I am still in Fort Collins, CO with my grandparents who are systematically driving me insane. I love them dearly and I am trying to remember patience. I particularly love that my 86 year old grandpa has let me start reading him Harry Potter, and that he now LIKES it. I also love that my grandma threatens my grandpa when he is being mean or obstinate with me. These are the things that I try to remember when I feel like just getting in my car and driving away.
Last Sunday night, I had to seriously talk myself down from doing just that. It had been a difficult day. I went to my cousin Ellie's 25th birthday party in Aurora Saturday night. We had a good time, minus a few snags, but in the morning I had to get up and come back to Fort Collins so I could take my grandma to Mass, because the comfort keeper canceled for the day. We went to the 10:30 mass and my grandpa decided to go as well. I, for some mysterious reason ;), felt a little queasy so didn't eat before church. It ended up being a baptismal mass, which was really cute, but the sanctuary was really crowded. Which meant my grandpa had to sit next to some poor young man and proceeded to talk to him whenever it wasn't wildly inappropriate. Because of the baptism, the mass was about 20 minutes longer that usual, which didn't help either. After we shuffle to the car, my grandma asks if I had made a list for the store. I didn't know we were going to the store and she asks what I thought we were going to eat if we didn't go. Mind you we still have about a week's worth of groceries in the freezer. It is really hard to get my grandmother to the grocery store. She hates it, thinks I spend to much money and buy things we don't need, like peanut butter and barbecue sauce. She compares prices on everything and only wants the cheapest, even if it means white crap bread with no nutritional value. This is especially aggravating since they sold their ranch and made a HUGE profit, so they don't have to worry about money. I really didn't want to not go when she did, but it is now noon and grandpa complained that he is hungry and didn't eat breakfast. (Grandma says he did, and I honestly have no idea with these two!) I am now hungry as well so I suggest we go to Perkins for lunch and then go to the store. Stunned silences follow. Spend money?!? Are you crazy?!? Grandma wants to go to the store, I want to eat, and grandpa wants to eat and wants grandma to go to the store and wants someone else to tell him how they are going to accomplish this. I suggest we go home eat, and then go to the store and grandma insists there is no food in the house. I assure her there is. She replies, "Oh sure, what do I know about my own kitchen, I am just a crazy old lady. hmmf!" So we sit in the car for 7 minutes waiting for them to make this most difficult of decisions. Grandpa eventually says we should just go home and I can make some food. Grandma says she didn't know I can make food out of nothing, but she would love to see it. (oh, boy) So we go home and I make mac and cheese and grandma heats up some left over casserole because she had randomly decided that grandpa doesn't eat food "like that" (the mac and cheese)
After a couple of hours of cleaning up and list making we go to the store. I pretty much try to move fast so grandma doesn't have time to argue with me, only time to keep up. She sees an advertisement for a whole chicken in the deli and wants that for dinner. But then she decides it is too big, maybe some chicken fingers, but no, Bill won't eat those! I suggest some Safeway signature sandwiches and she agrees. But now she is afraid we have waited too long and the lines are too long at the registers and she wishes we never would have come and maybe we should just go home. AHHH! So I tel her I will go stand in line, she should get the sandwiches and walk down the aisle and find me. I stand in line. Put the groceries on the belt. They are scanned. And bagged. No grandmother. There are of course people behind me and I have no money. I go back to the sandwich counter and the lady tells me my grandma left a long time ago. I look around. I run around the whole store. I run out to the parking lot. I yell her name. I yell "GRANDMA!" I have her paged. I station an assistant manager at each door and run around the whole store with the manager of Safeway again. I call my mom. I consider calling the cops.
...and then she is there. She claims to have been standing right there the whole time. (she wasn't) I am practically hyperventilating and still have no idea where she went.
Fast forward abut 5 hours. I go to my room to go to bed and see a MOUSE in the middle of my floor run into my closet as I turn on the light. I, not really thinking but desperate to protect my clothes and shoes, yank my purple storage bin out the of the closet. The mouse runs at me and over my BARE FOOT! I scream quickly three times, wash my foot and cry. I am tired. Oh so tired of everything, of these crazy people I am related to, of being looked at suspiciously by my own grandmother, of being walked in on in the bathroom by my grandfather, of being here. I have to babysit at 7 am and now know I cannot sleep in my room. I almost give up, get into my car and drive to South Dakota. But, I sleep in the basement in my hammock which makes my toes fall asleep.
My mom points out later that if there are more mice, the basement is probably where they are, but I was suspended from the ceiling in what I now sometimes refer to as my "cocoon of safety, the Stargazer!" Just another beautiful day here in Fort Collins, land of elderly loons.
Question for Madeline (and anybody else)
Would you rather live here or next to the Hellmouth? (the one in cleveland obviously, Sunnydale was destroyed)
Happy Birthday Madeline, you are super!