Every day, almost like clockwork, I call my mum between around 12 and around 1pm. I do this for various reasons and will list them below:
- I love my mum
- I like to know she is okay
- She likes to know that I like to know she is okay
- If I don’t, she calls me, often when I don’t want her to
- If I don’t answer when she calls me, she calls my mobile
- If I don’t answer my mobile, she calls the police
These are all good and valid reasons for keeping in touch with one’s mother, I think. But it’s never as easy as you might think. She always has reasons for the bloody snotty-voiced answerphone kicking in and taking a message, these are:
- It might be someone she doesn’t want to talk to, usually another member of the family
- She may be ‘in the kitchen’ which is a mystical world that phone sounds do not enter
- She may be ‘upstairs’ where the extension phone ringer is turned off in case of calls at night
- She may be ‘in the bathroom’ where she seems to spend a lot of time
- She may be at the doctors or the supermarket, her main social outlets
Thusly, I normally end up having to leave a message which means she has to call me back, which is bloody annoying honestly.
Today was no different; today went like this:
12.40pm – I called mum, got her answerphone. I left a message saying I was taking a ten minute break from work and so, would call her later on today, when I had finished.
1.35pm – Mum called me and said she didn’t want to disburb my work (a good start) and then went on to say that she had been ‘upstairs’ (tick), ‘in the bathroom’ (tick) and that she hadn’t heard the phone (double tick). She said that she was getting ready to go out to the doctors (tick) and that she also had other shopping related errands to run (tick) and didn’t want me to be worried if she wasn’t in when I called back.
I managed to stop ticking for long enough to politely ask when she thought she might be home, as I would call her later – as I had said on my answerphone message.
She said erm… (dangerous tick) and then began the manoeuvre I think of as the mum meander. She said, “Well, after seeing Sister Nurse at the surgery, I should erm… probably go to Asda and then erm… (long pause)”
I interject, “Just a ball park time mum, no need to be exact”.
She erms again and then continues, “got to go to the bank and then… no, I don’t think I need anything else particularly, maybe apart from, well even if so, not a problem really, so well… (pauses and I cough) I suppose I might be back at about half past three.”
“Great!” I say with fervour, champing at the bit now like a mad pony, “Fantastic! I will call you some time after that then”.
And we sign off and she goes and I get back to work.
My point is this. By the time she actually gets to have a conversation with me later in the day, when we’ve already called each other several times and made tentative appointments, I’m already a wee bit impatient and pee’d off.
I love my mum, god help me I do. I even like her, which is about as good as you can say for your parents, but godamn, I wish sometimes telepathy was an option for communication.