Things you really don't want to discuss with your mother...
My elderly (78), slightly senile
, mother called today. She wanted to talk about our latest visit, and said almost exactly the same things she had said when I called a couple of days ago, only hours after the visit. She tends to do that, but it doesn't matter; we know she forgets, she sometimes remembers that she forgets
, but most of the time she forgets.
She is one easy caller, my mother. I pretty much just answer the phone, and she takes it from there. A lenghty conversation only requires the occasional "Aha" or "Mmm" from my side, while she rambles on about this and that. Mostly she reports incidents from her day, and sometimes from years ago too. Most anecdotes will be told more than once during a conversation, and if I try to stave off another rendering by saying, "oh, yes, you told me" in a light voice, as not to hurt her feelings, she will laugh and still tell the story, only somewhat briefer.
Today she began telling me about a book she is reading. Something about some plastic surgeons. One of the persons in the book tries to (or succeeds in, I never found out) embarass or intimidate his ex-girlfriend
by taking out his erect member
"It said something about a 'blueish or violet thing", my mother says. "Really. In the middle of the afternoon. I mean, it's not very pretty, a thing like that. It was always nicer with the lights out, if you know what I mean?"
I may have made a noncomittal sound here.
"And then he obviously wanted her to 'do it' by hand. I never liked doing that. Your father sometimes took my hand and helped me, but it wasn't really me. He liked it, though."
I'm not sure what kind of sound I made here.
"He never forced himself on me, your father. Not like that first husband of mine. No, the second one it was. Did you meet him. No, of course, you weren't born then. He was a jerk! Do you like to do the hand thing?"
"Well?" she insisted.
"But... I think it's one of these things you don't want to share with your mother." I tried, but she just sniffed
. "I don't ask you to share
it with me. Just tell me."
"Well..." I lied. "Sometimes. From time to time." And she took that as had I agreed with her, and that I didn't like "the hand thing". She does some wonderful jumping to conclusions. High and long jumps, over whatever obstacles there might be in the way - such as truth or proof, or the absence of either. And the world is more peaceful if we agree with her...
After some ten minutes of "Oh, I must be running along now. Just called to tell you... Why did I call again? Oh yes...", we got to say our "Love you, speak to you soon
" and hang up.
It took me a while (and some serious music) to get the pictures out of my mind. My darling so laughed at me, but did agree: There are just some things one does not wish to discuss with ones parents! Don't get me wrong: I love my mother, and I'm unfailingly patient with her, 'cause she never chose to become senile. And, well, maybe I'm just overly sensitive, but still...