Octopus' Garden

Monday, May 15, 2006

TELEPHONE CONVERSATIONS WITH MY JAPANESE MOTHER (SPECIAL MOTHER’S DAY EDITION)

JM: [After being reluctantly urged to the phone by my father]. Oh. It you.

AH: Happy Mother’--

JM: [Interrupting me.] You don’t send me any card.

AH: Oh. Gosh. I’m sorry. The card is on it’s way, actually. I put it in my briefcase and accidentally forgot about it during finals week. So it’s coming. But you got the present I sent you, right?

JM: You don’t send card, so card don’t count. Present don’t count either. Don’t bother send card if you can’t send on time.

AH: But I already wrote on the card and sealed it up.

JM: I don’t want it. Keep for next year. Don’t waste money by send late don’t-count card. Make me sick.

AH: Look. I’m sorry about the card. I got really busy this week--

JM: Hello, busy! We all the time here so busy, busy, busy but not too busy to send you card on your birthday. Huh? What you say? Cat got your tongue?

AH: Um . . you’re retired? But your mother’s day present arrived in plenty of time, right? When did you get it?

JM: [Sulkily.] I think maybe come on Wednesday.

AH: And those are the Thornbird DVDs you said you wanted to have, right? Plus I also got The Missing Years for you. Did you start watching them yet?

JM: [Silence].

AH: Hello? Are you still there?

JM: Oh. You talking to me? I thought maybe you talking to your father. You better ask him if he watch DVD or not. Maybe DVD for him. DVD come on Wednesday address to both our name so I think DVD must be for your father. Not to me because don’t have just my name on address. So nothing to do with mother day. So it not count!

AH: Of course the DVDs are for you. Those are the ones you said you wanted. And both of your names were on the address label because you’re programmed into my eBay account as a shipping destination so I can easily have stuff sent directly to you.

JM: Oh blah blah blah you always make such big-lie excuse for self!

AH: [Under breath]. Oh. My. Fucking. God.

JM: What?

AH: Nothing.

JM: Yeah. You better ask God forgive you.

AH: So aside from the card debacle, are you having a nice Mother’s Day?

JM: No!

AH: No?

JM: Just like any other day. No special. No nothing. Nobody do nothing.

AH: [Through gritted teeth.] I sent you DVDs. And now I’m calling you on the phone to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day.

JM: No.

AH: Okay. Well . . . would you prefer it if I went back to sending flowers?

JM: I don’t like flower. Just die. Have to spend so much time take care of it. All get hysteria about it, then just die anyway. Big waste of money.

AH: Oh . . . I thought you liked the flowers.

JM: No. I just try to be polite. Don’t want hurt your feelings.

AH: Well, yeah. We wouldn’t want that.

JM: So you better hang up now. You so busy have such busy thing to do.

AH: Well, let me just wish you a Happy Mother’s--

JM: [Click. Hangs up phone on me.]

AH: WTF?
posted by Artichoke Heart at 4:13 PM

8 Comments:

Oh my. And to think K and I just called our moms when we knew they'd be at church. I guess we chicken.

Just die . . . oh, the flowers.
Anonymous Your #1 Fan, at 7:21 PM  
holy shit---my mother a fat german version of your japanese mother. I could have written this script. except, it wasn't DVD's, it was a book. And she got it AND the card on Saturday. And she was pissed that I didn't call on Sunday TOO. IN ADDITION to the call she got on Saturday. Talk about a mutha.

I feel you, sister. I really do.
Blogger mopsa, at 7:43 PM  
Dear Mom,

I'm so sorry that I made you unhappy by remembering Mother's Day, sending you the DVDs you wanted, sending you a card and calling you.

It won't happen again.

Yours
Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:00 PM  
And I had been complaining that my Godmother called me up at 7 am on Sunday to say, "I figured that if I called early enough, you would have to be home! You can wish me a happy mother's day now!"

But apparently, compared to JM, my Godmother is nothing to talk about.

M. Luminous
Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:30 AM  
I called my mother from work for free on Friday and left a message when I knew she wouldn't be home. Tell your mother this and she'll forgive you quicker.
Blogger Radish King, at 10:55 AM  
Hee. I am so loving the calling-when-not-at-home strategy. Sometimes passive aggression is the key to good mental health! (Sadly, my parentals are always home, and they utilize a rotary dial phone sans answering machine/voice mail.)

And thank you, Anonymous, for providing such nice crisp boilerplate. I'm liking it.
Blogger Artichoke Heart, at 2:07 PM  
AH - In my imaginary perfect birdworld, some brave papa bird would step in, would protect a fledgling from a hen who feels compelled to jab her own rough disappointments into a daughter's expectant open beak. I say you fly higher up in the tree & sing...
Anonymous mar, at 6:21 PM  
Oh for fucks sake. Busy busy busy.. It's called a life.

I sent my mom flowers. They sat on her doorstep for two days because she never uses the front door.
Blogger MJ, at 12:28 AM  

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