Chuck had to travel for business this weekend, so my mother came down to give me a hand with the kids. We're in the middle of painting the living room and before he left, Chuck half-assedly affixed the curtain rods back to the wall so we'd have a little privacy at night (the neighborhood cows are so fucking nosy).
As my mother was sitting on the couch Saturday evening, innocently thumbing through a magazine, one of the rods came crashing down, nearly decapitating her.
"You're trying to kill me!" she cried.
This being the second time in six months that a guest in my home has accused me of trying to kill her, I asked why the hell everyone thinks I'm out to off them.
I thought my mother would laugh off the question but she launched into a lengthy list of reasons why invited guests might think I am trying to kill them.
"You leave leftovers in your refrigerator for months. If I don't make a concerted effort to notice what is old and what is new, I could die at the hands of a meatball! You only use 40-watt bulbs. I can't see a damn thing! I'm old! You taped cars to the wall. In the hallway. That tent outside? Over the sandbox? One of the rods is broken. I was almost smothered while building a sandcastle. And why must you hang all your wreaths up in the stairwell going down to the basement? I lost my balance, grabbed onto the wall and almost ended up with one around my neck. I had plastic berries stuck in my hair."
I must admit, the image of my mother standing on the basement stairs, irate, with plastic berries in her hair delighted me. Though what was she doing in the basement? There's nothing down there but old furniture and big spiders—which leads me to my next point, which is that a guilty mind leads to paranoid accusations.
What has she been doing as she watches the children? Hmmmm? What was Chuck's mother doing as she watched the children? Calling me a hippie and feeding my kids Fruit Loops behind my back? Covering the kids' organic apple slices with Cool Whip and letting them watch Baywatch?
I should be the one hurling accusations. Instead I'm trying to figure out how to use an electric screw gun so I can put up curtain rods so no one loses an eyeball.
Damn power tools. Oh, I'll fix it all right. I'll fix it!