Aunt Marty had visited me in Iowa once, and I pretty much thought that would be it. My optimistic side was showing again, obviously, in that thought. Unfortunately when my son got married, Aunt Marty was inadvertently sent an invitation. While she decided not to attend the wedding, she announced she would be available the following week for a visit. And joy of joys, my mother would still be in town at that time, milking my son’s wedding for everything it was worth.
And so Mother’s sister Marty arrived the week after the big event, and she brought her wedding present which consisted of a pots and pan set—minus one of the pans. I guess she needed the two quart one.
On the weekend Aunt Marty and my mother Mary were staying with my sister. I, of course, had been enlisted to help referee the inevitable disputes and potential slap-fights. My sister fixed a lovely dinner during which my mother kept saying she had to call Husband Number three Tom. When dinner was over, my sister handed my mother the phone and said:
Feel free to call Tom.
My mother, who had been looking for a fight all day, said in a rather bitchy tone:
You have the phone. You call him.
My sister explained that she did not want to call Tom, but my mother was insistent.
If you dial the phone, you will be talking to him.
she said. My sister and I had had enough experience to know that my mother was not kidding, so the phone call to Tom was aborted.
My mother kept picking at my sister and me, and trying to show off for her own sister, and I finally said to Aunt Marty:
I am so sorry you have to listen to this.
Without missing a beat, Marty said:
Oh I don’t mind. My kids and I fight like this all the time.
Aha! She was right in her element. I looked at her and explained:
Well, my sister Lindy and I don’t act like this. At least not normally.
Eventually, my mother began wishing out loud that she and Aunt Marty could stay up all night and drink coffee. Aunt Marty even chimed in saying that would be wonderful. Oh, if only they could go to a motel and get away from the two of us!
My sister got out the phone book and looked up a near-by motel. They had a vacancy and she booked my mother and aunt right into a room. She loaded them up (along with an extra coffee pot) and dropped them off. Driving off, we were laughing our heads off until we realized that there existed a possibility that they would kill each other overnight. We dismissed that possibility and drove on.
That night my sister and I enjoyed a peaceful, fun evening at her house. Don’t ever play poker with my sister. She will call your bluff every time!