Monday, April 29, 2013

Fear and Loathing in a Target

Today is Medea's birthday. Not today as when you will be reading this but today as of when I am writing this. You probably won't read this for a few weeks. I am staggering the publishing of posts doing only one a week so that I can hopefully keep a constant stream of posts in the future. Anyway, per usual and as it is accustomed, me and Medea are not in the best of terms. She is still mad at me for the fight we had in Mexico. On top of that, she is now also mad at me for a recent fight her and my sister had and in which I dared stick my nose in. As I stated before, since she came back from Mexico in February she has been saying that she has "divorced" me and that she was no longer my mother. As of the second fight, we have apparently become even more disenfranchised. Now, I am supposed to think of her as is she were dead. These are her words, by the way. I have never said that she is dead to me. She is instructing me to think of her as being dead because I obviously don't care about her. Ironically, these instructions were given to me during the last fight we had which started with me offering to drive the ten hours to El Paso so that she wouldn't have to. The irony of that is lost to her. My dad had informed me a few days before the fight that they were planning to go back to Mexico on May eleventh and that they were planning on taking both the truck and the jeep. This meant that my mom would have to drive one of the cars for the whole trip. That's when I decided to offer to drive to El Paso in one car so they could ride together in the other. I like driving long distances and I figured this would work better for them. It was when I made my plans public to Medea that she let me know, in no uncertain terms, that she was dead to me and then went on to tell me how much I have hurt her in the past and how much I don't care about her. She kept trying to drag me into an argument but I just kept reiterating that I was just offering to help. All in all I would say that it was a good talk. It could have gone worse although I am not sure what is worse than finding out that your mother is supposed to be dead. I am also worrying what she will say next time we have a fight. I mean, if she is supposed to already be dead to me, is the next step pretending that she never existed? And, if that's so and I am supposed to pretend she never existed, wouldn't that bring my whole existence into question? If she is not supposed to exist, how did I come to be? I am telling you she is deeper than even she realizes.

So, this brings me to Medea's birthday. Now, this is not the first time I have a hard time deciding what to do for her birthday. Her birthdays are always tricky. More often than not, we are either not talking or not completely happy with each other. Also, her birthday is only five weeks away from mine and that is never enough time to forget that she does nothing for my birthday, up to and including simply saying "happy birthday." Now, I know the Bible says to honor your parents (hell, it's even one of the commandments and the first one with the promise of a long life) which she is too fond of reminding me. But, what am I as an atheist to do? I mean, I don't know how long I want my days to be since there is a history of stroke and Alzheimer's in my family and I also have no land that my parents' Lord God hath given me. Still, I always feel like I have to do something. She did give birth to me and all, which coincidentally is another fact that she enjoys reminding me of constantly. Fortunately, this time things seem to have fallen into place serendipitously. This morning she woke up to this:
Do not focus on the very Mexican apples tablecloth or the plastic cover as that is all Medea's doing and does not reflect my decorating style at all.
Please forgive the picture quality but I was using the camera in my phone and I am a lousy picture taker, otherwise knows as photographer but I did not want to insult real photographers by inviting the comparison. What you see is a bad picture of some flowers in a vase and a card on top of a wireless keyboard and mouse. Except for the vase, which I borrowed from home, I bought all that for her birthday. As I said, it all just kind of happened and fell together of its own accord. I had decided a while back that my parents needed a wireless keyboard. They like watching their soaps online so they plug their laptop to their TV, but then they had to get up every time they needed to do a new search. I had looked it up online before and had found a cheap one, my parents cannot be trusted with expensive electronics, at Fry's. Well, I went out to dinner with BF yesterday at a very delicious Chinese restaurant. Seriously, it was very good. After dinner we had nothing to do so we decided to go to Fry's to get the keyboard, not thinking that today was Medea's birthday but because I wanted to get it for them before they went back to Mexico. On my way back from dropping BF at his place, I decided to stop by Target because they had Pepsi for sale and I usually stock up when soda goes on sale. When I walked in, I saw the flowers near the entrance and I thought that it would be nice for me to get Medea some flowers. I must point out that Medea is not a big fan of flowers, or chocolate, or jewelry. I figured that I could get the flowers since she did not like anything anyway. Then I made the mistake of deciding to get her a card. I had no idea that choosing a card would be such a herculean task. There was a section that was dedicated to birthday cards for mothers. I have never seen a stack of such sappy bullshit. It was downright disgusting. They all said stuff like "to the most wonderful person" or "you deserve the best" or "I love and cherish the time we spend together" and I knew I couldn't get those because it would not be fair to lie to Medea in writing on her birthday. Obviously, she is not the most wonderful person and she may not deserve the best. I can tell you that there is an untapped market of birthday cards for people that have tepid relationships with their mothers. I went over to the funny card section and there was one that I liked but figured it might be inappropriate. It featured a horsie piñata in a therapist's couch saying something along the lines of "and the worst part is that I kind of enjoy it when they hit me." The inside said something boring like "go out and have a punchingly good time on your birthday" or something like that. To be honest, the inside sucked. I liked the card though because of how much abuse Medea says she always takes from me. I wanted to write something inside along the lines of "thanks for always being there for me, even if it's just as a punching bag or piñata." See what I did there? This would turn the piñata in the cover into Medea and that is fitting because of two things. First, she is always saying that we just abuse her. But, secondly, and most importantly, Medea is way overdue for a visit with a therapist. I figured the card might give her some ideas and she may seek out professional counseling on her own. I decided that, as great as that idea was and the fact that it depicted her idea of our relationship perfectly, she may be offended by it. All this to say that I did not buy it. I ended up buying a generic card that just said something like "best wishes" or whatever on it. Yes, I was that thrilled about it.

