Tale Tues: I Quit

“I quit.”

It came as a text. In one of those fun-looking little speech iPhone bubbles.

This wasn’t a fun bubble. It was an explosive one. Annihilating my favorite time of day,  that second cup of coffee on my lounge with my dog, after dropping kids off at school.

An explosive tiny bubble from the woman who has been helping my mother. Part of the patchwork of “aides,” really just decent local people who have answered local ads I’ve placed; this patchwork, hodgepodge perhaps, has proven far more beneficial than the wrinkle-free real aides from insured blah-blah-blah home-health aide agencies. Like the one we’d hired this summer who sat in front of a fan when not hovering over my mother, a shadow useless outside of her looming over my mother’s walker; someone to keep my mother “safe,” but who didn’t care much for cooking and refused to step out into the hot sun to water my mother’s parched deck geraniums.

This texting bubble-bursting woman  has a heart of gold, which fortunately or unfortunately matches a temper that will make her scoop up from her lawn her neighbor’s “dog shit” and fling it back at their windows.

But her personality is as big as her boxy physique, and as colorful as her Hello-Kitty T-shirts. Most importantly, she makes my mother laugh. Daily. With her outrageous flinging dog-shit stories and about her “jackass” ex-husband, except for the part where he is negligent in his child support.

“Your mom’s a pip,” usually would be her texts. As they do (or did?) get along.

Problem is, at 94 my “pip” of a mom wants to retain control. Understandable. It is still her life. And her house.

But said dog-shit-flinging-godsend really, also likes to be in control, can hardly restrain herself from organizing my mother’s cluttered bureau into neat files and boxes.

My mother likes her cluttered bureau.

They have spats like sisters do.

But one day, the spat went too far. For reasons that could be another post.

But this post isn’t about why she quit.

It’s about the fact that I thought she did quit. And how one human being, namely me, sometimes deals with such morning bombshell text bubbles:  I panic. Who will come get my mother’s breakfast and pick her up from the emergency room after one of her falls? Who will be there when I can’t because my children are my priority? Or should be?

My coffee went cold. Because I needed to walk in circles.


So I took the new pup for a walk around the block. Around and around and around, until his favorite pee rock was met with the glazed eyes of having watched too much Youtubes.

I’d thought the circle-walking would help rouse me from my dumbfounded state – how I really just wanted to stare into a calming fish-tank. ( The one that now houses our incessantly-chewing energy-fueled gerbils.)

It didn’t. So we went home. I walked a few more circles around the downstairs. Blind to the pup now shredding catalogues from the recycling basket. Until he met up with the kitchen broom. The broom that baffles and unnerves him into a growling state. What is left to do when dumbfounded? Abandoning the dog to his broom phobia, I went upstairs to tackle the sock basket:

There should be rescue sock associations as there are for abandoned pets. Ok, so socks aren’t dogs. But it saddens me when one has lost its match. That every Christmas, my husband has only one Santa wish: for more socks in his stocking. Complete pairs.

But I can’t bring myself to throw out the matchless “homeless” ones. So in my dumbfounded state, I went so far as to paw through his sock drawer, in a search based on false hope; I always match up those pairs that do make it whole out of the dryer. I was wasting precious time on a pointless endeavor. But I’d been rocked off course from the daily productive to-do sticky-note list.

Instead, I would contemplate a very old argyle sock:

This sock has been in the basket now going on three years. Its mate never has been found. Still. There might be hope.

For the sock. Not for my day – Later, I would find the to-do sticky still stuck to the kitchen counter and be reminded of all the things I didn’t get done. I would not get the vacuuming done. I would not get the laundry done. I would forget to go the bank. I would even forget to pick my boys up from an fifteen-minute early dismissal – to be met by fearful little faces white as sheets as if I’d been eaten by a raging bear. “We’ve been waiting a thousand hours,” my youngest whined. Behind him the school aide gave me a forgiving smile. Thank god. For forgiveness.

On the upside to that down-sided day, I did remember their dental appointments, and found some relief in gazing into the waiting-room fish-tank; I enjoyed most the carefree angelfish, though identified better with the sluggish catfish scuffling along the bottom.

