Wednesday, September 21, 2005

And cut.

Their plane should be taxing down the runway now sending them home. I'm glad it was only for two weeks. I don't think I could cope with any more. It may seem I went into this with a bad attitude, expecting the worst, but really, if I had been optimistic about this visit, I would be far more disappointed.

I had a laugh last night. We were over there offering help to pack and clear up the caravan, when I bring up the subject of money (SCREAM) and paying for repairs on the car. Mom says she wants us to split the cost of the repairs because one of the dents was ours from three years ago. True. Here's where I become stuck in the middle of a silent war between Mom and the Hubs.

Mom: I'm happy to pay for our damage, but one dent was yours. Will the body shop give a split the quote to cover work for our damage, and work for yours?

Hubs: We planned on selling the car in October when the MOT was up. Our dent wouldn't have stopped the car getting it's MOT but your damage will. I now have to get the panel fixed in order to get the car passed MOT and then sold!

Me: Yeah ok, I'll ask Hubs to do that right now, this afternoon. We need to have the work done really quick though, because the car is due to have it's inspection and new sticker by the 22nd of Oct., and we can't sell it until after it passes. It won't pass with a broken taillight. Actually, it's illegal to drive right now. But We'll get that quote done now, before you fly back home. Tomorrow. Good.

Mom: Good.

Hubs: You mean I have to go running all over the place getting the mechanic to rejig the quote? Why don't I just waste all of my days off running useless errands.

Me: Well, you could go and get that second quote from the guy your Dad recommended too.

Hubs: (Fuming Death Glare) sure. I'll go do that right now.

Me: Mom, We're taking the car and heading off. I need to be at home to wait for Sassy since Hubs will be taking the car around for re-quotes.

Mom: Oh. Ok. Will you come back later?

Me: I hope so.

So it turns out it was a good thing Hubs went to see the guy his Dad recommended, because he quote half the quote of the other garage. Mom was pleased, we're pleased and Phew battle diverted.

So later in the afternoon, we start thinking about dinner and what we want to do. We are still not sure what Mom is about and since we bought dinner the night previously, we didn't want to fork out again. Our finances have been hit hard over the past two weeks, and we didn't even go away. So frugal but fun = McDonalds. Not something we usually do, but as a treat for the kids. I phoned Mom on the way and said we were getting McD's and did they want anything, she said no. She said they were going to get something to eat at the restaurant in the park.

Now my jaw hit the floor. I was stunned. They had been complaining and moaning about the restaurant the whole two weeks saying it was too expensive. Everything converted into dollars and over $100 for a meal was ridiculous. Even thought they're on vacation, and meeting family for the first time, and we'd go halfway. The level of cheapness shocked and disgusted me. These people are not poor, they're not even frugal. They are cheap to the point that they deny themselves some simple pleasures in life. In your retirement years, with a hefty bank balance to enjoy, why deny yourself a nice cooked meal in a restaurant with family? So now, as we go off to have a McDonalds, they decide to have dinner in the restaurant, and not invite us? After all we've done for them...shocking.

I was really hurt by this. My Dad would've had a big, fun no expense spared meal to say our goodbyes. My Dad had class, fun and deep love for his family. He may not have been able to show it with affection and "I love you"s but he had his ways of making you know he cared. I miss that. I now see how much of my parent's marriage was my Dad's contribution. He kept Mom fun, now left to her own frugal self, and coupled with Swifty the Cheap; I worry she'll be denying herself the luxury of freedom afforded to her now in her time of no responsibilities.

So we arrive at the caravan, and have our McDonalds, they're not there. Still in the restaurant. Everything's packed up. Very empty.A half hour later they come back, all smiles. I asked them what they had, and they laugh.

They went over and looked at the menu, and decided to have a beer and and egg roll. An eggroll? Ok..whatever floats your boat. An eggroll. They were, however very surprised, to receive not a Chinese eggroll...but two fried eggs on a white bread roll. I laughed openly. It was quite deserved. Swifty didn't even eat his, he doesn't take to different things, he doesn't accept change well. One more smack of culture shock and I think he's now done. Done in by a fried egg sandwich.

I saw them just before they went into the taxi home. It was the first time I didn't cry to say goodbye to Mom. I'm not sure what that means yet.

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