I know that, so far, it doesn't seem like I had such a bad time at Target and that I misled you on the title.  Fear not for I have yet to lie to you. Although the piñata card was enjoyable and made the card experience bearable, that was only about two minutes of the whole hour I probably spent at the card display area. All of that wasted time to get a crappy generic card whose only advantage was that it was cheaper than all the other ones and it did not make me want to puke while reading it. Yes, I may have issues. Moving on, I went back to the flowers after that. I know enough about Medea to know what her favorite flower is. I am not telling you though because it is the same as my favorite flower and I don't want to share that because I am not an open book. I may be an open window on a computer screen, but I am not an open book. Needless to say, but I will say it nevertheless, they did not have her favorite type of flower. They had tulips for six bucks, some flowers I did not know for fifteen bucks, and some roses for twenty. I naturally wanted to go for the tulips because; a)she does not like flowers, b)I did not want to spend so much, c)if I spent too much money and she found out she would berate me for not being careful with my money. I could not make up my mind so I decided to go looking for a vase to see if that would help me make a decision. I don't know if Target sells many vases or if there is a vase section. I only found one aisle with some less than stellar vases. I picked one that I thought would work and then headed back to the flowers. I still couldn't make up my mind but decided against the tulips because I did not want people to think I was cheap. I ended up picking up one of the fifteen dollar flowers and headed straight to the register before I could change my mind. By this time there was only one register open and there was a lady in front of me that had a full cart. She was not even done unloading her cart when I decided that the vase did not work anymore. I left the checkout line, there were already two people behind me and I hated losing my spot. I walked all the way back to the aisle with the vases and put it back. I looked around a bit more but could not find something that looked appropriate so I decided to just buy the flowers sans vase. I headed back to the register. By this time I had already been in the store for about ninety minutes. I was pushing a cart with a squeaky wheel, I had to have a cart for the soda which was the whole reason I went to Target in the first place, and with every step and every squeak of the wheel I hated myself a little more. The whole endeavor was torturous. I was afraid she would not like what I had. I hated being so indecisive. I hated that the cards were all tacky and disgusting. Mostly, I hated myself for taking so much time to do something which I kept pretending I didn't care for and which, even though it took me very long to put together, would look like a last minute afterthought.

While I was driving home, I decided to incorporate the keyboard and mouse as part of her present. I must say once I got home everything went a lot smoother. I found a vase I cut the flowers and poured most of the little packet of powder into the vase (some of it may have inadvertently ended up on my bed). I translated the card and signed it and I set everything on the table for her to find in the morning. Today, everything had been moved to make room for people to eat, I guess. I don't know if she will acknowledge it or what will happen. I still have to say "happy birthday" to her but, with luck, I will not have to give her a hug as the thought of it makes me cringe inwardly. Not a big cringe, mind you, but enough for me to be dreading the situation. We are not a very touchy-feely type of people. At least Medea is not and I learned from the best.


Anonymous said...

Love this !! :)

Not Typical, Yet Fun said...

I am glad you like it. Also, thanks for leaving a comment. It makes all the difference knowing that there are people reading this.

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So What if I am not Typical? I'm Still Fun. by Not Typical, Yet Fun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.