christmas shopping with grandma... where's the reindeer?

Today my mom, who for some reason I call grandma (when I am not calling her Helen Keller because she can’t seem to see or hear anything anymore) took me shopping.  We only had 4 things on our list.  Easy breezy.  WRONG!!  I pull in her driveway and honk the horn…   just kidding… I go into her home of course… afterall where else can I get the sweet smell of moth balls and Avon Timeless perfume all rolled into one? 

She has on a new tshirt.   I tell her to let me read her shirt, then I laugh.  It’s from a gum factory.. and it asks the reader if they “want a piece?”   I simply say nice shirt.  Then she seems a little embarressed and says “I know isn’t it vulgar?”   This coming from the woman whom I have a semi naked picture of in front of her 1950’s christmas tree.  I told her it’s funny.   And let’s go.

She insists on driving because she has a rental since her car is in the shop getting fixed from the accident she had two weeks ago with someone who hit HER in a parking lot.  I am still debating with myself whether this is the truth or not.  I have seen her try to answer her cell while driving.  Must she look at it so long to read the name of who is calling her before she just answers it?  I mean.. keep your frickin eyes on the road GRANDMA.  Anyway, as I am riding in her lap of luxury car she asks me if I watched the Amazing Race the other night.  Well, seeing as how I have never watched it, which I am sure I tell her every week when she asks me if I have seen it, I tell her no.  She then tells me she that she was so disgusted she wanted to spit.  Swear this is the words she used.  Then I find that the reason for such um… VULGARITY is because the chippendales boys didn’t win.  And that was her team.   That’s when I get an idea for HER christmas present!

The conversation is going fine, I listen to her and answer back.  I talk to her and get nothing. Maybe a nod.  Usually nothing.  Because she doesn’t hear me.  So then I just start talking dirty to her and laugh at myself.  And I think, wow, I reallly really really must love her to spend a whole day talking to myself.

Our first stop she drops me off at the door which seems funny to me now as I type this since she is the old lady with the handicap license plates.  She tells me she will park and meet me in there.  After finding my dry erase markers and iron on letters for a tshirt I wonder where the hell she is.  I am sure I have been in there for at least 20 minutes.  I start to roam the store and look for her.  And she’s not easy to find.  Not like in the days of my childhood when A) she was taller and B) she had a bouffant hairdo the size of the sears tower.  And that really could be an understatement.   I can’t find the bitch.  (oh calm down I don’t really thing she’s a bitch, it’s a term of endearment in our family).   I call her.  “Where are you mother dear?” I ask.  Of course.  She’s in the car.    Of course she is.

Time for our second stop.  This place has a clearance center at the back of the store.  I am so excited!  I fill my cart with knicknacks and pillows that nobody really needs.  But at clearance prices and 40% off I can’t resist.  My ever so kind and giving mother tells me she has a coupon for me.  A $15 gift car to use anyway I want!  Yeah!  So we go to the register and my grand total is 17.97.  I’m telling you I got some BARGAINS!  I hand the cashier my coupon and she tells me I have to use my Bergner’s card.  Then my mom starts to tell her to take the $15 off the total, blah blah blah.  But the cashier says first we have to swipe the credit card.  My mom doesn’t have hers.  It’s okay.  She can punch in her social at the little terminal.  Piece of cake.  Only my mom keeps punching in her phone number.  Finally something gets through to her and she realizes she is giving the wrong number and eventually does it right.  She doesn’t see the rolling eyes of the customers in back of us or the sighs.  Of course she doesn’t.   Transaction is finally done, and then my mother notices the sign that says “seniors save an extra 10% today.   And the cashier forgot to give us this discount.   This is when the young girls in back of us huff away and glare at ME!  AS if I can control her!

As I am back at her rental car, which is a huge van with power EVERYTHING, I am waiting what seems like forever for her to unlock my door.  Next thing I know she is inside but I am still locked outside.  The trunk then opens.  Then the back two doors open.  WTF!  It’s a little chilly out today let me the FU** in!!!  Then I am in and she’s trying to stick the key, which isn’t really a key, it’s more of a plastic square thingy and she can’t find the hole.  I told her it’s a good thing she’s not a man.  No response.  But I chuckle.  Amusing myself.

Now we are at stop number 3.  We are only looking for stools for my kitchen table.  So of course she grabs a cart.  I look at her and tell her she doesn’t need a cart.  But apparently those are called walkers as you reach a certain age becasue the elderly lady who heard me tell my mother that she doens’t need one said “yes she does so she can lean on it”.  As she was leaning on hers.  Okay.  I get it.  I let her keep the cart.  She tries to wander into departments that have nothing to do with either of us.  I just want her to focus.  I’m hungry and I need to get out of there so she can buy me lunch.

We had no luck at this store so I remind her that she probably got up at 4:00 a.m. and it’s probably been 7 hours since her last meal.  And I say the magical words “it’s wing Tuesday at B-dubs”.   We arrive there within 5 minutes.  She orders her TIE-YAKI wings and I throw her a napkin and tell her to put it on her new shirt like a bib.  Trust me.  This was the right thing to do.  She orders 5 wings.  I order six.  Of course now she has to change her order to 6.  I guess she didn’t want me to outdo her in the wing eating department.  By the time we are finished the napkin slash bib is full of terriyaki sauce and so is her stache.  I throw her some wet naps and the check.

We have one more shopping stop to make.  But as we get in the car and I hear her say “the day goes so fast when you are running around doing so much, it makes you tired”.  That’s my hint.  I tell her I need to probably get home so I can be an hour early to school to pick up my kids just the way she always was.

Now I get to meet her again tomorrow to do stop number 4.   She asked me so fast that I didn’t have an excuse as to why I couldn’t.   I should have just pulled a GRANDMA slash Helen and preteneded not to hear.


***I LOVE LOVE LOVE MY MOM….   and I can say anything I want about her.. but you CAN’T….  AND you can’t tell her!!!

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