i worried about using the actual name of the restaurant "swiss chalet" in this post. well, i actually worried about it for a very short time. i don't have the capacity for long thought. i imagined instead, i would say "belgium bungalow" or "austrian a-frame", but in the end - what the hell. i'll risk a law suit. they can cross-examine mom in court. i'll willing to go broke to see that.
with that out of the way.....
people in my family do not openly fight with one another. we do not shout, scream or slam doors.. we find it distasteful to show emotion. we instead pick away at each other, a lot like a vulture fight club. we posture and challenge and are awarded points on presentation
one hot and dusty, alberta afternoon when mom was visiting she and i were driving to town to pick up tractor parts. my mother had taken to sitting in the car when we went anywhere . she blamed sitting in the car on the airline and their one suitcase restriction. everywhere we went she would say. "i'm not going in, there's nothing in there that i need. even if i saw something i liked i can't buy it because i'm only allowed one suitcase and my suitcase is already full." if i could give you a kitten for everything i heard that....... well, you'd have a shit load of kittens.
and so it began. "the how to show displeasure with a loved one without letting on you're displeased thing" we like to do.....
out of nowhere
mom: you know you don't dare leave your coffee on the table when you go the bathroom at swiss chalet.
me: why not
mom: because these men come along and put something into it.
me: really, like what
mom: they stir drugs in it and when you come back and drink it, it knocks you out
me: honestly! people are drugging coffee at the swiss chalet? where is this happening?
mom: in the cities. all over the place. these guys drug you and then throw you over their shoulder and cart you off
me: i fairly certain someone would notice if a fairly stout elderly women like yourself were being carted away. what's the whole purpose of this carting off?
mom: well they interfere with you, of course.
me: old ladies in the city are being carted off from the swiss chalet and being interfered with?
mom: that's what i heard
me: i find that quite hard to believe. and by the way, where are your dinner companions in this scenario.
mom: in the bathroom
and again out of nowhere......
mom: i'm not going in with you.
me: mom it's 100 degrees out, come inside. it may take awhile.
mom: there's nothing in there that i need and take the keys out
mom: someone could take the car.
me: you're in it
mom: that's what i'm saying, people come along and take these cars with people in them.
me: who in the hell are you hanging out with or what are you reading. again, where is this crime den?
mom: in the city, in parking lots outside of restaurants and stores
me: well, i hope it's not swiss chalet, they can't take any more bad press
mom: you don't read the newspaper, it happens a lot
me: this town has less than 4000 people plus we are at a tractor dealership. that does not scream car-jacking..
mom: that's the thing. you don't know where it will happen.
me: mother you are not going to be abducted in front of john deere.
mom: i'm not going in. i don't need anything in there
me: fine, but i'm leaving the keys in
mom: how long are you going to be, it's hot in this car.
this talking about nothing but talking about everything is how we get on. it is not, i've discovered how normal families do things. they say things like "you look lovely in that colour" or "you're an asshole" but they are usually said at separate times. mom and i like to combine the arts of entertaining and arguing. we like a big show.