Why am I surprised when things go so horribly wrong with my mother? I must be stupid. Really stupid. Bad-probably-shouldn't-have-bred stupid.
I'll skip the thousand instances of passive aggressive, borderline personality bullshit, testing of my patience .... that my mother engaged in on Sunday. I'll just hit the high points.
*My darling grandmother wanted to go to Vermont to see her. Her, my mother. Her who has never had a nice word to say about my grandmother, or recently deceased grandfather. Her who didn't attend the funeral, but called daily to boss the rest of us around. Evidently, her had been calling and being sweet in anticipation of death benefits. Her is even more evil than I imagined.
*My mother absolutely ignores Gram when she gets out of the car. Goes right for Rio and doesn't speak to or look at my grandmother. Already, my blood pressure is heading north.
*She has chosen a restaurant that is closed. She won't call ahead, it's around the corner from her house, arguably she passes it 100 times a week. And yet, she makes me park and get everyone out of the car before 'remembering' it's closed on Sunday night.
*She is an embarrassment at the restaurant where we land. If you knew her, you'd know I have 17,000 words worth of material. But enough said.
This is where it gets bad. After dinner she said she had a gift for Rio and would we please come in to her place. I say, and I quote, "We will come in but only if you put the dog up." She puts him in his fenced in back area and we all enter the filthy smoking lounge that is her house.
Her dog is throwing himself against the slider again and again, screech barking. She's taught him this behavior and constantly reinforces it. She has every dog psych book ever written and she has advice for everyone on the planet about their dogs, and it is with incredible forethought that she has ruined this very expensive, very well pedigreed champion. It's awful but the dog is totally out of control and is a biter.
Rio has to poop. Fabulous. I take her through the deathtrap house into a filthy bathroom. I clean up as best I can and place my child on a toiletpaper-lined seat. The place is brand new but looks just like a 40 year old bus station bathroom. I'm gagging.
We return to the sitting room where my mother has her hell-hound leashed and up on the chair next to her. Dog behavior 101 says: leashed dogs are more aggressive due to the urge to overcome the restraint and sitting on a chair is an elevated status, further exacerbating the intense aggression problems of this dog.
"We are leaving," I say and herd my grandmother and child to the door. Mother immediately stands and her dog jumps down and starts pulling for all he's worth to reach any of us, all the while snarling and snapping; leaping and twisting; screaming and digging into the floor. Frightening site.
I reach the door to the entryway and tell me grandmother to get in the car quickly. I hold onto the doorknob so they can clear the second door and cross the yard to the safety of the car. My mother is twisting and twisting the doorknob trying to break my hold, and her dog is throwing himself waist height against the door. Once Rio and Gram are safely in the car, I let the door go and run out. She's right behind me saying, 'He's on a leash!' and I get into the car and leave.
She called last night to tell me she's taking a stop smoking medication. I let her have it both barrels because Rio was with Bear and my brother was out to dinner with my gram. My mother relies on the fact that I wouldn't want to make my grandmother uncomfortable and timed her call in the middle of what should have been grown-up dinner time.
I blasted her. I told her that she has no respect for me as a person and she lies. She put my child and grandmother in harm's way by bringing the dog in, and she was damned sneaky about doing it while I was in another room. She doesn't have any respect for the boundaries I so clearly set and she created a dangerous situation simply to get a reaction from me. "My reaction," I stated, "is this - you always ask 'Can I have Rio by myself?' and it occurs to me that you don't want her, you want me to say 'no'. Well, here it is. No. You've gone too far this time. I have another call and I'm hanging up now. Goodbye."
I honestly don't know if I'll ever talk to her again. This is the straw that buried the pyramid that dropped out of the sky that crushed the palace that had a stable where the camel made its home.