Paying Attention

Paying Attention

Every week my mother and I have the same conversation, where to have dinner on Friday night. I call her in the middle of the afternoon and ask her the question. She says she’ll think about it and have an answer when I get home.

And she never does. “No se, lo que tu quieras.”

Today when I picked her up though, she handed me a note. Scribbled on it was the word “Lobster.”

I asked her what it meant and she explained that she’d been watching television and “it” looked good on the commercial. Dutiful daughter that I am, I looked up lobster somewhere nearby and hit upon a Red Lobster.

My mom was sooooo pleased when we found it and I asked her why she wanted lobster, since she’d never wanted it before. “Yo no quiero al paton,” she said. “Yo quiero un steak.”

It was only then that I realized my mom wasn’t asking for lobster, she’d only caught half the name of the restaurant she wanted to try. I figured her giving the television half her attention is more than I normally get from her describing what she saw, so I went with it.

In Years Please

In Years Please

Why do people always refer to small children in terms of months? We don’t talk about new cars, new houses, ipods, or sporting equipment in months.  Why children? Here’s how one of my elevator conversations went on this subject.

Me: How’s the kid?
Friend: He’s getting big. 20 months now.
Me: Do you realize that when you tell childless people that, we wonder, “Hmm, does that mean he’s 18 yet?”

Sometimes My Mom Is Intentionally Silly

Sometimes My Mom Is Intentionally Silly

As you’ve probably guessed, my mom has a lot of unintentionally amusing moments. Afterward, she always notes two things: “You like to laugh at me, don’t you?” and “Don’t you put that on the internet.”

I’ll admit it, I have a happier life because her travails make me laugh, really hard. I also like that she is, sometimes, just a little silly. Such as when she’s trying to teach my niece that she shouldn’t be scared of the fake pirate.

The Scary Pirate

It’s Hard, But Not Impossible

It’s Hard, But Not Impossible

Still doing the P90x.  I’m most amused by how people think it’s an insane workout.  Yes, it’s challenging, and I can’t do a pull-up, but it’s nothing impossible.  Sure, I do less reps than the people with 4% body fat, but it’s still giving me a good workout.  The hardest part is getting up early to actually do the workouts.

The Camera’s Gone Dark

The Camera’s Gone Dark

I wrote earlier this year about how I gave my mom a camera for use in general documentation of things that annoy her.  In the weeks since she’s had it, she’s shot all sorts of petty breaking-the-apartment-complex rules.

I was pleased with her photos.  I mean, after years of having my head cut off in pictures, I think she’s finally mastered the concept of point and shoot.  She’s actually getting pretty good at capturing license plate numbers, littering, and the random shot of someone backing up into the building.

On our daily phone call today, however, she revealed that something had happened to the camera.

“Se ve negra,” she said.

Over the phone, I tried to walk her through all the different things she could do to try to make it work.

I’d forgotten that she can’t really see.  And, I can’t really describe words like “latch” in Spanish.  But we hopelessly fumbled through it.

After a while, my mom seemed to get tired of the call and abruptly ended it.  It kind of hurt my feelings, because I really was trying to be helpful.

A few minutes later, she called back, “Me puse los lentes, y lo hice,” she happily yelled (because we don’t speak, we yell).  “Pero no lo podia hacer cuando estaba hablando contigo. Necesitaba ir a mi propio paso.”

I laughed at my mother’s pursuit of the answer to the puzzle of camera darkness.  She’s dogged in her pursuit of answers to puzzles, and I’m thankful that trait got passed on.