What Have You Done With My Parents?!

In the “miracles of modern medicine” category, we present my father. I went to visit my parents today (this was my Mother’s Day visit – finally). I was there for 3 hours and not ONCE did my dad yell at my mom, or get grouchy or pissy at her or me. This is bigger than you think. My dad can barely get five sentences out without getting grumpy at mom and yelling because she can’t hear very well (neither can he) and he gets frustrated when she can’t hear him and he has to repeat himself. This, I’m glad to report, didn’t happen today. Oh…and he smiled. He actually smiled! This is a huge breakthrough. He’s not seemed this well-adjusted since the house burned down. I realize that is a huge life crisis and everyone deserves to be a bit grouchy about it (I know I would be!), but to have it go on for months and make everyone around you miserable doesn’t help. Especially when your partner of many years has been through the same exact thing and is having to not only deal with it, but with you.

The other thing that happened has me even more confused. It is not unusual for my mother to have things for me to fix when I see her. Usually it’s the computer, but since it burned up in aforementioned fire, they’ve not replaced it yet. (They aren’t as dependent on technology as I am..and I’m guessing you all are.) At any rate, I show up to find out the 5-CD player they have has a CD stuck in the back. How, you ask, does such a thing happen? Well, my mother was trying to fill said 5-CD player without turning the turntable. Yeah, you heard me. She was just reaching in the back (this is a smaller, portable thing) and dropping the CD’s in. Plus, this changer doesn’t have flat CD holders, but they angle. I’m just surprised she didn’t get one stuck sooner! After taking the thing apart, fixing it, and then giving her instructions, we were good to go.

The next problem became my father’s. He was sitting out on the back deck with a new gas grill, doing something to it. I asked mom what he was doing. Come to find out, the grill was assembled already, but he had to attach the side shelves. That sounds simple enough, huh? Mom said he’d been working at it an hour already. I go out an offer my assistance. First I realize that in the shelf there is a hole on each side for a screw to go through, plus a notch for the shelf to sit on a second screw. Dad has both screws already screwed in and can’t figure out why he can’t get this shelf to sit down over them. Uh, Dad… you can’t melt metal. We have to take out a screw on each side that fits in the hole, before you put the shelf down over the notched one. No, he says.

Now, my “old” father would have gotten incredibly beligerent and huffed and puffed and basically told me to go back in the house. My “new” father (medically enhanced) just argued briefly (in a very polite tone) and let me take the screws out. Then, he admitted he didn’t think he was going to have enough lock washers. He couldn’t understand why they called for two on each screw. Reading directions, with my father, he reads out loud… “using two screw-bolts and two lock washers”… Uh, Dad… I believe they are saying ONE bolt and ONE washer on each side. I mean, you aren’t putting two screws on a side with two washers! Logic is our friend.

10 minutes later, the grill is done.

I go back in the house. Mom is telling me how Dad wants a certain kind of window covering in their bedroom, but she wants something else. We discuss it a bit and she lets me know she’s going to have a pro come out and give her ideas. I told them that the pro would probably bring samples, too. Dad comes into the conversation and Mom suggests I am there when the pro is. Dad agrees that is a great idea. This is weird.

Home, and Hubby and I are talking about all of this. He reminds me that Dad loved everything I did with our new house – to the point where they bought things for their new house that were the same. Lamps, paper towel holders, salt and pepper shakers, you-name-it. Bizarre things. Just the same. Hubby comments…”Isn’t it interesting that when you were a kid you couldn’t do anything right and now you can’t do anything wrong?”…

I still think the aliens abducted my parents.