When I found out today that All My Children was canceled, I was concerned about my mom. My mom loves All My Children. My mom has been watching All My Children since it was performed by shadow puppets (Is that a thing?) on the walls of caves. That’s pretty legit. It’s been a long time and no matter what my mom does and where her travels in life take her, she’s going to watch every episode of All My Children, ever. And apparently there aren’t that many left. So I was worried.
She wasn’t home, so I left a message, figuring she was out drowning her sorrows at the local watering hole. Just kidding. My mom doesn’t drink. I figured she was at the grocery store, because that’s where she goes. She called back when I was in the shower. Ben said, “Hey, the phone rang,” while I was across the house and Soren was screaming, so I didn’t hear him until he repeated himself 900 times and then gave up. I thought I heard the word “phone.” I listened to the voicemail right away, which I don’t always do. My mom, in a cheerful voice, said something like:
Okay, she didn’t really say “Oh, hello!” At least not the way I mean it right there, which is “Oh, hello!” with a grossly exaggerated Minnesota accent, a Minnesota accent being, like, my favorite of all accents (okay, next to Jamaican and hard-core Lithuanian). I love Minnesota accents. I also love grossly exaggerated, to be honest inaccurate, renditions of Minnesota accents, and often use one when, say, drafting an unpleasant email wherein I might have to disappoint someone or be a tiny bit bitchy, because you can’t actually be disappointing or a tiny bit bitchy when you have a grossly exaggerated Minnesota accent. It’s just not possible.
Anyway, she said something like:
Okay, wait. Now I’m saying it the way I say it to Soren when he’s playing with a phone, which is all “HELLO!” with a weird LLLL sound (like it has a soft sign in Russian) and an exaggerated OHHHHH (not to be confused with OOOOOO, because it’s not that at all). She didn’t say it like that. It was just a normal hello, maybe a little more cheerful than usual.
Let’s try again:
Hello! Blah blah I have stuff to tell you, nothing big! I can tell you the next time I talk to you, tomorrow or whenever. I was in the hospital all week but it’s no big deal! Everything is fine! Just give me a call back whenever! Talk to you later!
First, let me say that when my mom says stuff like “I was in the hospital all week but it’s no big deal,” she’s not saying it the passive-aggressive way you might think a mom would say it, like, “I was in the HOSPITAL all WEEK, which you would KNOW if you EVER CALLED ME you worthless piece of crap.” (Please note that using allcaps pains me greatly and I am using it against my will here to adequately portray passive-aggressive bullshittery, which is probably the most annoying way a human can choose to interact with another human and is something that is just not part of my mom’s character because she is a functional adult.) She was all, yay, woo, hospital no big deal!
Listen. I’m not hospital people. (Okay, is anyone?) I kind of think that being in the hospital is a big deal, no matter what you cheerfully tell me on my voicemail. I’m not waiting until tomorrow to get the scoop on this shit. So I call her back and it turns out that on Monday night, she had this awful, terrible, heartburn-like feeling right in the middle of her chest. So I’m thinking heart attack, right? The feeling didn’t go away for a while and then eventually she told my dad to take her to the hospital. So they went to the hospital and, like, hung out until Wednesday, when she had some tests and then, like, an hour later had angioplasty. (Despite this timeline, it’s still totes NBD — they had an opening and her doctor was there and yada yada angioplasty.) Apparently, she did not have a heart attack and hospital food is terrible and includes things like grilled cheese with Swiss, which tastes exactly like all other hospital food. The bananas and blueberry muffins were okay.
She’s totally fine, completely normal (as much as anybody related to me is normal), and sounded very perky. She had to stay in the ICU after the angioplasty (this is standard procedure, but shit ICU!), then had to get her blood pressure, blood sugar, and potassium settled, and then ran the hell home the second after she got the okay from her doctor. She was thrilled to be home. Her BFF brought her tulips, which she plans to plant in the yard because otherwise they won’t make it because my mom isn’t really a plant person.
Of course she never called me to tell me what was going on. That’s how we roll in my family. (Is this a normal midwestern thing or does my family take that weird midwesternism to a new extreme?) My dad had angioplasty way back in the day (possibly when I was planning a wedding, right after graduating from law school, if I recall correctly) and they didn’t tell me until after even though I lived like 1/2 hour away from them (and I remember somebody asking if I came to visit him in the hospital and they were all like LOL whatev she didn’t even know). I think it’s part not wanting me to worry and part not thinking it’s a big deal and part, well, we just don’t always tell anybody anything. I suppose that makes it really weird that I’m here telling the internet about how nobody in my family tells anybody anything. I guess I’m breaking the cycle or something, right? It’s not even that I think it’s bad, because I don’t. It’s just how we are, and it’s probably how I am in real life, where I haven’t really even told many people (aside from changing my status on Facebook, which I swear like two people noticed) in real life that Ben and I are getting married, you know, now that we’ve been together for 800 years and have a house and a kid and I guess it’s finally time to commit or some shit.
I guess we just do stuff and don’t really talk about it. I guess I don’t really mind that.