Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Well, once I'm dead, you'll be free", was her parting shot - that'll teach me to shut up

I think it may just be mothers are straight from Satan's personal collection of people. On the sly, and thus doubly wicked and evil.

I've been thinking darkly about my maternal relationship whilst window-cleaning this weekend. I rather like window-cleaning. I do a reasonably good job too, rarely any stripes, although it is not often I am allowed to do it because My Mum usually announces out of the blue that she's done it already.

My Mum rang me up on Sunday morning asking whether I wanted to go to mökki (the summer cottage). No, I said, I can't really, because the dog has a runny tum again, I'll be cleaning windows instead. Oh no, you mustn't, she said. Wait till I've brought you my special cleaning thing with a long handle. You can't be climbing onto chairs to reach up, not on the tenth floor. Mum, I don't have to climb onto chairs, I can reach just fine without. No you can't, I always have to climb onto chairs. Yes well you have higher ceilings and windows and you are a lot shorter than I. Well, remember to use vinegar water. No, I have Windus. OH. I never use Windus. Well I have it so I'm going to use it, okay? Okay, okay. I'll call you later to make sure you haven't fallen out of the window.

I have known many people, often women, who will never get over a certain bitterness towards their mums. I am pleased to report I do not feel it - but there are times I feel there could be reasonable grounds for it.

And I'll surely never be grown up.


Navas said...

This post really made smile as it is just like the sort of conversation that I have with my mother. Does she polish the windows with scrunched up newspapers too?

Last week I had the surgery I've been waiting for since January and she came to "look after me" for a few days. I love her to bits, of course, but having her around when I was feeling a little less than 100% was a tad stressful.

Matti said...

now, on some level i know that "the dog has a runny tum again, I'll be cleaning windows" wasn't MEANT to be funny.

nmj said...

dearest anna, can you come here with your WINDUS and clean my windows?


what is WINDUS?

i love it.

(scrunched up newspaper is great for cleaning mirrors, i do it all the time!)


Anna MR said...

Dear all, profoundly sorry that my replies have taken this long. In my defence, though, it must be noted I have been Seriously Ill and am still Very Weak. However, onwards and, um, onwards...

Navas, she did polish the windows with scrunched-up newspaper, yes - up until the recent years when she's bought The Thing With the Long Handle. The one I was supposed to wait for. I find the idea of scrunched-up newspapers very appealing, somehow - it speaks to the recycler in me - but for some reason I haven't ever used those myself, for anything (I should get lessons from NMJ, maybe?), and I find myself wondering about the newsprint ink - doesn't it smudge?

Whatever. I'm pleased to know you've cleared the surgery (hope it wasn't too horrible) and I sympathise fully with your plight (read: having your mum "look after you"). These things are sent to try us, and to make matters worse, we should be grateful. For good reason, too, which doesn't make it any more palatable. (Since writing the post, I've had my mum ensuring the continuity of life in the MR household for a whole week. Truly, Navas, I have suffered - and that's not even taking into account the fever, the pain, the headache, the nausea...of course, it was all because I had the audacity to write the post in the first place. Our misdemeanours do not go unnoticed by the gods, Navas, it seems, and they are overkeen to slap us back. Verily yes.)

[WARNING - THIS REPLY CONTAINS MULTIPLE REFERENCES TO DOG POO.] Matti, how lovely to see you. My extra-sensory perception tells me your comment came to me from Dubai, of all places. But what meanest thou - "not MEANT" to be funny"? Of course it's meant to be funny. What else can dog poo on windows be except total, full-on, non-stop hilarity? (In my beautiful dog girl's defence, it has to be said she doesn't actually shit on windows, no. She prefers doing it, if indoors at all, on two little rugs (she can't help it, she has a delicate tummy). She has now learnt to use relatively hard measures to get me up in the night - she'll jump onto my chest, scratch and sniff and kiss and whine, and occasionally, run with a meaningful look to stand on these two little rugs. Proof of intelligence, if nothing else, wouldn't you say?)

Cyberfriend NMJ, dearest honey, I would be delighted to WINDUS your windows, and in exchange, you can teach me the knack of newspaper. (I didn't actually use Windus - I used a slightly more environmentally-friendly equivalent, but still of the poisonously blue variety. I would love to use vinegar water except it's what my mum uses. It's one of those things, you know.)

Absolute Vanilla (& Atyllah) said...

Sorry to hear you've been ill, I do hope you'll soon be feeling very much better. And no, I am absolutely not going to comment on the subject of mothers. Nuf zed!

Navas said...

