Monday, May 3, 2010

Honor Thy Mother

"Put it down!" I shouted.

Lucy darted away. I flailed at her with a stick, trying to back her into a corner of the yard.

"Stupid dog," I growled at her. She growled back.

Things had been going downhill since Friday. My morning meeting that day had gone long and by the time I got back upstairs to my office, my mother was firmly ensconced in a guest chair.

"Sorry I'm late," I told her.

"It's fine," she said. "I've been having a lovely conversation with H."

H., my assistant, smiled at me. "I've learned so much about you," she said.

I moaned in quiet pain. "Mom, what kind of lies have you been telling?"

"You see?" my mother asked H. "This is how he behaves."

"C'mon, Ma, let's go eat."

"It's cute the way he calls you 'Ma,'" said H. "He sounds like he's from the East Coast."

"I think it's irritating," said my mother. "Then again, I've had to deal with him all these years."

H. nodded. "I can see how that would be irritating."

"Can we go?" I asked. "I'm starving."

By the time we got to the restaurant I'd recommended, a Szechuan place noted for its lunch buffet, the line reached out the door. Sitting in the passenger seat of my mother's car, I shrieked in frustration.

"Oh, stop complaining," she said.

"I've got a meeting at 1:30 and I don't have time to wait."

"We'll find another restaurant," said my mother.

"I don't want to go to another restaurant. I want to go here."

"Then let's get in line."

"I hate lines. I'll have a nervous breakdown."

"You'll have a heart attack if you don't relax."

"I hope so," I said.

"Your children need you."

"You're lying again."

We finally got me fed and returned to work, although not without a fair amount of swearing on my part. After enduring an afternoon of comments from my coworkers about how lucky I was to have a mother like mine, I escaped for home.

And now, less than a day later, here I was chasing a dog.

"Lucy killed a squirrel," the Lovely Bride announced a couple of hours before as we watched our middle boy's soccer game. She'd just finished texting our oldest.

"Lucky squirrel," I said.

The Lovely Bride shook her head. "Your mother said you were in a mood."

"It's not a mood, it's a belief system. I believe that if there was a God, He'd hate me."

The parent sitting on the other side of me looked over for a moment and went back to watching the soccer game. She's known me for years.

"Do you mind?" whispered the Lovely Bride. "We still need these people to help carpool."

"Fine. Lucy killed a squirrel. So what?"

"So the oldest had to leave for work and couldn't get it away from her. He left her outside. You'll have to get it away from her when we get home."

"Me?" I asked. "You do it."

Which is how I came to be chasing the dog around the yard, a bloody and quite dead squirrel dangling from her mouth.

"Come here, girl," I said. "Daddy loves you."

She tried to sneak past. I shook my stick and she retreated to the other side of the fire pit.

"Good girl," I said. "Now drop the rodent and nobody gets hurt."

She feinted right. I was there for her, got the stick hooked in her collar, and she released the carcass.

"Stupid dog," I repeated, flinging the squirrel into the marsh on the other side of the fence. Turtle food.

The stupid dog took the opportunity to lick me. I gagged and pushed her away.

Toweling off after my shower, I yelled to the Lovely Bride in the living room, "What did I do to deserve this?"

"I think you know," she replied.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

"I think you know," she replied.

Fine ending.

Kathleen said...

you deserve a ribbon.

fish said...

Kathleen misspelled bourbon.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

good one fish.

You deserve a cranberry vodka.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

...wait, Snag's shower is next to his living room?

Or is it just an open-door household?

Substance McGravitas said...

"I think you know," she replied.

Boy do I dread that one.

Kathleen said...

fish pickled in cranberry vodka sounds about right.

and very swedish