I am a woman who should have a calendar tattooed somewhere on her body, preferably in a highly visible place. To say that I am severely challenged by — and that I have been adversely affected by — the character flaw that causes anything date-related to slip my mind would be an understatement.
Everyone who knows me well also KNOWS that I am deficient in this area. To compensate, all of these fine people have learned to give me the “heads up” (often multiple times) about things where my participation has either been promised or is required. I’m sure it’s a pain in the ass for them, but I do lots of things for lots of people, so they reciprocate by calling, texting, emailing, sending up smoke signals — whatever it takes — to insure that I’ll be where I’m supposed to be when I’m supposed to be there. They are, in other words, fully aware that I need all kinds of help in this area, and they kindly and gently lend me a hand.
The one person who is the exception to this rule, the only person who still cannot seem to wrap her head around my inability to remember appointments and/or other time-sensitive information, is my darling daughter — the lovely and ever optimistic Fangette. It goes without saying that she has been adversely affected by my chronic case of date deficiency. Still, she routinely insists on telling me something ONCE and then springing the reminder upon me within hours of the event, often causing me to jump through hoops to rearrange things, by saying something like, “Mom, don’t forget. Tomorrow is my brain surgery appointment. I have to be there by 6:00 AM.” (Luckily THAT never happened!)
I suppose I have to hand it to her. She still has faith in me. She shouldn’t, of course, but she does. I wish she didn’t. Her unshakeable conviction that maybe, just maybe, Mom will get it right THIS time is worse than if she had no faith in me at all. It’s the disappointment that my condition engenders, particularly in my only offspring, that makes me feel like crap.
That she is still such an innocent where my failings are concerned is, on some level, endearing. Mostly, though, it’s just annoying. At best it gives me a terrible case of “the guilts”; at worst, it makes me want to stand in front of her screaming, “Oh, my God! You KNOW I SUCK at this SHIT. WHY CAN’T YOU BE LIKE EVERYONE ELSE AND UNDERSTAND THAT I AM NOT GOOD AT THIS SORT OF THING? WHY MUST YOU INSIST ON MAKING ME DISAPPOINT YOU?” But, I don’t. I jump through the hoops. I do the best I can.
It’s almost never enough, though. Inevitably, something falls through the cracks. Tomorrow she will have to do something important, something college-related, with my sister, instead of with me. That’s not altogether a bad thing. My sister is a good egg who brings a different perspective to these things than I do. So, that’s something, I guess. I don’t feel good about it, though. Really, I don’t.