“How’s your Saturday goin’?”

Lola coffee chick: “How’s your Saturday goin’ so far?”

Me: “It’s been interesting…”

Lola coffee chick: “Oh, no. That can be good or bad.”

Me: “Yeah, well, you know. I’ll take a drip coffee with skim.”

Lola coffee chick: “I’ve had those days [giggles]. Sign here.”

Me: “OK. Thanks.”

Lola coffee chick: “Have a great rest of your Saturday.”

Me: “Thanks. You too.”

FOR THE ALTERNATE ENDING, TURN TO PAGE 77.

Lola coffee chick: “How’s your Saturday goin?'”

Me: “You really wanna  know? OK. Here goes…..Well, let’s see. The dude I’m dating just met my demented mom. She was you know, OK, but still, it shook me up enough to where after I dropped him off, I called my friend Catherine and nearly had a nervous breakdown on Central Avenue. Came home. Popped a Zantac for my goddamn heartburn and promptly walked over to your place for desert and coffee. Cause that’s how I cope. What? I like coffee and the burn of reflux at the same time. Don’t  judge me. Now give me my shortbread. What’s the total? You take cards right? Good.”

Lola coffee chick: “Sign here.”

Me: “OK. Thanks.”

Lola coffee chick: “Have a great rest of your Saturday.”

Me: “You smell and I hate you.”

“Catherine, I feel embarrassed, ashamed and exposed.”

HE met her.He finally met her. Weird. Anxiety. I wish I could take something. I’ll have a beer with my lunch. Dad, are you gonna finish your beer? I don’t like it. Too sweet. Christ, not gonna let a perfectly gorgeous Blue Moon go to waste.

This is the first time anyone new has met my mom. Most of my new friends know of my mom, but not one has met her. I tell them stories about her. They see my face or hear my voice when I have one of those days, but they’ve never met her. Maybe a few have seen her picture, but I don’t introduce her to people just cause. Weird right? Weird that I have entire blog dedicated to her, her disease and how it has affected my life, but few people actually get to meet my mom.

When old friends who’ve known her for years—pre-dementia—pop over, it’s no big deal. They know me, love me and accept that this is what it is. I don’t really give it much thought…. I’ll ask them what they think, if they think she’s a lot worse than what they expected or last remembered, etc, etc, etc. Blah, blah, blah. Muah, muah, muah, muah…………………………….

Mostly I ask because I forget what “normal” looks like sometimes.

But he’s new.

I don’t know what he’s thinking.

I guess it would be a lot to take in. Still, I feel weird. Exposed. Raw. Embarrassed. Ashamed. Not very good adjectives. But this is isn’t a very normal disease. What if he is so grossed out by the situation that he just wants to say, ‘Fuck it’?

My friend Catherine, who was the lucky recipient of my freak out telephone call, said that if he did do that, he’s not worth it. I guess. But if he can’t handle it, who will? Even I don’t even want to play this hand anymore. Game Over.

The freak out. Well, it was weird. As I was driving home, this tsunami of emotion just came over me. I called Cat. I started crying. I started losing my mind. Peripheral vision gone. Why is this happening to me? Why does she have to be like this? My feelings about this situation, HER, her disease, everything just erupted. I could barely catch my breath.

Cat was at birthday party for her son’s friend. There was screaming. It came from a kid, not me.

I don’t often cry about my mom these days……. crying about her gets me nothing, except a headache, so I avoid it.

Catherine says I should tell him exactly how I feel…. I suppose I will. I’m just writing down my thoughts for posterity’s sake. Right here. Now. Or I’ll forget. It’s a blog. You can do that shit.

She spit on the floor. HE saw it. I didn’t look at his face. She laughed I think.

She spit on the floor.

“She does that,” said my dad matter-of-factly.

She spit on the fucking floor.

Christ. Yes. She does do that.

She spit on the floor.

Sometimes I can laugh at shit. But right now, I’m angry. You know what, it is fucking unfair to have a demented mom. I’m 33 and I’m tired. Normal people introduce their friends and boyfriends to smiling happy parents who golf and drink Chardonnay.

My mother spits. A lot. I hate that. It grosses me out.  I cannot, for the life of me, accept it. I try to teach her to spit outside or in the garbage can. She just laughs at me. She fucking laughs at me.

Am I some sort of clown, mother?

Do I amuse you?

Um, that would be a big fat fucking YES.

I know she doesn’t mean it. I know this. I am aware.

STILL…………………

The woman is like the  Terminator, I swear to god. She never stops [spitting]. She cant’ be bargained with [when it comes to spitting]. She can’t be reasoned with [about her spitting behavior]. I have no idea if she feels pity for anyone [who has to clean up her spit or watch her do it], or remorse [like when she spits in public].

Ughhhhhhhhh. It’s been an interesting Saturday to say the least.

3 Comments

  1. HI Kathy,
    I love the way you write – your honesty, your pain, your humor. I don’t know what will happen with your man but my guess is you prepared him the best you could for the meeting. Your friend is right, if he can’t handle it then he might not he one. He may stay in your life but just not be the one who can support you through this process. Like you said, sometimes you don’t want to deal with it either.
    All of us have said the same thing at one time or another. Maybe we haven’t been as brave as you to write it down and share it with others, or speak those words; as we are afraid of being judge by others. You my girl are breaking the barriers and giving true voice to the pain and frustration this disease causes Caregivers. I thank you for being you.

    Lori

    PS – I would add chocolate to your list of coping mechanisms.

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