Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Trouble with Being Too Reliable

Sitting in my bed at 8:34am having just woken up from a Benadryl  induced sleep coma I picked up my phone and made the two phone calls that start each and everyday, the Monkey-Maker and then my mom. 

The Monkey-Maker, as usual, answered on the third ring and after inquiring briefly about the status of all Monkeys asked if he could call me back.  I happily obliged and returned to recently dialed calls on my cell to phone my mother.

If you look at my recently dialed calls it would seem that I can't brush my teeth without phoning the woman.  Judging by the 26 calls, both dialed and received, that were exchanged the previous day, that might just be the case. 

I digress...

I phone my mom and got no answer, nothing out of the ordinary as she generally requires more than the standard four rings to free her hands of mess from other activities such as of cantaloupe cutting or highlighting someones hair.  So while it isn't unusual to have a call ring through to her sunny voicemail greeting, it is quite out of the ordinary to not have her ring back within a matter of moments.

I sat cuddled in my chenille cocoon and waited for her return call, mindlessly checking e-mail, new blog posts and listening to the Monkey's plans to unveil their latest homemade amusement park, a la, Phineas and Ferb.  My thoughts were scattered, still fuzzy from the last remnants of sleep.  I tried to give order to the events of my day, I would have to get milk, trip to mom's for a fun-filled pool day, and I should probably shower.

Many minutes later the phone finally rang, "Oh good," I thought as I grabbed my cell.  She can tell me what time to be there for swimming play date and I can set up my schedule around that..

I noticed, with a quick glance, that the small screen on my phone read  "Dad Cell" - - That's weird. 

"Hey kid, sorry to bother you but have you heard from mom?"  He said, sounding a little higher pitched than usual. 

"No, I called her and was waiting for her to call me back.  Why?" 

"Well, she left here for her dentist appointment but they just called and said she didn't show up. I'm starting to get a little worried.  She's not answering her phone." 

My blood ran cold. It really did. 

My mind went to war with itself.  My panicky side saw crime scene tape and Today show interviews.  Candlelight vigils and the ruins of our life without her.  My rational side, bolstered by Lexapro, barked at the other to take a seat.  She is fine.  There is a logical explanation for this.  Maybe she...

Got lost, on the three mile trip from home to dentist?   Stopped at her sisters, unable to wait to see her latest pair of NYDJ carpi's?  Popped into Turkey Hill for a quick iced coffee on the way to her teeth cleaning? 

None of these options seemed plausible but I forced myself to stay calm. 

I hung up with my father, assuring him that I would "take care of it."  Whatever that meant....and called the Monkey-Maker. 

"My mom is missing." It sounded laughable as I said it out loud. 

"What?!?!" He exclaimed. 

"She left for her dentist appointment but never showed up.  What should I do?"

"Get in the car and drive by her regular spots. Call me back."

I assembled the Monkey's - no shoes required, everyone in the car, we are going for a drive. 

They obliged without question, perhaps sensing the tension in my voice. 

So there we were, three pajama clad Monkey's and one frazzled Monkey-Momma wearing what could only loosely be categorized as "pants," driving towards local haunts of my mother. 

What was I even looking for?  I didn't want to go there.  Her car in a ditch, the scene of an accident?  I gripped the steering wheel and focused on the road.

I only made it a few miles before my father called to tell me that the "ding-dong" had scheduled herself for two simultaneous appointments, dentist and doctor, and was safely in the examination room at the medical center. 

I breathed a sigh of relief and then laughed out loud.

If it were me, nobody would have given the same circumstances a second thought.  As a person who routinely loses cell phones and car keys, can occasionally remember appointment dates but rarely has the directional ability to drive to the location, perpetually late, forever flustered,  it wouldn't faze anyone if I didn't show up.  But my mom....well that is another story. 

A story about the trouble with being too reliable. 


  1. You are hysterical. I laughed till I cried in spite of myself...sounds like Santa.