Life As a Mathis With Memaw in the 37029.

So my grandmother is
reeeeally having a senior day today. And I don’t like to leave her when she’s like this because my nerves can’t handle it, but I don’t like to stay when she’s like this because my nerves can’t handle it.  So after walking my laps — I’m getting in shape again because I’m moving to Washington and marrying Seth Moulton (Google him) — I walked in and said,  “Look,  this is what’s up this morning, Katherine.  I’m going to need you to reel in your old lady crazy for a moment until I figure out if I’m having anxiety attacks or if I’m just having a heart attack.”

She said, “Why do you think you’re having a heart attack?”

I said,  “Because the room starts spinning, I feel like something is sitting on my chest, I can’t breathe and I’m afraid I’ll pass out. So I’m either just going crazy or I’m dying of heart failure. But, I don’t have health insurance so I can’t afford to go to the doctor, so I’ll just have to die.  But I really can’t afford to die because I only own the plot and I don’t have a spouse and I don’t want to force somebody else to have to pay to bury me.  So I just decided that I want to be given to Body Farm. Then, after they leave me lying around to rot, solving pretend murders out of me, when y’all get my ashes back, I would like to have somebody throw half of me off the Henley Street bridge in Knoxville and the other half spread at Busch Stadium.” 

I tell her that every week:  If I die, you make sure they give me the Body Farm.  She finds this funny.

And says, “Oh, Candi, I tell you what, girl — you’re a mess.”

And she laughs and laughs.

** sigh **

So,  to sum up…  she always gets like this until Tracy gets back in the 37029.  Basically, she’s got a case of the blues until her favorite grandkid gets back in Burns, and her second favorite grandkid has to joke about dying to make her laugh.

Is it any wonder I need therapy?

Early this morning I told her that my nerves are so bad that I just can’t sit still. Because when I sit still, I start thinking. When I start thinking, I think about Donald Trump and then I think I’m dying. 

Since I’m worried I’m dying of a heart attack, I decided I need to paint her shutters black — because it’s the only thing that keeps me from thinking about the fact that I think I’m dying and/or trying to decide what I think is a proper disposal of my body. I have to stay busy.

So there is only one cure:  I need to paint her shutters black.

So she says, “Well, my shutters were black till y’all decided to paint  them white.”

I said:   “Well,  y’all are deciding to paint them black, now.”

But I told her I needed permission.

She said:   “Well, it’s too hot. Let’s just wait till next spring and you can paint them then if I’m still living.”

I said:  “Why don’t I just wait and paint them when you die since you want to be the second case of somebody sitting around and being morbid today, Katherine? I mean, here I am — I’m the one that’s obsessed with her own untimely death, so I’m gonna need you to not be talking about dying today.” 

She thinks this is funny. Why, why when I joke about being given to the Body Farm, does my Memaw always think this is funny?

Lol, she really, reeeeeeally always thinks this is funny.

I’m beginning to think that we  really do, truly — like the T-shirt says — put the fun in dysfunctional.

Then after we have this settled — that when it cools down, I can paint her shutters to match her roof — she gets up without her walker and is walking clear across the den and unsteady on her feet. About that time my aunt came in and yelled at her, and I did too! 

I yelled, “Now, Grandmother, let me explain something to you — if you fall and break your hip and end up in a nursing home, they don’t have those good channels down there and then how the hell am I supposed to watch Matt Holliday?” 

She reached for her walker then and said, “Well, that’s true. If I end up down there where Betty was, I guess you wouldn’t have TV, would you?”

I said:  “That’s exactly right, Memaw. I ain’t sitting down there at no old folks home and watching basic cable. Paula don’t have Rachel Maddow, and I need good-looking, ball playing men on your 50-something inch HD TV. Or I get evil.”

Apparently, she seemed to consider this a reasonable suggestion to do what the doctor tells her and use her walker. I take that to mean that I am her favorite grandkid since she wants to keep living so I’ll have cable.

I think I’m going to write a coffee table book on this, Mathis family. Call it “The Memaw Files.”

Cause our family is f-cked up, but in the fun way — you know?

It’s worth it just for her cornbread though. I ain’t even gonna lie.


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