Thursday, December 18, 2008

Patty Precise!

Caribbean Blue -7 yrs old and SeaSpray - 6yrs old

The following is my mother's unusual introduction, which was followed by my obsessing...which maybe proves her description. I obsessed like on a Seinfeld episode... and even came home and looked the word up! :)

This past Sunday...we brought my mother's large TV over to her at the nursing home. We met the maintenance man at a back door. The guys placed the TV on a cart and we all proceeded to my mother's room.

The maintenance man went in first with the TV.

My mother immediately sees him, looks at me and then back to him and said, "Have you met my daughter Patty? She's precise!"

The man didn't acknowledge her, but I jumped in and said that we had just met and then with my next breath I exclaimed, "PRECISE?!??" I laughed a little but then again said, "Precise Mom?"

Then... she kind of got annoyed and started with her typical frustrated gyrations when she describes something annoying... and went on about me being exact about everything. But it wasn't exactly clear what she was talking about. But I was getting a negative inference...which would not be unusual from her. She tends to see things from the negative whereas I am the polar opposite. To quote her...we are oil and water.

So we were having a nice enough visit. Well..the guys were watching football but I was talking and attending to her. They interacted a little.

But then I couldn't stand it and so again said, "Precise? I can't believe you introduced me as precise. I mean it's okay... but was I precise when I was growing up?" "

"Yes, you were! It had to be your way or it wasn't right! Do it this way. This way is better."

"Well isn't precise good Mom?"

"Everything is detail with you. You're just like your aunt! She said Patricia is so precise about everything and I said well look who she is living with. Your the same way!"

Now I don't know if my mother really had that conversation with my aunt because she mixes things up.

I am detail oriented.

I do believe in doing things right.

I don't think my way is the only way, nor am I inflexible.

My aunt was the MOST organized person I have ever known in my life and I admired that and aspired to be that efficient.. but I am not. She was amazing! I picked up some things I suppose. And my aunt wasn't crazy, obsessed organized..make YOUR life miserable organized. She was just good at it.

It was my aunt Janet who said to me when I was taking a shortcut vacuuming one day... "Patricia, if you're not going to do the job right then you might as well not do it at all because no one will know you did anything."

She was right and that has stayed with me my entire life. I even said that to our sons as they were growing up.

It's true!

When I was 32, I flew down to Mobile to be with her. She was was just back in her room post-op when I commented to my uncle..."One thing I always hear aunt Janet saying is "Patricia, if you're not going to do the job right... then you might as well not do it at all because no one will know you did anything." With that... my aunt who was just waking up from a brain biopsy chuckled and said "Well...I'm glad I'm going to be remembered for something!" She had just had a brain biopsy and we thought she was out of it and so she shocked us with her comment. She actually was mixing a lot of things up but she was right on target with that comment. :)

But she was right and whenever I was/am tempted to do something halfway ...I hear her telling me that and so every time...I just do the right thing. It is ingrained in me and I would never intentionally ever do sloppy or inaccurate work... except penmanship.

My writing is so bad I could pose as a doctor! ;)

If someone is describing an encounter with someone, I want to know every detail from expressions, intonation in voice and the whole story. My husband would basically say 2 words and I want the War and Peace description. I just thought that was the difference between the sexes. :)

Now I find out it is because I am PRECISE!

It was just funny to hear mom say that...although I do feel bad if my "preciseness" (not sure what) aggravated her so much. I am proud of being precise and having an eye for detail. I am proud of doing something correctly.

I know I am not rigid or a hard task master. Except for myself. I can be hard on myself. Maybe I was with mom..I don't know..well..probably. ?? Or even in recent years...I would want to go over safety issues, etc., and she said I was harping on her. Or don't lecture her. The relationship with my mother was difficult and she often evoked what she referred to as "lecturing" from my uncles and me.

But to quote her...we were oil and water and so I guess I made things difficult for her... not intentionally, but inevitably.

And I was actually both amused and intrigued at her describing me as precise.

Precise is good ...right?

I like precise.

I appreciate precise.

I'm just sayin. ;)


godsown said...

I'm intriged by your bloggings about you and your mum. And your mum being in the nursery
I work partime with elderly who has alzheimer.....

I also have a strained relationship with my mum, maybe she would also say we where "oil and water".
It is good you can still work on your relationship with your mum or analys it.
I went abroud and build up my own life overseas.....and our relationship stayed strained.

love to read your blog and i will follow it often in the future

Merry X-mas to you and yours


SeaSpray said...

Thank you for your kind words Godsown. :)I will be posting more about mom as it has helped me to release my feelings and also comments have been a blessing as well.

I never understood how one can love a person so much and yet have a difficult time being around them.

Not knowing your circumstances...if there is even the slightest chance you would feel guilt if she were to die or take suddenly ill where you couldn't effect healing in your relationship...i would urge you to do little things as a step in that direction. but I am saying that as someone who seems to be willing to take on guilt for everything...not the healthiest thing or even right.

I just know...i could've done so many things better. Going through her things has been so difficult and caused me to realize...there is a lot I don't know. That is not my fault in that mom was always private and didn't tell me things I should know.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to your comments if you feel so inclined. I will visit you soon too.

May you have a most blessed and Merry Christmas! :)