Thursday, May 20, 2010

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

Let me first say that I am not a morning person. Never have been. I am a night owl and my mind functions better at 10pm than 8am. My best R.E.M. sleep happens between the hours of 6 am and 8am. Cheerful morning people are the most annoying people on earth, and they’d better not start their “what a great day” crap with me until at least 9am. My family knows I am crabby in the morning and they respect my privacy ignore me like the plague in the morning.

So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that today would be a bad day. In fact, I should have known when brother-in-law called me yesterday afternoon. Brother-in-law NEVER calls me. Ever.

After the preliminary greetings were out of the way, the first thing out of his mouth was “I can take mom to get her colonoscopy tomorrow……”

I waited for the “but….”

Finally, he said “I feel bad that you always take them to their appointments.”

Now, first of all, I don't take them to all their appointments, mother-in-law drives them to most, and I had not volunteered to take mother-in-law to her colonoscopy appointment. I knew she had one, but Hubby had told me earlier that he was going to take her so he could hear what the doctor had to say afterward. Not only would mother-in-law not remember everything the doctor said, she has a tendency to exaggerate the bad stuff and tune out the good stuff. She’s a bit (see, I exaggerate too, she’s a lot) of a hypochondriac and a definite sympathy seeker. So a sentence from the doctor like “You have a slight heart arrhythmia that you’ve probably had all your life and will continue to have the rest of your life without causing concern” turns into “You have an incurable heart problem and you are going to die.”

But Hubby was hosting a cookout at work and couldn’t go, and mother-in-law hadn’t consulted any of us before she made the appointment anyway. She told Hubby that she would just drive herself. Yeah, like the doctor didn’t tell her she needed to make sure she had someone to drive her. Hubby and I have both had colonoscopies, we know the drill.

So back to brother-in-law. I told him it was silly for him to even think of coming down here just to take her to an appointment when I’m 15 minutes from their apartment and he is over an hour away. Then I asked him what time her appointment was.

Him: “8am but she’ll need to be there early to do paperwork.”

Me: “Ugh.”

Him: “I can probably get there in time to take her, it’s just going through Dallas during rush hour. I know you don’t get up that early.”

Me: “And you do? No, I can do it. If father-in-law can get up that early, so can I.”

One of the last things I did before going to bed was cleaning and seasoning a cast iron Dutch oven for Hubby to use at his cookout. Seasoning a cast iron skillet means putting oil on it and baking it so food won’t stick to the pan. It stinks, a burning kind of stink. I don’t fall asleep easily any time, but especially when there is a burned smell in the house. I tried. But I tossed and turned until 1:30am when I gave up and aired-out the house. I finally got to sleep about 2:30am.

My alarm was set for 6:30am, but Hubby woke me up at 6:15am. Fifteen minutes shouldn’t be a big deal, and they probably wouldn’t have been after eight hours sleep, but not after just three hours and forty-five minutes. Hubby has lived with me long enough to know not to talk to me in the morning, not even to apologize for waking me. He doesn’t want to risk unleashing the crab monster. Instead, he turned on the tv. There is an anchor on the local Fox morning show named Tim Ryan. He’s surly and sarcastic in the morning. That’s what I like about him. Fifteen minutes listening to him and I am almost civil.

I made my usual ½ cup of oatmeal and I also made some tea. Yes, it was caffeinated tea. It was raining, I was tired and crabby, and it was 6 freakin’ 30 in the morning. Deal with it. I grabbed a bag of books and magazines, my thermos of tea, and an umbrella and was out the door at 7:10. Mother-in-law wasn’t ready. She had to go to the bathroom. Then again. Yep, I remember that part. Pure misery. We were taking their mini van and it was parked outside so I could park my car in their garage. Hail, you know. I didn’t protest.

Now a word about their mini van. It’s a Mercury. Need I say more? Ok, it’s a Mercury with one of those chime/beep alarms that beeps when it senses anything near by, which is great if that thing is a child or bicycle. But this beeps incessantly. It beeps when we go around corners. It beeps when we go over a speed bump. It beeps when we go through a dip in the road. It. Beeps. All. The. Time. Then it started beeping and a flashing light came on that said the left rear door was ajar. So I stopped, got out in the rain, opened and shut the door. The beeping continued, so I got out and did it again, in the rain. It didn’t stop beeping, and continued to beep all the way to the hospital.

Mother-in-law began fiddling with the knobs trying to get it to stop beeping, and then she started chatting and asking me questions. I don’t do questions in the morning, and she was beginning to unravel the thin layer of protective caffeine coating around my brain cells. I answered with various levels of grunts and she took that to mean I couldn’t hear her and began talking louder. I thought if she didn’t quit talking she wouldn’t need anesthesia by the time we got to the hospital - but I couldn't let go of the steering wheel. Finally, we got to the hospital and I let them out at the door at precisely 7:45am and then searched through the parking lots until I found an open space. It was quiet in the van and I thought about staying there, but it was getting warm and sticky with the rain outside.

Mother-in-law didn’t get called back to the pre-op area until 8:30, and father-in-law watched it rain while I looked at pictures in my magazine. I hadn’t had enough caffeine to actually read words yet. By the time I moved on to a book without pictures, it was 9:30am and a nurse was walking toward us, I assumed to tell us mother-in-law was done. Wrong. She said that mother-in-law was still waiting, and said one of us could go wait with her. So father-in-law went with her and I continued to read.

Brother-in-law showed up about 10:30am and told me he would stay if I wanted to go home. I felt sure mother-in-law was almost done, so I asked the woman at the check-in desk. She checked and mother-in-law was still waiting to go in, so I quickly took up brother-in-law’s offer and left. I told him I would put their van in the garage and leave the keys in it.

When I got to their apartment, I parked outside and locked my purse in my car so I would have less to carry with me. Then I opened their garage door and started pulling in when I noticed that it was going to be a tight fit. So I put the van into Park, rolled the windows down, and scooted over to the passenger seat to pull in the mirrors. Pulled the van in, punched the garage door opener and ran to get out before the door closed. Then I felt in my pocket for my car keys and they weren’t there. Yep, they went into the seat when I scooted over to pull in the mirror. I stuck my foot inside the garage to stop the opener and the door kept coming down. I pressed my foot against the bottom of the door and it kept coming down. Nearly didn’t get my foot out in time.

Now there I was with no keys to the apartment, no keys to my car, holding a ten pound sack of stuff, and a thermos’ worth of tea in my bladder. Oh crap.

And you know what? The day actually got worse from there. We had tornadoes, heavy rain, and hail.

Until next time, may you have blessings and taxi service,

P.S. Mother-in-law was finally taken in for her colonoscopy at 11:30.


  1. You are a woman after my own heart. lol Everyone here is finally learning not to come over or call before 10am. Family had it figured out long ago. Sorry about all the rest of the junk. :-)

  2. Ha ha ha ha!!! You can tell a story well. Great read!


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