{ Sunday, November 13, 2005 }

Silly Business

I've become my grandmother. Or possibly my mother. The line between their personalities also grays on a daily basis.

Now, you might think that I should have picked up on that when, just as my grandmother once did, I refused medical treatment to my boyfriend when he had appendicitis, actually walking him out of an ER and instead trying to pump him full of Pepto Bismol until he shut up and accepted that he was being a baby about some gas. Fortunately, the next day I went to work and he ignored me and went to the doctor and thus did not die.

Or maybe after the fact when my extended family told this story to one another as some sort of hilarious and shining example of how apples don't fall far from trees.

My grandmother frequently just refused to accept lots of things as valid. She declared them "silly business". Some made sense, and some just did not. Allergies, asthma, most chronic ailments really, any games involving pretending to be an animal, most of what the neighbors did, my high school Latin text books, the dislike of any food, most fears, air conditioning...

Once something was declared "silly business", she would hear nothing more on the topic. My mother does the same thing, she just has a face she makes along with a particular sigh instead of saying the words "silly business". My sister does it too, she just completely ignores things and changes the subject. I'm not sure what I do when confronted with silly business.

Let me tell you, "This silly business with the..." is the most annoying thing you can hear. The day I got my driver's license, my mother basically handed me the keys and was like "Okay, drive yourself back to Camp." and when I said "Can I get there without driving through Downtown Cincinnati?"... she made that face and sighed and told me I'd be fine. "You'll be fine" is the dismissive answer to all queries about completing any action that has been declared "silly business".

(We were outside of my grandmother's house at the time. After Mom left, Grandma gave me directions that didn't involving leaving the state or driving through massive construction and fifteen thousand interchanges at sixty miles an hour the first time I was ever alone in a moving vehicle. That sound you just heard? Was my mother rolling her eyes at me from Kentucky.)

And, apparently, I do the silly business thing too. Most recently, last night.

My boyfriend freaks right out every time he is pressured into driving in the dark. It's a less severe freakout when he is just a passenger in my car after dark, but my car has a broken headlight. I have heard the "I'd rather not drive at night." speech at least fifty times this year.

He also does not like to turn left and will go to great lengths to avoid doing so. In my mind, I have declared both of these things "silly business". In his mind, he has declared them both "unsafe", and good luck getting Steady to do something he thinks might not be safe.

Last night, we're driving along trying to find dinner at ten pm, and things got really, really ugly. I wanted him to turn left into a shopping center, but I hadn't ever pulled into it before so I didn't know exactly where the driveway was.


We did not turn left into the shopping center. Instead we continued driving and yelling at each other for at least six more miles before finally getting some Taco Bell.

And when he tried to tell me how stressful he finds driving at night and how he HATES not knowing where, exactly, it is he is supposed to put the car at every second, and how he hates turning across traffic, and, also, I have been made aware of these things not less than thirty times each and for some reason refuse to accept them as true... I heard a little voice in my head say "... because they are all silly business."

posted by mary ann 5:40 PM