Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Time with Evelyn

Well, our weekend back in VA was interesting. We arrived just before noon on Sat, went out to lunch with Joe's mom Evelyn, did a little gift card shopping, and hung out with her at her house until it was time for the 3 of us to go to Ana's grad school graduation party, which was really nice. Sun we treated Evelyn to lunch for belated Mother's Day and Joe's brother Louis for his belated birthday, and had a nice time. We left for home at about 1:00.

As usual, our time with Evelyn was full of both laughter and frustration. Now, to prevent anyone from getting the wrong idea, I love my mother-in-law! I really do. She's very optimistic, active, and loves to keep up with current events, mostly by reading tabloids like the Star and Inquirer, and watching those 'fake' news programs like Inside Edition. But she's 78 years old, so we don't give her much grief for reading the tabloids.

She's not the kind of 78 year old women who sits around crocheting afghans or doilies. Hell, she doesn't even cook anymore if she can help it. She'd much rather go to dinner or lunch (or both in the same day) with her girlfriends, to whom Spouse & I affectionately refer as The Bag Brigade. But I digress. Evelyn is a doll and I love her, but she can be a little frustrating at times.

Since we moved 16 months ago we've gone back to visit Evelyn once each month. We stay at her house, which is the house Spouse was raised in. I'm not exaggerating when I say that every time we've been back to visit she asks me who do I think is going to be the next president. At first I would tell her whom I hoped would win, but reminded her that we'll just have to wait and see. More recently I've been telling her that while the election is still 5 months away I am sick to death of all the information regurgitation about it. No one has anything NEW to say so they just keep speculating and rehashing every minute detail. Because of this I told her that I have stopped watching the news. I turn the TV or radio station when any discussion of Clinton, Obama, Reverend Wright, or McCain comes on. Despite my being crystal clear on this, on Sat Evelyn once again asked me who did I think was "gonna get it", 'it' being the presidency.

Then there's her unlocked door phobia. She has an irrational fear of the doors to her house being unlocked. Its not like she lives in a 'bad neighborhood' or anything - that's why I refer to it as 'irrational'. Here's an example of a typical (read: happens every time we visit) conversation we have about the doors being locked:
Mark: Come on Jordan, let's go outside and go pee-pee.
Evelyn: Make sure you lock that sliding door.
Mark: Okay, I will. (Lets dog out)
Evelyn: Did you lock that door?
Mark: No, I'm going to let Jordan back in the house in 5 minutes, but I'll lock it then.
Evelyn: Okay, don't forget.
Mark: I won't. (Lets dog back in 5 minutes later and locks door)
Evelyn: Is the door locked?
Mark: Yes.
Evelyn: Okay, thank you. I always have to make sure the door is locked (as if I didn't know this!) 'cuz you never know, right?
Mark: Uh huh
(Five minutes later, as we're about to leave the house together)
Evelyn: Joey, check that sliding door (the one I just told her I locked 5 minutes ago) to make sure its locked.
Spouse: Its locked Ma.
This happens all the time, and it sorta drives me crazy. But then I calm myself by telling myself that she's 78 years old and lives alone, so she has a heightened level of personal safety. Besides, she treats me like a son, which is more than I can say about my own parents.

And as I said above, time spent with Evelyn is full of laughter too. Sometimes this woman cracks me up!

Once she told us about a conversation she had with her morbidly obese son Paul. She told us that she expressed her concerns to him over the health risks suffered by many who are extremely overweight. (No one knows for sure, but I'm guess Paul is at least 400 lbs.) Then she said to him "Paulie, you've got to cut back. You can't keep going like this. What are you trying to prove?" This had me & Spouse rolling on the floor with laughter! She asked him "What are you trying to prove?" as if there was some kind of purpose behind his eating, like those who stage hunger strikes. To this day if one of us overeats Spouse or I will say to the other "What are you trying to prove?"

On one of our visits Evelyn asked Spouse if he'd lost weight. He indicated he had, so she replied "You're looking good now. For awhile you were starting to look ridiculous." I burst into laughter as Spouse seemed slightly offended. "What? Ridiculous? That seems awfully harsh" he said, as they both joined me in laughter.

Another such 'Evelyn-ism' we've used over and over again came when we picked up mints from a bowl as we exited a restaurant. Instead of the typical red and white peppermints, these were green and white spearmints. Not having noticed the different color, but definitely noticing the different taste, Evelyn said "Oh, I got a sour cream mint." Spouse nearly had to scrape me off the parking lot I was laughing so hard! Evelyn laughed too. I mean, think about it: sour cream is not a flavor per se, its simply an ingredient. No confectioner would create a sour cream flavored mint! Then Spouse added to my hysteria by claiming he'd gotten an herb and garlic mint. I was destroyed!!!

Another time we were talking about her neighbor Charlotte's drinking when Evelyn concluded that Charlotte needed to go to "triple A" for help. After we recovered from our fits of laughter Spouse corrected her by saying "You mean AA Ma, not triple A." She's like a female Archie Bunker.

Evelyn was giving us her Christmas list verbally one year and said she wanted some "Ester Nigro perfume", which had us in tears with laughter. Ester Nigro was an old family friend who passed away years ago, whom I doubt ever came out with her own fragrance line. What she meant to say was 'Estee Lauder perfume'.

Evelyn occasionally eats with her girlfriends at "TGFridy", which you and I would know as T.G.I.Fridays. Evelyn removes the 'I', turns 'Friday' into Fridy, and removes the 's'. In fact she removes the 's' off of lots of names, like 'Trader Joe' (Trader Joe's), 'Ruby Tuesdy' (Ruby Tuesdays), and 'Men Warehouse' (Men's Warehouse). She also removes the 's' sound from the end of words that are not plural, such as 'Chinee and Japanee restaurants'.

Her latest and quite possibly her funniest faux pas occurred while I was in the living room reading the paper (NOT watching FOX news with her) when she asked Spouse whom he liked better, Hilary Clinton or Barack Bahama?

Oh, how the woman slays me!

Crush du Jour: Aaron Diaz


Java said...

LOL!! I dunno Mark, but it sounds to me like the amusement factor outweighs the frustration.

I want to vote for Barack Bahama. I can't help but think this country would have so much more fun if Barack Bahama was our president.

Java said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Dust said...

Evelyn makes perfect sense to me. Personally, my weight makes me look ridiculous right now and I have NO idea what I'm trying to prove. And sometimes I think I should go to "triple-A" to deal with my drinking.

But one thing I know for sure: I will DEFINITELY be voting for "Barack Bahama" in November!



David Dust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeff said...

Evelyn sounds like a card! :-)
And sour cream is too a flavour! Sour cream and chives are good chips!

tornwordo said...

Chinee and Japanee makes me laugh. This sounds like Dirk's mother.

Anonymous said...

"triple A" Does Betty work there?