My mother keeps a list of things she wishes to talk to me about on any given day. She keeps the list because she finds some things she hears any given day really interesting, but she doesn’t quite understand how or why it happened, so she asks me for explanations. Some days the conversations are headline-related (e.g., the fiscal cliff, Jenni Rivera’s death). Other days, like today, they just affirm the miracle it takes to get her (and all around her) sanely through every day.
Today’s first conversation was about a recent scare. It was the middle of the night and she heard motorized stirring . . . in her apartment. She looked around and found nothing, so became convinced someone was drilling through the walls (and then through her cabinets) to get in. Nevermind that it would be easier to come through a window, but whatever, she isn’t exactly logical in her midnight musings. In a panic, she rummaged around the rubbing alcohol, linens, and toilet paper rolls stored in the cabinets before she finally found the culprit–the automated light switch flipper which she had removed earlier in the week. She cracked herself up as she retold the story before sheepishly noting, “Se me olvido sacarle las baterías.”
The second item on today’s list was her appointment for an ear cleaning. Last week, she had called me about a letter telling her she was eligible for an ear cleaning. At the time she’d found the invitation odd, because she couldn’t remember mentioning that she needed one to her doctor, but she figured since it was the first time she was getting medical care she really wanted (as opposed to what the medical group wanted her to do, i.e., stool tests, mammograms, pap smears), the appointment was a rare good medical experience.
And so, our post-breakfast conversation was to be a review of letter the notes she had made to herself in preparation for the call to the doctor’s office. As I read the six sentence letter, I laughed.
“Mom, do you know what ‘Urology’ is?” I asked dispassionately. She paused two seconds and gestured as if she was cleaning her ears with a Q-tip. I spit out some of my tamal.
“No dice ‘earology’ mom, dice ‘urology. Urology es cuando estudian lo de la orina.”
She laughed gleefully at the state of her confidence in her literacy before congratulating herself on learning procrastination. “Porque eso si que me hubiera dado verguenza pedirle una limpieza de los oídos.”
Yes mom, not sure what your urologist would have said when you requested a deep ear cleansing.