Mother’s Day Lament

Bill and I spend a major part of the day in our home office.  From each of our workstations, we have a clear and unobstructed view of the street that runs east and west in front of the house.  Because the office is at the end of the house and we’re on a corner lot, we can also see the cross street that runs north and south along the east side.

Home Office

So, as long as we’re in the office, we can see if a UPS or FedEx truck drives up or when the mailman comes or when a gaggle of sales people are making the rounds.  Plus, the doorbell unit is mounted on the wall right outside the office door, so we are well aware of each musical chime whenever someone rings.

Mom, however, chooses to remain blithely ignorant of these facts, no matter how often I remind her.  Once the doorbell sounds, I have about a three-count before she calls out, “Patty, someone’s at the front door!”  When the mail drops through the mail slot and plops onto the floor of the foyer, I get maybe a seven-count before she yells, “Patty, the mails here!”

I’ve explained repeatedly that Bill and I can see when a delivery truck stops in front of the house.  We can hear the mail slot’s door clanking shut and the sound of the envelopes landing on the vinyl flooring.  We can see when people are hanging flyers on front doors and when religious groups are wandering around the neighborhood and ringing doorbells to pass along the good word and, hopefully, increase the size of their flock.

None of this matters.  She either forgets or doesn’t care.  Apparently, exploring unknown treasures that may be waiting in her junk mail is more important than whatever I happen to be working on at the time of the mail drop.  And the idea that a stranger is hovering on the opposite side of the front door makes her crazed.  She seems to have a compulsive need to find out who’s there – a neighbor, a scammer, a solicitor or a thug.  Even when we’ve warned her in advance of the presence of roving landscapers.

We’ve tried to ignore her, but that just propels her to mount the Red Menace and roll to the foyer to gather up the mail or open the door herself.  This wouldn’t be an issue except:

  1. When she tries to lean down to retrieve the loose envelopes and flyers from the floor of the foyer, she has a tendency to pitch forward and fall off the wheelchair.
  2. When she opens the door and discovers a package laying on the welcome mat, she feels compelled to open the outer security door, lean down and attempt to scoop the package up.  This generally results in (see number 1).
  3. If there’s a stranger at the door, she pretends to listen to whatever they’re saying until she finally announces, “I’m 88 and almost deaf and I can’t hear you.  Let me get my daughter.  Patty, someone’s here!”  Now I’m the one who has to listen to the word of the Lord or the sales pitch for a new roof or the offer for the free alarm system if we’re the first in the neighborhood (or universe) to install it.

I’ve begged, lectured, cajoled, and yelled at her to stop, stop, STOP the madness.  But she won’t.  Or can’t.  Or doesn’t care.  Because, what it all comes down to is a single, simple law of nature.  She’s the mother, I’m the child and I have to do it her way because she’s still the boss of me.

I’m going to sulk in my room now and hope the doorbell doesn’t ring.

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.


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