Sophia has been away all week on a job, so I have been here in LA, holding down the fort, like they used to say in the days when we lived in forts. I’ve been spending a lot of time with Sophia’s step-father and mother at the hospital, which is stressful because they can only speak Russian, and my knowledge of the language is limited to food related statements like “Please pass me the blini” and exotic curses such as “Fuck you, your mother, every relative in their grave, and your two favorite horses.”
I’ve been spending a lot of time playing on my iphone, ignoring reality. I do know what is going on in Haiti, and I am purposely keeping my head in the sand. I just can’t deal with the news of the scope of the disaster. Even the Leno-Conan O’Brien drama was too intense for me right now.
Speaking of iphones — did you know that the latest Facebook update transfers profile photos of your friends into your contacts, so if one of your virtual friends actually called you up, a large photo of your friend would appear on the bright screen as the Justin Timberlake ringtone played on your phone?
Why can’t real life run as smoothly as modern technology?
Playing with my iphone has helped release some tension (video apps! Scrabble!), but I have been quite cranky lately. I would love to take it out on my readers, because I enjoy that, but since I am in the middle of a PR rehabilitaion, I have decided to take it out on my mother instead. And I have good reason to. Sophia’s parents are a little older than my mother, and I am seeing first hand how age can slow you down to the point where the child is caring for the parent. This is when you wake up and realize that you are OLD. My mother is in her seventies, but — knock on wood — KNOCK KNOCK — in great health. She traveled through a million European cities last summer. She is more energetic than I am. But… old age comes fast. I see it.
Usually, my mother calls me, bugging me like a stereotypical Jewish mother, reminding me to take my cholesterol medicine, or wondering why I still haven’t made a dentist appointment. Today, I called her up to nag her. It was MY TURN!
“How are you feeling today?” I asked, ready to pounce.
“Didn’t you say your foot was bothering you?”
“I noticed in Queens that you sometimes had trouble standing up from the couch.”
“That’s because the stupid couch is too low.”
“It might be arthritis.”
“I have a little arthritis.”
“So, why don’t you see a doctor?”
“What is a doctor going to do?”
Normally, I would have given up with the questioning, but I felt as distrustful as an El Al security guard.
“Aren’t you taking yoga there?”
“Yes, every day.”
“But I know you. You just do whatever the instructor tells everyone to do. Speak to her. Personally. Tell her you want a special exercise suited for YOU.”
“Leave me alone. I’m fine. Did you make an appointment to your doctor yet while you are in LA? And what’s going on with you and Sophia anyway? Have you talked about it yet? You can’t live like this forever…?”
“We’re not talking about me. We are talking about you.”
“Me? I’m enjoying life! You’re the one who’s screwed up. And besides, my cholesterol is lower than yours.”
“Do you know where I am going every day to visit Vartan? This rehab clinic? Do you know what it is LIKE in here? It is awful. You don’t FUCKING want to be in here. I don’t want to FUCKING visit you in one of these places!”
“I know. I’ve been there with my parents. My mother was in a nursing home. Half of Century Village ends up in assisted living. Never put me in a nursing home. I’d rather be dead.”
“Stop talking nonsense. Go exercise your legs.”
“Right now? I’m eating lunch.”
“You don’t want to EVER fall and break a hip. Because that is BAD NEWS at your age.”
“I’m fine. YOU need to exercise.”
“Stop being an idiot, Mom! You’re getting old.”
“I am old.”
“You’re not old.”
“I am old. So, if I fall, you’re not coming to visit me?”
“You’re acting a real jerk today. Just don’t fall, OK? And don’t eat too much deli food. It’s not healthy.”
“I’m eating a chicken salad sandwich. You’re the one who goes to McDonald’s.”
“We’re talking about YOU. Sheesh! You’re impossible!!”
Later that day, my mother called up, probably wanting to remind me AGAIN to make my doctor’s appointment. At first, I didn’t know it was my mother because this Facebook photo appeared full screen in my iphone behind my mother’s name —
Either this Facebook “contact” information app has a serious bug in it, or my mother really HAS been taking good care of herself in Florida!
I have no idea who this girl is in the photo. Obviously technology is as fucked up as real life.