Mothers are supposed to have at least one expression designed to send you into a frenzy of anger and frustration. It’s their job.
Mine is the moment my mom walks through the door of my condo. Without exception, she mentions that she can smell cat pee all throughout the house.
To be fair to her there was a time where my place smelled like urine. First of all I’m a guy. I’m not cleaning the litter box twice a day like some of your fanatics. Second, I’ve well-documented here my struggles with my cat peeing outside her designated area. I probably wrote twenty pieces on it last year alone. The bottom line is that she’s on Prozac and doesn’t do it anymore, thank God. Not my mom. The cat.
The place used to smell pretty bad because the cat would spray all over this enclosure I had for my cat box and I had no idea she was doing it. Once I removed that piece of furniture, the odor disappeared.
Well, the cat still does go outside the box once in awhile. She pees on the rubber mat in front of the box. But I clean that up as soon as I find it.
My mom is on the “your place always smells” trip. She hasn’t changed that tune in two years. And it drives me nuts.
I guess the biggest problem is on my end. I expect her not to do this each time she comes over. I’m violating that Buddhist principle of “What is, is.” What is, is that my mom is going to say the place smells bad. And my insanity is that I keep wanting her to change.
She made this comment when she came in last night (I had two air fresheners going), and again once this morning, blaming the smell on her inability to sleep last night. I became offended and the reason is that I thought she was lying. Not out and out lying, but exaggerating.
Growing up I was blamed for a lot of the family’s problems. That was my role – the scapegoat. And whenever anything touches around that “it’s your fault” thing, I go nuts.
So, I asked my father who was also here if he noticed any smell. He said he didn’t.
I asked my mom to pinpoint the location of the smell so I could find and eliminate it. She just said the whole place smelled. I brought my dad into the bedroom where they slept and we both couldn’t smell anything.
It’s hard to correct something you can’t locate, of course.
My mother accused my father of lying to protect my feelings. Now I was really confused. Did it smell in there or not? Was someone exaggerating or lying? It was a mess.
I’m not so sensitive I can’t handle the truth. If it smells like cat pee, tell me where and I’ll fix it.
So, we’re all basically yelling at each other at 7:30am. It was brutal.
Here’s what I know. I can’t control my mother’s nose. If she’s exaggerating about the smell (and I don’t think she’s doing it on purpose), that’s her deal. Only she knows. If she’s being honest then I have a horrible sense of smell.
Either way she’s going to say it smells like cat pee, as she does every time. And that’s going to trigger the “It’s all my fault” pattern in me. And I’m going to go nuts and explode.
So, how do I avoid this?
Well, first is to make sure the place actually doesn’t smell like cat pee. After this ordeal I ordered a three pack of professional cleaners to come over. After three cleaning sessions it should be roses in here. As a dude this is a solid investment.
Second is to learn to release control of someone else’s hangups. I’m a big control freak and need things to happen exactly the way I want them too. Not a good strategy in life. I’m working on it.
Also, I need to remember that aside from their best intentions moms are just built to annoy their kids. It’s the way of the bushido.
I am picking on my mom a bit. My oSex co-host, Karen sent me a message today saying I have the greatest parents in the world. We all went to a Cubs game last night. She’s right. I’m very lucky. 99.9% of the time we get along perfectly and they’re generous, supportive, and loving.
She’s coming back this Thursday to spend the night again. I will hear more about the smell. I will not go nuts. I will not go nuts. I will not go nuts.
But, since I’ll definitely go nuts, I’ll try to record the audio so you can see just how batty I get. Will make for a great post.