The surgery was fine - I am full of praise for our local hospital. I am back at work tomorrow. Sorry to hear you've been poorly. In the meantime, I have had another stressful encounter with my mother...(Can I scream?)

Anna MR said...

So hello here as well, Absolute Vanilla (I've just been talking to you over at the picture blog) - and may I say again what a total surprise and delight it is to see you here. You're most heartily welcome - I have of course seen you here and there and it is lovely to have you visit. Thank you also for the well-wishings - I am usually very healthy and quite indignant now at how my good health just caved and allowed me to simultaneously come down with everything from bronchitis to severe headache (and other ailments) - all of it less than life-threatening, happily, but still leaving me quite useless for over a week. On the mend now, though, which is just as well - I would make the world's worst chronic patient, I nag and niggle and complain and wail and feel sorry for myself in a world-champion fashion.

And it may well be wisdom to keep quite, quite schtum about mothers...but don't keep schtum otherwise, Vanilla Atyllah, it's fun to see you so do keep talking.

Anna MR said...

Navas - you not only can but also may. Go girl, let it all out.

(Glad to know the experience was as positive as surgery can be. My recent encounters with the medical industry have included a melt-tastic muscle relaxant shot, and have been alright too. I should be back to work on Wednesday, although I have still felt very weak today so will have to wait and see how I am when we get there.)

Reading the Signs said...

Dear Knight of the Shining Deed (and I do not just mean the particular one of honouring me with MOCDOC and thus bestowing inner shine and radiance, though obviously this is particular to the now as well as to the hereafter) - er, where was I? Where are we?

Look. It is not good that you are/have been ill, but complaining and feeling sorry for self in world champion fashion can in such cases be a very sensible course of action. Stuff what anyone else thinks, it's better in than out and nicely detoxifies the system. I know, I have been keeping schtum for the last couple of weeks, and where has it got me? I feel like shite, that's where! Could have been letting you and the whole world know how crap I feel (apologies for sudden run of excremental imagery, see what I mean about toxic?) but instead I maintained a seemingly elegant silence. Ha, already I feel better giving utterance to the sheer misery of miserableness, but look you, I could have raised it beyond the usual mire, made an art form of it. A missed opportunity.

On the other hand, you probably needed to rest. Fair enough.

Anyway, mothers: you won't get a word out of me until this post has sunk into the bowels (oh no, again!) of the earth. But whatever, I echo Vanilla's eloquent "nuf zed". Unfortunately, the example of your ma phoning to make sure you hadn't fallen out of the window reminds me uncomfortably of me, but best brush that under the carpet.

But anyway. I'm a newspaper and vinegar water person. When I can be arsed, that is. No, I'd better stop now before it gets worse. You talked about poo, though, so -

Take it easy tomorrow -


Anna MR said...

Oh, dear Knightly Sees - hello, lovely to hear from you. It is indeed a shocking waste you didn't fully verbalise the total shiteyness of how you've been feeling, but (and this against the background of most genuinely hoping the situation is beginning to be one of the past) maybe it's not too late. What with a poet's eye and tongue (and pen, okay?) methinks you could still sum up a descriptive phrase or paragraph for us all to go yes, yes, that's it precisely, that's how it feels when it really is crap.

Which it often is, let's face it. This reminds me, have you collected the wee bit of melancholy jollity I left you over at Take Two? It took me forever, granted, and I'm all over apologies, but please don't think I've forgotten you (there or elsewhere).

I am having to continue with sickleave at least for tomorrow. Now why is it, God damn it, when one is hardly ever ill (seriously, last time was September) and there are other people who are off a day or two every week, one still feels embarrassed and riddled with guilt? But I am coughing like a tuberculotic attic poet, most un-delicately, into my lace hankie, so even when riddled with shame and guilt I know I am not fit to educate (for one, I can barely talk).

And while, of course, I will grant both you and the good Vanilla and indeed everyone else the leave to keep schtum about mums (a delicate subject area if ever there was one) I would also like to venture that if we were to always stay silent on this most painful of topics, then no, um, boils would every be lanced. Just saying. Maybe we should discover a bowel-nook somewhere (that sounded pretty icky, actually, but you know what I mean) and go Talk Mothers. Oh dear.

(The supreme irritation one feels about one's mother is only heightened, I find, by the fact that one realises one is the source of supreme irritation for one's offspring. Word and thrice word.)

And dear heart and fellow MOCDOC - taking it easy is the only option, at the moment. Oh man. But big mwah and thank you for the well-wishing, it is appreciated no end.