Thursday, December 07, 2006

Put Dad On The Phone, Please!

My sons think it should be dark outside before you retire for the night. I have tried to convince them that this is an urban myth like the idea microwave bacon is only for breakfast. Why? What’s wrong with bacon, lime jello, and corn on the cob for dinner? It’s better than nothing. I’ve had nothing. Believe me, it’s better.
Anyway, I like to go to bed early and, if I had my way, I wouldn’t get up until noon. As I’ve said a million times before, there is nothing you can do at 6 AM that I can’t do at 1 PM, including eating bacon. My beloved parents; however, love to get up with the roosters. That’s fine. They actually put clothes on to eat breakfast. Whatever. That’s fine. They call other morning people and talk loudly about the obituary pages. That’s not the way I like to start the day but it’s fine with me.
So here’s the problem. Several times a week they call me before the last star has stop twinkling to catch up on the latest activities of their grandchildren. Actually, that’s not a problem. The problem is - Hmmm, I don’t even know what to call it. Here’s a typical conversation.
“Good morning, darling. It’s Mom.”
I glance at the clock glowing in the darkness on my nightstand. There are only three numbers on it. I groan and mumble. “Gudma.”
“And how are you on this beautiful day that the Lord has made?”
“Coffee. Need coffee. Pray for me.” She continues to talk while I brush my teeth, make my bed, and cook breakfast. I nod occasionally. After an hour, I’m coherent.
“Your father wants to know who won the game last night.”
“Amon’s team won. He scored ten points.”
“Amon won. He scored ten points,” she repeats to my father. I hear him say, “That’s great. How many rebounds did he get?”
“He wants to know how many rebounds he got?”
“Ten,” she quotes proudly. I hear the rumble of my father’s voice again. “Your father wants to know if you’ve winterized your yard yet.”
“Yes, two weeks ago. Why don’t you put him on the phone?”
I wait impatiently for her to tell him, “Two weeks ago. Jimmy, she wants you to pick up the phone.” After a pause, I’m told, “He said he’ll call you later. He needs to feed the cows.”
“Okay. Hey Mama, the boys got good report cards. Junior brought that English grade back up.”
“He did! That’s wonderful! I’m going to send them both a surprise.” I hear Dad inquiring about the wonderful news. My mother recycles my words while I bang my head against the nearest wall. “Your father says to tell them that he’s proud of them and keep up the good work. He wants to know if you’ve had your oil changed.”
“Mama, why do you have to translate if we’re all speaking English? Tell Daddy to pick up the other phone or this conversation will last until dinner.”
“Oh, silly. Your father is busy. He’ll call you later… What? Honey, your father says to bring that ham he likes for Christmas brunch. He’ll pay for it.”
Sigh. “Yes, ma’am.”
As if that isn’t bad enough. When I call them and my father answers, he never even tells my mother that I called. Then I have to hear her complain, “We haven’t heard from you in six hours. You know I worry.”
“Mama, I talked to Daddy for thirty-seven seconds yesterday.”
“You did? Where was I?”
“I don’t know. It was around seven last night. I thought you were out.”
“He was talking to you? I was sitting next to him on the sofa. Well, you know he doesn’t like to talk on the phone…What? Hold on….Your father says send him a schedule of Amon’s games.”
“It’s in the mail. Mama I’m going to bed.”
“Are you ill? It’s only seven o’clock in the morning.”
“Yeah. I had jello, corn, and bacon for breakfast. Made my stomach hurt.”
“Jimmy! She said -“
Here we go again. See why I’m tired?