Mom wanted me to bring her the desk her father made her when she was a child. The desk has been in her Mainland home since she and my father bought the house and suddenly needed to furnish a second home. When this conversation started 6 weeks ago, she talked about me bringing the desk up in the truck and sending me back to the Mainland with a truck full of firewood. At the beginning of last week, rain crept into the forecast and I decided to use my husband’s station wagon so as to not risk getting the desk wet. This launched a flood of e-mail from mom regarding the weather (daily updates on the current forecast), how much wood we could get into the station wagon (almost as much as the truck, she decided) and an ongoing monolog about why the truck was a better choice. It rained on Thursday, the day I took the desk to the Island, and so I took the station wagon.
Of note regarding mom’s long term memory, using the desk as a nexus, all of the following are NOT true, tho she ascertains they are:
- After college she lived in many places and traveled broadly and therefore couldn’t have the desk. (She has lived in a handful of places and, not counting Canada, been out of the country once.)
- She shipped the desk out to her Bay Area home 25 years ago, after her mother died. (She has lived on the Island for 35 years and her mother died over 40 years ago.)
- She and my dad bought their Mainland home before my dad became ill, and moved the desk from their Island home to the Mainland home. (They bought their Mainland home because he got ill. The desk had been in my home for years before they bought their Mainland home.)
Once on the Island, we unloaded the desk. Mom wanted to immediately fill the car with firewood. I didn’t want to drive around the Island loaded up for two days and had to remind her of this several times. When we did load firewood Friday, I had to constantly adjust the tarp where she was placing firewood so as to protect the interior of my husband’s car. It’s like she never noticed me doing this (a good 8 times). She was completely focused on loading wood and couldn’t multitask even a little bit. Yes, Islander’s, by the very nature of the environment in which they live, consider cars an expendable commodity, however, when it’s not your car, one is usually more mindful. This sort of parallels why I try not to chauffer her in my high performance car; She doesn’t seem to care if she opens its doors into other cars, making parking dicey.