We are going to the lake tomorrow for Father's Day, so Paul and I decided to take my mom and dad out this morning for breakfast -- to Papa's favorite breakfast spot... the IHOP.
We had to go early, because Mollie had a vet appointment at 9 am. I called them the night before to see if they were up for it. It was about 7 pm.
Me: Alllooooo? (I usually talk to my mother initially doing my impersonation of her accent - which, is spot on by the way.)
She sounded groggy.
Me: Wanna go to IHOP tomorrow morning for Father's Day breakfast?
Nana: But tomorrow isn't Father's Day.
Me: I know. But we won't be around on Sunday.
Nana: I don't know. Let me ask your dad. HAAAASSSAAANNNN! YEA HASSAN!
Nana: HAAAASAAAAN! (even louder).
Now, I think I've explained the communication process between my mom and dad before - my mom will yell at the top of her lungs to have my dad answer the phone - my dad is usually at the farthest point away from my mother in the house.
Me: Mom. Mom. Just call me back.
Nana: Well... what time do you want to go?
Me: Let's leave at 7:30.
Nana: SEVEN-THIRTY! GAAAD! Why 7:30!
Me: Because Mollie has a vet appointment at 9.
Nana: POO Mollie!
Yes. She really said that. Actually, "POO (insert noun)" is a phrase that works well for many instances when displeasure needs to be articulated. POO is usually followed by the name of a person - most often me, my children, my husband, my sister, her children and her husband. I don't know if my brother has gotten the "POO" - although in my opinion, he deserves all the POOs... The POO is especially effective when the person being "POOED" is present when the other articulates the "POO-ing." However, the person expressing the "POO-ing" usually does not speak of the "POO-ing" to the "POOed" person. It is someone else, who just happens to be an innocent by-standard.
Does that make sense?
Anyways. Mollie was POOed.
Nana: GGAAD! I have to get up at 7:30! It's so early.
Me: Mom. Where are you right now?
Nana: In bed.
Me: Mom. It's 7 right now. You can't get up in 12 hours?
Nana: Fine. Okay. Let me talk to your dad.
A few minutes later my mother calls back and it's a date. I tell her we'll pick them up just before 7:30.
On our way to IHOP, Paul asks my parents if they heard about the tornadoes that hit Wadena, MN.
Nana: Oh yeah! I know Wadena! It was bad I heard.
Papa: Do we know Wadena?
Nana: OF COURSE we know Wadena Hassan! Wadena. It is after Detroit Lakes on Highway 10.
Papa: Oh... Wadena.
Papa: (He turns to Paul) You know... you know why I remember Wadena.... I got a speeding ticket in Wadena.
My mother whips her head over and looks at me with a crazed look in her eyes. Then she leans forward to talk to my dad who is sitting next to Paul in the front seat.
Nana: HASSAN! What are you talking about? You never got a ticket in Wadena. You are mixing up.
My father ignores her as if she isn't even in the car, and keeps telling Paul the story...
Papa: Ya... Wadena. I tell you, I was just going out of the town... and I could see him...
Nana: HASSAN! You are CRAZY. You did NOT get a ticket in Wadena!
Papa: Mayla. Mayla. Mayla. Of course I got a ticket in Wadena. You are forgetting.
I know what he is doing. He is trying to make my mother crazy. He knows he never got a speeding ticket in Wadena... he wants to mess with her. And you would think after 45 years of marriage that she would be on to him.
My mother looks at me again - totally beside herself with frustration... and says to me in a serious voice:
Nana: He is losing his mind I tell you. He is forgetting everything. He is imagining things. Gaad.
Me: Dad. How about we not talk about the speeding ticket in Wadena right now.
Nana: Chino! He DID NOT get a speeding ticket in Wadena.
Me: Okay. I know. Let's just not argue. Let's just go enjoy breakfast at IHOP.
We get into IHOP and the server takes us to the left side of the restaurant..
Nana: (whispering loudly enough that it is no where near a whisper). Why are we going this way? We don't go this way? Why do they always want to put us this way?
Me: (I stop the server). Uhm. Excuse me. Would you mind if we sat in a booth on the other side? By the window please?
Server: Oh sure! Of course!
We turn and start walking the other way...
Nana: (again in her loud whisper)... Why did she put us here then? Why would we want to sit here when we could sit there?
Me: Mom. It's okay. It's all taking care of... we are sitting by the window.
We finally settle into our booth... order the coffee with "Lots of cream" as my father always says...
and the speeding ticket comes up again.
He is sitting across from Paul and I... and he looks directly at Paul - like talking "man to man"...
Papa: So... the speeding ticket in Wadena...
omg - I am going to kill him...
Nana puts her had on her forehead and turns to him...
Nana: Well-aak Hassan! You DID NOT get a ticket there. You are mixing up. It was in Brookings.
My dad doesn't even acknowledge her comment and continues with his story talking directly to Paul. And for the next FIVE MINUTES, continues telling a story that NEVER happened about a speeding ticket in Wadena. All the while my mother is talking directly at me at the same time, telling me he is crazy, forgetful and losing his mind.
Thank God it was 7:30 am on Saturday at the IHOP and we were one of a handful of customers.
Papa: I told the guy (the officer) (And then my dad starts laughing) I told the guy - "There are so many people speeding, though."
And then my dad stops and starts chuckling some more...
And the guy... The guy says, "Well I couldn't catch anyone but you."
Papa's face crinkles up and his head starts bobbing up and down but there is no sound. That's how he laughs. We often ask him if "hurts" when he laughs....
Nana: Oh my Gaad. You are crazy Hassan. You did not talk to the police in Wadena. You are forgetting!
... and then Papa looks over at me... and gives me a quick wink.
I give him a smile and a look that says, "You are really awful, you know that don't you?"
But, it's Father's Day. And if my gift to dad is offering him an audience while he makes my mother crazy... then so be it.