Sunday, November 23

I'm Turning Into My Parents

(This is part of a group blogging exercise. For more information see here and here).

I think I first realized I was turning into my mom two years ago when I stopped being able to sleep past 8am on weekends. My mom is an early riser, and I mean really early; she gets up at 6 even on her days off. On the maybe three or four occasions she's been sick during my lifetime, she may have slept in until 7am on a day off. The reason she gets up so early is because, as she says, "otherwise the day is wasted!"

I thought this was a crazy notion when I was younger. I mean, how on earth could sleeping in be a waste of time? This was my attitude back when I used to stay up until 5am and sleep until 3pm. But one day, I just realized that even sleeping until 9am is a waste because by that time I never feel like cleaning or doing anything productive. It takes me an hour in the morning to decide what I want to make/eat for breakfast, plus I have to spend a certain amount of time in the morning farting around on the internet. If I get up at 9, it's 10 before I eat, and 11 before I'm done with a cursory internet-farting-around session. After this I have no desire to clean or do anything other than fart around on the internet more. If I get up early, like 7, then for some reason it magically makes me want to clean, which is very important because my apartment seems to be forever messy (I hate cleaning floors, dusting, and putting away clean laundry).

From my dad I've gained a severe hatred of slamming cabinet doors. There is just absolutely NO FUCKING REASON for someone to slam a cabinet door. It doesn't take any more effort to shut it quietly than it does to just let it go and have it smack the board and vibrate until it closes. I thought I was going to go insane when I visited my friend Heather several years ago in Boulder. She lived in an apartment with three or four other roommates, and everyone who lived there would open and then forcefully slam the kitchen cabinets shut. Sometimes I can barely handle my downstairs neighbor, who is an insomniac and goes around slamming stuff in her apartment constantly 24-7: kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, front door, back door, bedroom door, bathroom door, and she opens and slams shut her bedroom windows every few hours at night. Grrr.

My mom has some funny quirks I haven't picked up yet--for instance, she is obsessed with the state of the floors. God forbid her foot ever sense a sticky spot on the floor; if so, you'd better run for your life, motherfucker. If you ever hear her say "This! Floor! Is! STICKY!" you'd better know how to become invisible really fast, because she will go ballistic. Me, I just avoid stepping in the sticky spot on the floor, and it will probably remain there for awhile because I really hate cleaning floors. (Maybe there's a reason for this?) The other thing I remember from when I was a kid was that she'd always always always come into the bathroom when I'd get done with a shower or bath and exclaim, "This place is just swimming in water!" and exasperatedly throw towels down to sop up all the water I'd managed to slosh on the bathroom floor. She has a very particular way of throwing down a towel and swiping it back and forth with her foot that lets you know what an asshole you are if you get water on the bathroom floor.

The thing I wish I hadn't inherited from my mom is a sensitivity to smells. Well, actually, both of my parents are sensitive to smells, but in different ways. My mom can't stand any kind of chemical-based perfumes, and neither can I. Chemical perfumes give us both terrible headaches. I have a hard time dealing with customers sometimes at work, because for some reason the customers at my office tend to be a heavy perfume and cologne wearing bunch. I swear I'd rather smell b.o. than strong perfume. At least b.o. is natural!

My dad, on the other hand, can't stand anything stinky and will go absolutely insane and tear the house apart to find the source of something that is so minorly stinky that he's the only one who smells/imagines it. He has the stupid belief that women all want perfume for presents and periodically insists on buying my mom and I perfume for Christmas or Valentine's Day. That never goes over well. Remember when I said that my office's customers tend to wear a lot of cologne? That's actually about half of them. The other half are heavy smokers and smell of stale, sweaty, pore-secreted smoke. This is perhaps the single most disgusting smell on earth, save for when someone stupidly tries to cover up a dreadful stink with perfume or air freshener.

(On a very slightly related note, I once purchased a mango that had apparently rotted in the middle. As I cut away the flesh, I noticed a very strong smell like feces coming from the center of the mango. It was so nasty I almost vomited. I couldn't help but be reminded of something I read in The Amityville Horror, which is that the smell of feces indicates the presence of Satan. Was Satan in the center of that mango? I didn't stick around to find out).

Last year, after the death of our beloved Ginger Respress, my parents got two Havanese puppies, Coco and Diego, who are sister and brother:
Diego was originally going to be my dog, but he had to live with my parents while I was in school and now they don't really want to separate he and Coco because they do everything together. If I may embark on a tangent for a moment, when I was a child I used to have this OCD tendency to get a blanket or a towel and try to spread it out on the floor without it getting any wrinkles in it. I would grab one side and fling it up into the air and get really frustrated because I could never get it to lay down smooth. (I don't know what I ever intended to do with the blanket once I had it spread out on the floor. That was not as important as the act of getting it to lie down smooth in one go). Oddly enough, Diego has a similar habit. If there's ever a blanket or towel on the floor, he'll pick at it with his teeth and worry it with his paws, attempting to smooth it until he finally flings himself on it in disgust and falls asleep. That's my dog!


j4luck said...

Oh my, satan living in a Mango?!?
What if you had cut that mango core open and released satan into the mortal world. That could have turned out terrible! Who would have known that the gateway to hell could be located within the core of a delicious fruit. Althoug, I guess thats kind of like the forbidden fruit in the garden of eden. Very interesting!

Mrs. B. Roth said...

While on the subject of dogs and smells and history ... we once had a beloved cat who died and was buried in a shallow grave in the back yard. We also had a dog who liked to roll in smelly stuff and another dog who liked to dig. So, putting these elements together, all of our 6 dogs came in smelling like decomposing cat. My mother tried spraying cinnamon apple air freshener to cover the rotting corpse smell. The resulting aromatic combination lasted for months and was so overwhelmingly grotesque, that I still associate the smell of cinnamon apple air freshener with dead cat.

Now, imagine me visiting my mother-in-law's home and telling her I think I might smell a dead cat in her music room ...