ask?)

"Okay, your dad came, got #2 Son, the ID card, the tickets, the programs, and left some stuff. I took the tapes to the guy who will put them on CD. What do I do next?" My response was, you take a nap, and go get the kids from school later.

"Mom, I think I overcooked the fish sticks." (This after Sweetie had complained about the fish sticks being overdone. #2 Son is a wonderful cook in many things, and even took over the BBQ grill when he was only 9 years old. At 13, however, he has very little patience when he would rather be outside with his friends, and didn't give this particular meal his full attention.)

"Hey, mom, I just got back from my trip to see the football team play! Of course, we won the game," "Yes, they sure did win, and did you have a nice trip?" (I have to confess that I had been so busy, I had forgotten about the game, and didn't know who won until he said that.) "It was awesome! The plane broke down and we had to get off before we could even leave and sit around for 4 hours waiting for them to fix it, and football players are boring sitting around with for that long because they all had their IPODS on and wouldn't listen to the coaches. But the oxygen things came out of the boxes, and I yelled, 'I didn't do it!' And the star player on the team, well, he gave me his hat! And when we went in the can at the airport while we were waiting for them to fix the plane, I got to pee in the stall next to him! Imagine that, I got to go in the stall next to the star player on the team!" Very important to 13-year-boy that he got to use the facilities with an admired athlete.

"Hey, mom, when are you coming home again? Dad is being mean to us!" This came from all of the children, who probably call and complain to their dad at work that I am mean when I am home.

"Hey, mom, can I go to friend's house?" "Did you finish the school work I left for you?" "Yes." "Then, it's 'May I go' and the answer is, yes." From both of the younger kids, at various times.

"Hey, mom, before you left, did you find any money in the laundry?" "Yes, walk with the phone down to the laundry room. Stand with your back to the washer, and on the shelf, in the back of the blue basket, you will see some white handkerchiefs with decorations on them. Look in there." From Bigger Girl, who not only saves lots of her money, but absent mindedly leaves some of it in her pockets when she throws things in to be washed.

"Hey, mom, it's Sam's birthday party today, do we have a present?" (No one had told me it was friend Sam's birthday this weekend.) "Okay, you know where we hide the ice cream man money? Under the emergency radio next to the computer desk? Go grab some of the money, and you make him a home made card." This was from Little Girl, who wound up spending the night at the party, as noted earlier.

The following conversation was as I was trying to eat breakfast Saturday morning at the hotel:

"Okay, I got up, got the ice chests packed in the car, got a call from Mrs. S, who had gotten hurt the night before, but she was going to drive out here anyway -- I swear, the people in that family hurt themselves more than any group of people I know! -- and I followed her out to the place so I'm here to pick up the Angel Food stuff. What do I do now?"

"Give them them paperwork."

"What paperwork? You never gave me any paperwork!"

"Yes, I showed you the paperwork on the fridge..."

"You can't just tell me about stuff like that once! You have to tell me where it is, and show me!"

"I told you about it 3 times, when we went over the list all 3 times, and each time I brought you to the fridge and showed you where the paperwork was, and told you to take it with you..."

"You can't just tell me, you have to write it down!"

"It is written with the instructions..."

"Yeah, well, I didn't see that part, so I don't have any paperwork, and this place is a madhouse, and what do I do now?"

"Hand the phone to Mr. N."

Hear him through the phone asking, "Is there a Mr. N around? Well, okay, why don't you talk to my wife, here ... Here, you talk to this lady."

I spoke to two different people at the Angel Food distribution location we use, and they got the items we pick up for Mr. M packed in Mr. M's ice chest and insulated bags, and our food packed into our ice chests, and everything loaded, just like they always do. Very nice people, and
very efficient.

"Okay, they have the stuff packed, and Mrs. S's Stuff is in her car and she is leaving, and I'm taking Mr. M's stuff over to him, then I will go put our stuff in the freezers at home. Then what do I do?"

"Then you go back to bed, you haven't slept enough."

"I may not want to go to sleep by then, I'll find something to do."

At that point, I wanted to tell him to go soak his head, but I restrained myself. I generally take care of all of this stuff while he sleeps in on Saturdays. Yet he always talks about how sleep deprived he is...

A passing note about Angel Food Ministries -- when you have a very limited grocery budget, find out if there is an Angel Food location near you. The food is quality and inexpensive, and is how we actually have enough every month. They are a non-denominational nonprofit group, and you don't have to qualify to buy through them. It may not be free, like food banks, but for people on the edge, who don't qualify for food banks or other help, they are priceless, with their boxes of food for such reasonable prices.

Toward the end of the visit, most of the calls were sporadic, and things like, "Where are you now?" (Answer, driving through the middle of nowhere in Texas or New Mexico.) "When are you coming home?" (Answer, same as usual, at some point late Monday, after 7PM, for certain, and maybe as late as midnight.) "The Mouth (my nickname for my brother-in-law) can't eat what you put on the menu for Bigger Girl to fix this evening, so he is going to take us to eat at B-B's." (Answer, fine, whatever he wants.)

Most of these phone calls were overheard by the person with whom I drove from San Antonio to Albuquerque, so she knows just how dysfunctional this nutty family really is. Poor lady had a front row seat.

Her kind words about it were that my family loves me and wants to include me in everything.

My thought is that no wonder I wanted to run away to Albuquerque for a few days.

Today is:

Alternative Fuel Day

Buttering-Up Semi-Finals -- Fairy Calendar

Change a Light Day

Child Health Day

Chung Yeung Festival, Hong Kong

Come & Take-It Day

Dalton Defenders Day

Dionysus' Day

Dog Day

Feast of Free Spirits

Francisco Morazan Holiday, Honduras

Goose Fair, Nottingham, England

Ig Nobel Prizes Awarded, Massachusetts

Inter-American Water Day

International Frugal Fun Day

National Butterfly and Hummingbird Day

National Carmel Custard Day

National Foundation Day, Korea -- BC 2333

NYC Underground Comedy Festival (Through Oct. 12)

Relief of Leiden Day, Netherlands

St. Garard of Brogne's Day

Sukkot -- Jewish (Through the 9th, Primary Obligation Days 3rd-4th)

Techies Day

World Card Making Day

Birthdays Today:

Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1954
Lindsey Buckingham, 1949
Roy Horn, 1944
Chubby Checker, 1941
Erik Bruhn, 1928
Gore Vidal, 1925
James Herriot (James Alfred Wight), 1916

Today in History:

The state of Gojoseon (modern-day Korea) is founded by Dangun Wanggeom during the reign of the Chinese emperor Yao, BC2333
The siege and battle of Alesia is ended by the surrender of Vercingetorix, leader of the Gauls, to Julius Caesar, BC52
Jews are expelled from Eger, Bohemia, 1430
The Duke of Montrose issues a warrant for the arrest of Rob Roy MacGregor, 1712
George Washington proclaims the first national Thanksgiving Day will be held on Nov. 26, 1789
J.S. Thurman patents a motor-driven vacuum cleaner, 1899
The first conference on wireless telegraphy agrees to adopt SOS as the warning signal and sign of distress, 1906
Leon Trotsky, Adolph Joffe, Matvey Skobelev and other Russian exiles in Vienna, Austria, found the Pravda newspaper, 1908
Mrs. W.H. Felton, of Georgia, becomes the first woman seated in the US Senate, 1922

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