Mother found that when they were handing out patience, she was not in the right line. In fact, she wasn’t even in line. I like to say to my daughter Fiona that patience is a virtue. I usually would say this whenever she was void of her own. She was not amused.
Luckily for me, I have an abundance of patience. And I don’t even work in a hospital (a bit of humor). I try to think of all kinds of things to entertain myself with if I’m waiting in line at the supermarket or stuck in traffic. I always have a book or two with me and never like to let a few precious minutes be wasted without reading. In the car, I may break into song, with the windows usually up to save those around me from being annoyed. I also try deep breathing and inhale and exhale slowly which is very calming.
Unfortunately, Mother did not try to keep her sanity when she was losing her patience. Her usual response, to Abby and me or to anyone within earshot was:
There’ll be Hell to pay!
I am not sure exactly what she meant by that but if she was trying to get our attention, it usually worked. I was very literal and wondered how in the world we could pay her when we had a meager amount of money ourselves. And then I wondered why we would be expected to pay for something that was out of our control.
Logic never entered into the equation when dealing with Mother. That’s another line she missed! Where most parents would find her comment inappropriate and abrasive, she liked it so much that it became part of her repertoire. I think it had more to do with her refusal to accept responsibility than just about anything else. And the woman always did enjoy putting on a show!
Crowds of people around? No problem. More of an audience for her performance. The world was her stage and she would act as bat-shit crazy as she wanted. Never one to mince words, if we asked her why she behaved in this manner, she would always remind us that she was the mother and we were not to question her.
Again, that old logic thing came into play. My sister Abby and I knew that real mothers did not behave in this manner, were not drinking from special glasses at ten o’clock in the morning and they certainly did not abuse their children. There is a code for mothers and as was her pattern, our mother never cracked the code.