Friday, September 08, 2006

97 Floor covering vs broken hearts, support group, tag sale

For 6 years I worked as a product manager for a floor covering distributor. I used to know EVERYTHING. Now I've finally let most of that go--it's been 6 years since I worked there. But one thing I remember is when you chemically seal a vinyl floor (join 2 pieces together) or use the special caulk-like bonding product for commercial vinyl (I forgot the name of it--see how great that is!) , that seal is the strongest part of the floor--not the weakest. Isn't that ironic?
So I have to wonder if the human heart is the same way. If it breaks and heals, is that break now the strongest part? If my heart has been broken a hundred times, or a thousand times, is it just a mass of seam sealer, stronger than ever?

Yesterday I went to a support group meeting with my mom. It was interesting to hear other people's stories and experiences. I would like to have talked more. There weren't a lot of people there and I hardly talked. I can't imagine a standing-room-only meeting like my mom said a lot of them are. It was in the same room where we talked to the pre-med students back in April.

My mom's having a tag sale tomorrow. I called to ask her a question about it so I could make some signs. My dad answered the phone. Never a good sign--it means he's home alone. I was on the phone with him a full 7 minutes (my phone has a timer). This is how the conversation SHOULD have gone:
"Hi Dad, is Mommy home?"
"No, she's out walking the dog still."
"Okay, can you have her call me? It's about the tag sale."
"What number are you at?"
(I say the number) "I'll see you later Dad."
"Okay, bye."
Instead, he thought my mother was at work and I was giving him HER number. Then he couldn't understand who I was. I asked him what time the tag sale was tomorrow and he told me the time right now. I told him she was probably out walking the dog, but that seemed to confuse him more than thinking she was at work (she hasn't worked for months). Then he couldn't get the number right--he kept transposing the numbers. Then he didn't understand who I was, finally saying "Oh, you come over all the time."
My mom called back and gave me the information. One minute 37 seconds.
Last night I brought over a carload of stuff for the tag sale. Plus 3 dismantled tables. My father was extremely distressed by this. We asked him for help carrying the stuff into the garage. In the time it took him to take the card table from the back of the car and carry it 5 feet to the garage, my mom and I had unloaded the rest of the car and piled the stuff up in the other room.
My father got even more upset. "All that's my stuff." He had some old promo things from when he sold cars, bags and day timers and things he's NEVER used. My mother showed him each item and he still said "it's mine." She said, "The stuff you wanted to keep is over here." She led him to a shelf and handed him the items. "Not that!" he yelled. "That's mine! You can't!" "We aren't selling these. That's why they are over here." "That's mine!"
I tried to explain that EVERYTHING I'd brought over was MINE and I was selling it, that it was okay to sell things that weren't being used. I also gave him a couple of empty Pepsi bottles. He was upset that our pile of tag-sale goods was impinging on his area to sort empty bottles into garbage bags. He put the bottles into bag, it was the wrong bag, he got mad and said the guy at the recycling place "would kill me" if he brought in the bag that way. I really don't think it's such a big deal, whatever. Maybe it is to the guy at the bottle return center.
I went into the other room to see the cat. He was in a foul mood. He hissed and smacked me across the face when I petted him. He really can be an unpleasant creature. Ace followed me in, whining and barking at the cat so my mom swatted the floor with the newspaper and yelled at him. While we were in the big room Ace snuck back into where the cat was and started jumping up at the shelf where the cat hangs out, barking and whining. Jasper started hissing and trying to smack the dog from his perch. My mom yelled at the dog again. My father yelled at my mother for yelling at the dog and said the cat started it.
On that note, I went home.

1 comment:

Deb Peterson said...

Bert--I love your analogy between the sealant and a broken heart. Maybe we won't know the answer to your question until we get much older... but then again, maybe not.

Your story about the yard sale reminds me of several situations with my Mom. It's awful, but I don't do some of the things I'd like to do because I just don't have the energy to answer all of her questions or do the million other little tasks required to get her out of the house. And then once we get out of the house, she wants to go back home almost immediately. I think most people don't understand how exhausting even the smallest job can be!