Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I recently bought a Mac and very shortly thereafter discovered video chatting. I know it's been around a long time and that I'm waaaaaaaaaay behind the times but the important thing is that I've discovered it now. And I LOVE it. Right now, I only chat with a few people - my sisters and their kiddos, Jill, my best guy friend Andy and his wife Kacey, and my mom - you know, people who can see me and, despite the unflattering angle of a laptop camera that's looking up at me and my double chins, still love me.
Of all the people I can chat with, I have the highest hopes for video chatting with my mom. "Why?" you ask? Well, let me tell you . . .
See, my mom started taking Ambien a few years ago. Do you know what Ambien is? It's a sleeping pill and my mom started taking it to, you know, help her fall - and stay - asleep at night. If you go to the Ambien website, you'll see that the side effects of it include sleepwalking, sleep-related eating, and sleep driving. Sounds very exciting, doesn't it? Well, friends, let me tell you how it has played out with my mom . . .
When she takes it, she has about 20 minutes before she hits what I now call the "Ambien Wall." And there's no warning. I've had many late night phone calls with her that go something like this:
Cat: So tomorrow I think I'm gonna go look at some shoes.
Mom: Oh great! Where are you going to go?
Cat: Oh, I don't know. Maybe Dillard's? Macy's? Probably just stay around the mall area.
Mom: Are you looking for anything in particular?
Cat: I think just maybe some sandals. Maybe some wedges.
Mom: Well . . . [long pause]
Mom: You just never know.
Cat: Never know about what?
Mom: [slurring her speech] I'm just saying . . . you never . . . know . . .
Cat: Did you take your Ambien already tonight, Mom?
Mom: Mmmmm hmmmm . . . whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?
Cat: Oh, just wondering. Well, I guess I'll talk to you tomorr-
Mom: It was just a dog . . . it was like . . . this grilled cheese . . . you know? You never know. You just neeeeeeeeever knooooooooooooow . . .
Cat: Yeah. I know. You never know. [giggling]
Mom: What? Why are you laughing?
Cat: Well, your medicine has kicked in so you're not making any sense. [giggling]
Mom: Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm . . .
Cat: So I'll call you tomorrow, ok?
Cat: Mom? . . . Mom? . . . MOM?? . . .
Mom: [soft snoring sound]
So that's what a conversation with my mom is like after her Ambien has kicked in. She's also called me at 3:00 in the morning, feeling very chatty and smacking in my ear:
Cat: Helloooooooooo?? [very groggy 3:00 am voice]
Mom: Hey, Catchy!! [smack, smack, smack, chew, chew, chew]
Cat: Hey. Are you eating something?
Mom: [With mouth full . . .] Yup. Ham sandwich.
Cat: Oh good. Is it good?
Mom: [smack, smack] Yup! [smack, smack]
I mean, I've never heard anyone eat so loudly. But she sure seemed happy to be chatting! And I'm apparently on her Ambien speed dial. But, even though I'm the one who gets all the late night Ambien phone calls, Tammy has the best Ambien story of all.
After Hurricane Ike came through Houston, Tammy and her kiddos went up to Dallas with my mom. They stayed in a hotel and got two rooms that were right across the hall from each other. When it was time for bed, my mom retired to her room and Tammy and kiddos got in their jammies and began the process of getting ready for bed. About 30 minutes later, my nephew, Ben, heard a knock on their door and told Tammy. But Tammy hadn't heard it so she thought he was just imagining things. About 10 minutes later, he heard a knock again and, this time, Tammy heard it, too. So she went to the door and looked out the peep hole but all she saw was the top of a head of hair. It looked like my mom's hair but it was sticking up all over the place and it looked like she was leaning her head against the door. Tammy said "Mom?" and heard my mom say in her best drunken sailor voice "Yeah?" So Tammy opened the door and saw my mom standing there swaying, with her hair a crazy mess. Ben and Emma came up behind Tammy and peeked around her to stare at the strange sight. And then Ben said the words that will live on in Palmore family legend forever: "Mommy, why is Dearsie in her underwear?"
Yep - that's right. My mom was standing in the middle of the hotel hallway wearing a t-shirt tucked into her underwear. And that's it. Tammy stood there momentarily stunned, her mouth agape with horror. Then my mom said, again in her best drunk voice, "Ya got any bananas?" Tammy and the kids just stood there staring. Then my mom said it again: "Ya got any bananas?" This snapped Tammy back to reality and she grabbed my mom's arm, pulled her into the room, and shut the door.
Once in the room, my mom again requested bananas so Tammy gave her two. Why did Tammy have bananas? That's a good question. She ALWAYS travels with fruit so that the kids can have good snacks. I'd prefer to travel with Swiss Cake Rolls and Oatmeal Creme Pies but to each his own, right? ANYWAY, so she gave my mom the bananas and sent her back across the hallway to the safety - and privacy - of her own room. Then Tammy had a horrible thought: there had been two knocks on her door with a 10 minute lapse between them. Did my mom go to the front desk in all her glory? Did she go knock on other doors in her quest for bananas? Tammy was horrified at the possibilities. And a little nervous to see the front desk guy in the morning . . .
The next morning, my mom woke up and saw two black banana peels on her nightstand and had no idea how they got there. She asked Tammy about them and Tammy filled her in on her late night banana escapade. My mom was so embarrassed. When she walked down to the coke machine on their floor and found a banana peel in the pocket where the coke bottles come out, she was mortified. My mom and Tammy figure that she must have been gallivanting up and down the hallway in her underwear, searching for and munching on bananas. As my mom remembered NONE of it, it was impossible to know how many people had seen her and, God forbid, talked to her while in that state. That's when she decided to never take Ambien again.
And she's really kept that resolution. However, recently, she's had to take it a few times because she's had some trouble getting to sleep. BUT . . . this time around, I have video chat. Can you imagine the possibilities!!?? I'm up late blogging every night so I'm fairly certain that I'll get some late-night video calls and I can't wait to see what fun stories I get out of THAT.
Oh, Mom . . . what would I do without you??