I did receive a follow up message from “I quit” text bubbler to say that my mother had just pissed her off, but she loves her too much to really quit. There is truth in that and in her true devotion to their quirky relationship. And I am grateful.

But I did text back: “Please do not quit in a text.” For heaven or hell’s sake, at least do it in a voicemail.  Those BUBBLES. Pop them all.

About Sandra

Author;editor of The Woven Tale Press at thewoventalepress.net; mother; weaver
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Tale Tues: I Quit

  1. Brenda says:

    Everyone one of us has those sorts of day…I hope it all worked out in the end. BTW, loved the description of the two women, you painted them so clearly.

  2. k~ says:

    The moments that reside between the pulse of a racing heart that wants to rush outside of our bodies, and that resolution that lets it know there is plenty of room to be, just where it is, can sometimes feel like lifetime.


  3. kgwaite says:

    Please do not quit in a text! My thoughts exactly! Glad it worked out. Except for those socks…

  4. Jenn says:

    Oh Sandra– I think I would have had a meltdown too if I had a hired caretaker up and quit in a text message!! OMG!! I’m so glad she wasn’t really quitting–but what a horrible way to do it!! I would hope she would quit over the phone or in a voicemail, at least if not in person. Yeesh.

    Hopefully you got all that walking around and around out of your system!! LOL.

    Cheers, Jenn

  5. Amy Morgan says:

    She sounds like quite a caregiver and their relationship sounds very unique! Glad all worked out well, and sorry it caused so much angst! (PS – Loved the sock bit!)

  6. Kathy says:

    It would have been nice if she would have let you know that she really hadn’t quit for real in another text message so your whole day hadn’t been ruined. It must have just been one of those days!!


  7. Somehow this made me both laugh and cry at the same time. Such a beautiful and sweet blog entry.

    How did it all work out in the end? Did you ever pair up any of the socks?

    I’m glad that she didn’t really quit though, it really sounds like they’re a good pair and you don’t get that very often in the world.

    Take Care


    • Sandra says:

      No, she’s still with us. She is a godsend. As she said, you just got to “go with the flow” and somtimes the flow is, well, a little rocky…I tried to go to your blog from here and it said “not found.” could be me:)

  8. Crazy timing! My husband just finished venting about an employee who quit via that damn text bubble today! Not cool in my book. Glad she didn’t really quit in the end. Also? Loved this line, “My coffee went cold. Because I needed to walk in circles”. Because walking in circles and sorting the socks always strangely seems like the right thing to do in chaotic times. I’ve nearly worn a spot in my floor from all those frantic laps!

  9. Oh AHHHH. I think she doesn’t realize that something that can be put into quirky humor with voice is completely lacking in humor when put in text form.

    My 97 year old grandfather (who lives several states away from me) took a spill last month, and God love him, he’s back home again now, cantankerous as ever. But when I talked to him in the hospital, some three days after he’d been admitted, I said, “I should have been suspicious something was wrong.” He and I have an agreement that when he dies, I inherit his parking ability. If he’s in a car (and he doesn’t drive anymore, but it happens even if he’s a passenger) there is ALWAYS a slot open in the front of the lot. No waiting, no hassles. I’ve made it clear that this is to be willed to me. And so I told him, “I’ve been getting great parking for about a week now, and I bet you haven’t been out of the house ONCE except to ride in the ambulance.” He agreed. But then he agreed that although I’d enjoyed my test drive of this ability, I was giving it back until he was through with it, and I’m on a diet and trying to lose weight, and in NO HURRY to come into my inheritance.

  10. Roshni says:

    oof!! After all that anxiety! So glad it was just a temporary ‘tantrum’! You write just wonderfully!

  11. It is good to see that it all worked out.

  12. Poor sock! Just stopping by from the weekend blog hop. Really enjoyed your post. Following you on “Linky”. If you have a moment to follow back you can find me at: http://lifeinthesimpleln.com
    Looking forward to reading more of your posts!
    Katie from the simple lane.

  13. Corinna says:

    Hi there,
    Just stopping over from the Harvest of Friends blog hop! So glad I came across your blog. Now following you on Twitter and Facebook! If you have a moment to follow back, you can find me at http://thesweetspotblog.com. Thanks!
    Corinna from The Sweet Spot Blog

Comments are closed.