Chapter 19: The Domestic Goddess

Okay, this one is going to be short and a bit of a rant….

As most of you know, Lou, my Mother, is now in Assisted Living.

What goes around has come around…

She is famous for having my Father’s Mother committed to the State Hospital for the Insane about 15 minute after they got married.  There are multiple stories around what caused this to occur.  The one I prefer is that my Grandmother, Susan Catherine Rush Michaels, ground up a Coca Cola bottle in the Warring blinder and tried to drink it to commit suicide.

The past few years, my Mother has told people, she had Susie committed for trying to attack her with a knife  Believe me, no one who knows my Mother would consider this a sign of insanity….

My Mother is now ensconced at Loyalton/Emeritus Assisted Living in Danville.  From her perspective, how this occurred is quite the journey.

It was a major battle to pry her out of her house.  When we took her to Loyalton for the first visit, she was not pleasant.  She told the administrator she did not belong in a place full of old people.  When the administrator pointed out she was almost 78 years old, she had made an enemy for life.

When we were waiting in the lobby to leave, the administrator was trying to be all cute.  Lou was not amused.  The woman tried to play a plastic violin and my Mother told her: “Can’t you turn that off?  I’m sure no one wants to hear that.”

One old Lady turned to another and said:  “She won’t come here easy.  She’s a fighter.”

Once Lou agreed to “try” Loyalton, they refused accept her on the weekend when they were without a full staff.  They were afraid she would “throw TV’s and things” and wanted to be sure they were fully staffed and ready to handle her.

The shock was, that she loved it.

First, she seemed to think she was staying in Steve and my’s vacation condo.  She kept calling to see if we needed it.  Then she decided it was her vacation condo.  Now, she thinks she owns the entire complex and the other people are her tenants.  And that she has several other properties around town, but can’t recall where.

She calls daily to tell us which property she is living in.  Last time it was “my condo overlooking the river.”  She said she bought it right out of High School and was saving it for 60 years until she needed it.  By the way, the building is only about 10 years old…

Maggie the Cat is Alive– and crazy as hell.

Every time we go to see her, she keeps saying:  ” I love living here in my condo.  They clean for me, do my laundry and all my meals are free.”  I don’t see that this is a big change.  She acts like she spent her life doing these things…she didn’t.  Believe me…

Let’s start with Cleaning.  The woman never cleaned her house in her life.  Early on, we had maids.  More than I can count.  Then, when she couldn’t manage to keep a maid, my Grandmother came over to help clean.  Or I or my Father did it.  She may have gotten a mop bucket out once or twice, but she never quite understood what to do with it….

Laundry.  My Grandmother taught me to do my own laundry when I was about 6 years old.  I did mine- and frequently everyone elses -from that point on until Steve took it over when we got together.  If my Mother was forced to do laundry, she would wash something red with the white things and ruin them so my Father would not ask her to do it again.  We made several Dry Cleaners and Laundries very wealthy.  One of the reasons we put her in assisted living is she wasn’t doing laundry.  There were piles and piles of it in the office and laundry room.   She just bought more clothes and  linens….

Cooking.  The woman never learned how to cook.  There are too many cooking disaster stories to tell them all.  Let’s just say the Fire Department came at least 3 times when she set the kitchen on fire.  She only thought the stove and oven had two temperatures:  Off and High/450 degrees.  If forced to cook, she would serve charcoal briquets at the end.

One of our maids felt sorry for her and tried to teach her to cook one dish.  Lipton Onion Soup over Baked Chicken.  When she did it, she just poured the powder over the chicken and baked it.  She forgot to dissolve it in water.  She accompanied that with watery French’s Instant Mashed Potatoes and canned green beans reheated in a pot.  That was her sole menu.  Needless to say we ate out often.

So, I am amazed she seems to think she is freed from all this.  I guess she is just freed from the pressure of thinking she should be able to do things she never could…or would.

Maybe that’s not a bad thing.

It’s just sad she’s still pretending after all these years…

At least now she has a legitimate excuse….

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One Response to Chapter 19: The Domestic Goddess

  1. gail says:

    I refuse to let my children read this one. They will swear you are talking about me. I am not sure when it happened, but my daughter declared me incompetent years ago. I don’t cook, clean, or do laundry. Haven’t in years. Because I can’t do it right. This was a battle that I was willing to lose. Not a bad thing. Sounds to me like Lou had it right years ago.

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