Friday, May 12, 2006

Ain't I a stinker?

Here's a story I thought I'd save for the Friday before Mother's Day. To me, it's a testament to what she's had to put up with from me over the years, and the inner strength that keeps from going all chop-socky on my @$$.

Last weekend, we bought my sister a new laptop computer for her upcoming birthday. Don't worry; I'm not ruining any surprise. She doesn't read the blog. ("I want to read it, but the site's blocked at work!") And I'll just skim over the fact that my Lil' Sis will soon have a totally better laptop than mine. Never mind that she makes more in a year than I'll be fortunate to make over the next three to four. Nope. Not bitter. No, sir. How can I be? Every day is a gift. [vomit]

So Mama Cass wanted to keep the laptop in the basement, where it's cool and dark (and I won't be tempted to infect it with viruses and spyware up the ying-yang). Also in the basement is the old box for my current laptop, which looks virtually identical to the box Lil' Sis' computer is in. Knowing that my mother would soon join me downstairs to make sure I put the laptop in a place where it wouldn't fall ("What? It'll be fine, resting on the handle bars of your exercise bike!"), I set my sister's box down, and tucked my old one under my arm.

As she came down to the basement, I asked her where she thought I should put the laptop, walked toward the staircase, pretended to slip on the slick tile, and... dropped the box on the floor.

"Holy shit!" I said. "Oh no! Oh my God!"

(The box was still full of packing materials, instruction manuals, and software discs, so there was enough weight to make the drop convincing.)

Now here's what makes me feel bad. Not that I tried to trick this poor woman into thinking I just dropped a $900 laptop on a hard floor. Or that I'm the type of person who would attempt such a prank on his 60-year-old mother. No, it's that the first thing out of her mouth was "Oh my God! Are you okay?"

I thought for sure she'd scream at me for dropping the laptop. Before doing it, I could imagine the look of horror on her face, and me laughing so hard I couldn't catch my breath. Instead, her first concern was for her son's welfare. And if that doesn't make a good mother, I don't know what does.

So I 'fessed up right away. I didn't really drop Lil' Sis' new laptop (which has tons more memory and a way bigger hard drive than mine - just an observation). I didn't really tear my knee ligaments to shreds or break my tailbone. I was trying to be funny! I was just kidding.

If it makes you feel any better, she smacked me on the shoulder and said, "You asshole! I thought you hurt yourself!"

I'm pretty sure I've never heard her use that word before. I don't know where she learned to talk like that. Lil' Sis insists Mama Cass learned swear words from listening to me after I came home from school. You know what I say to that? Bullshit. Mom totally learned to talk like that from her co-workers. Besides, I was a really sweet fucking kid - as long as I had a snack and could watch He-Man and the Masters of the Universe without being disturbed after school.

And with that, I'm off to do some Mother's Day shopping. I'm sure everyone says this about their mother, but she really is impossible to buy for. Almost every year, I think I'll convince her to finally let me get her a spa treatment or massage. But she refuses. So Lil' Sis and I are left to scramble. I'll probably end up getting her a book, CD, and some goodies to munch on. It never feels like enough, but I think she'll be happy with that. Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Don't worry; I'm not ruining any surprise. She doesn't read the blog. ("I typed in 'fried rice,' and all I got were a bunch of recipes! Where is it?")

What are you guys getting for your mothers? I could use some ideas, even though it's late in the day. The comments are yours.

▪▪ I have to mention Kevin Antcliff's very touching post today, which is about his mother. Having gone through something very similar, my heart really goes out to you, Kev. You've become a good friend over the past few months, and I truly appreciate that. As you said, remembering what's good about your life is the best thing you can do, and I know your mother would want you to do that. My thoughts will be with you this weekend.