Lisa's Rants and Raves
NOTE: If you recall, I dedicated this space to Charlotte last week and said I would move the Mother's Day salute to this week. Just wanted to clear up any questions because my opening line would make no sense if I didn't do so. You know I always strive to make total sense but rarely succeed.
Since this is the Mother's Day issue of the world-famous Community News, I thought I should say a word (or 5,000) about my dear mother. Mind you, I said nothing about being super nice, kind and loving.
OK stop already with the hatred floating my way. Of course I'm going to talk about that woman in a tender manner. I'm appalled that you'd think otherwise. (Note I used her favorite word, “appalled” in that last statement. She lives for being appalled and is in a constant state of being appalled. This is generally due to my actions, clothing choices and house cleaning techniques but, I digress.)
Some of you are abundantly aware of most things Jackie Houserman vs Lisa Houserman but for those who are not, I shall lay out a brief overview.
Several things that distinctly separate Mother from Lisa: 1. Preferred method of dressing including casual attire and playing dress up. 2. The baseboard factor, meaning Mother's are spotless and mine are literally chewed up and unpleasant. Let's face it, unpleasant baseboards are the scourge of our society and there is nothing more dismaying. I think we will blame the kittens even though they had nothing to do with said destruction. 3. She is a total lady and I'm not. 4. She frequently removes cobwebs and I use them as zip lines here in the home.
I think that is enough to give you a general idea. OK a few weekends ago I traipsed across the yard in my paper thin red shorts with a hole in the seam, flannel shirt and bare feet so that I could show her something online. She wanted to see an actual interview of Prince, believe it or not. Mother's lack of computer capability (see I'm being sweet here) has resulted in her reliance on me for all things alternative, so to speak.
She had just finished some household tasks which no doubt included making sure that the contents of her closet were organized by color. I am not kidding. She literally arranges her clothing in order of color. Purples are located in one clump, etc. Not only but she rotates the items after they have been worn ONE time as to not shock society by donning the same blouse two weeks in a row. I mean, how appalling would that be? We simply will NOT tolerate it. (I should mention that she washes the clothing first as that is the appropriate thing to do.)
Moving along, I arrived on her doorstep looking like a homeless waif and was greeted by total elegance, of course. She was wearing a delightful yellow sort of 2 piece suit which was topped off by a matching scarf that flowed in the breeze as she trotted to the door. She claimed to be exhausted from doing some kind of paperwork and declared that she was now going to relax.
I paused and waited for her to shed her church clothing in order to take on the chore of full relaxation but the moment never came. You see, she was already in her “bumming around the house” outfit because she had changed after services.
Mother is always dressed to a tee as she is most likely concerned about her demise and what the ambulance service might think. She would spring back to life to change her clothing, no doubt.
Speaking of death, I must state two things before I continue. We discuss this fact of life often and Mother is OK with my saying things like I did in the last paragraph. In other words, there is no reason for you to be outraged because she is not.
The second thing I have to say is that this next portion has been approved by Mother. She was quite reluctant about my sharing the following insanity but finally gave in to my sick demands. You see, I was bursting at the seams (above mentioned red short seam) because I desperately wanted to tell on her and she did not embrace the idea. Clearly, she gave in as she too found humor in the whole situation.
Unfortunately we had to make three visits to funeral parlors (I love using that word) on a recent weekend. Two were held on a Friday and one was on Sunday.
If you read last week's piece you will recall that one of the people would have been Charlotte. Well, another woman was Carol Fizer and both lived in Linesville. Not to mention but both have daughters named Diane. Those “Columbos” in the reading audience have already ascertained where this is heading.
After we exited the Charlotte viewing and landed comfortably in Mother's Sherman Tank, also known as her car, she gave me “the look.” It's one of those gazes which indicates that something bizarre has unfolded. I shall attempt to lay this out in the form of a play.
Mother: (Looking at Lisa in that manner reserved for times of serious trouble) “Well, you are going to send me to the loony bin.”
Lisa: “Mother, what have you done this time?”
Mother: “Well, (said more like wheel) I thought we were at the Fizer viewing most of the time.”
Lisa: (Totally stunned and begging for details) “What are you saying exactly Mother and what have you done?” (Massive giggling is unfolding even prior to the upcoming revelation.)
Mother: “I just figured since it was Linesville and you kept going on about Diane that it was Carol Fizer's viewing. People were asking how I knew her and I just said that you and her son and daughter are very close.”
Lisa: (Now honestly contemplating the whole mental ward move) “Didn't you notice when you were viewing a woman you have known for a thousand years that it was NOT Carol Fizer? Didn't all things Driftwood restaurant tip you off? How about the little deal with Charlotte's name and PICTURE at the front entry? Did any of this give you pause?”
Mother: “Not really but it finally DID dawn on me when I saw Diane (prior to reaching the casket) that it was not the Fizer viewing. I mean both had daughters named Diane and both lived in Linesville.” The end of Act I.
She did all she could to somehow gloss over the episode in typical Mother fashion but I did not buy most of it. I just think she wasn't really paying attention but have decided to give her a pass since she is almost 90 years of age. I know, I know, I'm very kind and considerate about such things. No need to praise me anymore as I understand and I hope you understand sarcasm.
My dear sweet readers, keep in mind that Greg Fizer and Mother had literally visited for the better part of an hour about 10 DAYS prior to all of this. He popped over and told me to take him to my mother and I did.
She has known Greg since I was 16. Didn't she find it a bit odd that he was NOT in the receiving line for his OWN mommy? Did any of the items on display at the parlor sink in? Did she really even look at the pictures and ALL THINGS Charlotte and wonder? Did she fake it? Did the woman listen to anything I was saying about the Driftwood Restaurant and the children of Charlotte? Does anyone have the telephone number for the men in white suits?
Needless to say, along with the laughter and sheer goofy behavior in the car, she took a moment to sternly lecture me about sharing this with anyone. This was especially true about Greg and the other Fizers. She thought they would be upset but I knew they would laugh.
After some prodding later that afternoon, I talked her into allowing the big reveal. Indeed Greg did get a “charge” out of it, to use one of Mother's expressions. If anyone from the Charlotte crew is reading this, I'm not sure what you are thinking but I hope it brings you some kind of joy as well. It might also help to explain Mother's answers to your questions in the receiving line.
With that, I must sign off as I'm out of room. In closing I will reiterate what I've said in columns gone by. Mother is a constant source of entertainment no matter what the occasion, as was illustrated above. Even though all of her darling children enjoy picking on her whenever she opens herself up for such (pretty much daily) we all adore that gal.
Anyone who has read this column on a regular basis and/or who has known Mother for any length of time will realize that this is all in good fun. I admit that I am so very fortunate to have that woman in my life at the age of 89.
Dear Mother: Thanks for putting up with my shenanigans and for being a wonderful woman in many ways. Happy belated Mother's Day and thanks for allowing me to move it from last week to this week so that I could dedicate the last column to Charlotte—or was that Carol? At any rate, you are fun, beautiful, classy and silly. I love you to the max and am glad I can pick on you in public.