QOTD: "Please step into my garden. I want my roses to see you." - R. B. Sheridan to a pretty girl
Reading: Monica Ferris, A Murderous Yarn
Listening to: Christine Lavin, The Bellevue Years
Decluttering accomplishments: shredded a whole lot of my mother's old checks and bank statements and attempted to clean out her closets some
I have now figured out what the mysterious noises I hear when I have my windows open are. I'm hearing my mother's television blasting all the way across the country. She insists that the audiologist says she doesn't need a hearing aid, but I am unconvinced. I am also somewhat skeptical about her claim that her doctor told her it's fine to use expired medicine. But there is no point in fighting battles I know I can't win. And, on the plus side, her breathing has improved a lot. She's smoking a lot less than she used to and she no longer has a cat in the house. (I like cats, but people who have asthma and are seriously allergic to cats should not have them in their homes.)
The real purpose of my trip to New York was to see The Producers on Broadway. I knew that I'd never hear the end of it if I didn't take Mom along. The show was excellent. I can quibble with the crudeness and deliberate offensiveness of some of the humor, but those are minor complaints. It isn't quite in the class of Guys and Dolls (which I consider as close to perfection as a musical can get), but it's nice to have a mix of a funny book, upbeat music and visually exciting choreography. Our seats were way up in the balcony, but we could see and hear everything just fine. Not that there would have been much point in complaining as the balcony seats were all I could get. And I bought these tickets way back in December. I'd have had to wait until August for orchestra seats.
I spent most of the rest of my time trying to clean out stuff at Mom's house. Most of that involved shredding paperwork but I also brought back a few odds and ends. The ends were mostly mill ends - that is, scraps of yarn I can use for afghans. (Mom claims her arthritis makes it too hard to knit. I've always heard that doing needlework is good for arthritis, but this isn't a battle I have a chance of winning.) The other things I brought back include various award certificates from my youth. Someday I am going to frame and hang all of these and do things like putting my 7th grade music award or a summer camp archery prize next to my Ph.D. diploma. There was also a rather clever matryoshka. The outer nesting dolls are cats and the innermost one is a mouse. Mom is also going to send me two boxes of craft books and yarn.
Not that my cleaning efforts were entirely successful. I completely failed to persuade Mom that there is no real chance that the sale of elastic will be banned within her lifetime, so it is not really necessary to keep a mile and a half of it on hand. She has more zippers in a box in her wall unit than there are in all the clothes in Macy's. She also tends to stock up on things when there are refund offers or high value coupons. As a result, there is more toilet paper in her house than there is in entire third world countries.
I went back into the city for a while on Monday to meet Shmuel. He was a bit wonky after an overnight bus ride, but we had a nice enough conversation. It was amusing to see him smile the instant he bit into a slice of pizza. To be fair, I'd had my ecstatic food experience of the trip already, with the full sour pickles that accompanied a hot open-faced tongue sandwich at a deli near my mother's. I understand that the pizza problem comes about because the dough is dependent on the precise chemical composition of New York water. But I don't understand why you can't get great pickles outside of New York. Every time I go to New York, I have to get my pickle fix.
Overall, I had a good time, despite my mother's constant complaining. The worst thing about the weekend was the three hour delay in my flight home, which meant that I didn't get to LAX until after midnight. The flight itself was fine, especially as I'd gotten upgraded to business class. But waiting is always tedious and getting in so late is exhausting. So I'll end this now and get some sleep.
Copyright 2002 Miriam H. Nadel