I wrote this email to my friend in a dolly group and it made me laugh so I decided I should keep it:
My parents just stopped off on their way to camp. They picked up a big bag of dog food for Mac (because I can't lift it when I'm sick like this).
My Mom is feeling good, which means her normal feisty temperament is back in full force. I don't know why, but for my whole life, whenever my parents do something nice for me, my mother follows it with criticisms. I call it her "hug with a kick in the ass routine". My parents put a whole new twist into the saying "no good deed goes unpunished", lol.
My Dad brought the bag of food in, and my Mother followed. I asked how much I owed them, and my mother said "Don't worry about it." I hate hearing that because it always means I'm going to pay...just not with money, lol.
My house is a mess because I've been sick. I'm a bit better, but I'm still breathing at only half my normal capacity. Anyway, my parents know this; I talked to them on the phone this morning. I talked to them every day, even when they were in Toronto, and my mother told me to go to the emerg every day when she heard my coughing. I specifically told them not to come over because my house was a mess and they wouldn't be able to handle it without getting mad. I specifically told them that they were not to cross my threshold until 1 week after I feel better, because even when my house is at it's neatest, my mother finds things wrong. I told them I would need at least a full week to clean up enough to allow them in the door and that I can't start cleaning until I can breathe. I shouldn't have said anything because they took my visiting ban as a personal challenge and used the heavy bag of dogfood to gain entry, lol.
She did try; I'll give her credit for that. She came in and scrutinized the huge coffee stain covering my left boob...white top, of course. I just spilled that coffee a few minutes before they came in (thank God it wasn't too hot!). She frowned at my piles of unwashed (but rinsed and neatly stacked) dishes, my table full of reborning stuff, and my bag of empty coffee cans hanging from the doorknob (my hanging things on doorknobs is almost a mortal sin in her book, lol). She sighed loudly several times and shook her head, but didn't say anything. My Dad spotted my new sewing machine and scrutinized it, then sighed because he thinks I'm always spending my money on "junk" (unfortunately he was right about my old machine).
Anyway, they almost made it without the kick...my Dad got out the door with only a few more frowns and head shakes, and my mother followed with loud sighs and narrowed eyes.
She hugged me goodbye, said she loves me, and I thought "here it comes".
She leaned into me and whispered, "Your father was completely devastated when he went into your basement."
I thought I misheard her. I said, "What? Dad didn't go into my basement today."
She said, "No, the last time he was here to turn on your water hose line, he was completely devastated."
I said, "You mean 3 weeks ago?"
She said, "Yes. You have too many empty boxes. You can't live like that."
It didn't help that the box for my new coffee machine was in the stairwell, and that the box with my new sewing machine was on the floor by the door. The pile of dirty towels on the top step (from cleaning up after the old, leaky coffee maker) weren't a help, either. I meant to take them all down the next time I go downstairs.
It's true that my basement is more of a wreck-room rather than a rec-room, but my gosh, of all the things to complain about. She stood at the door berating me for a long time. She was especially annoyed by the bag of coffee cans hanging from the doorknob, and wanted to know why on earth I was saving them. When I said I was going to use them to make a crocheted canister set, she actually snorted. They are not people who appreciate crafting, in any form. It's all just "junk", according to them.
I know she was really upset about the basement because she said it was my father who was upset...she does that because she knows I don't listen to her when she complains things are messy because to her, a magazine on an end table is a horrible mess, lol.
Anyway, I had the last word. I listened until she wound down, and said "Isn't it nice that you're feeling good now and you don't have anything more to worry about than the state of my basement?"
She said "Yeah," but she wasn't happy, lol.
It's a miracle; this is the first time ever that my parents have criticized me and I've not gotten upset about it. It really is nice that my mother has nothing else to worry about than the state of my basement.