Mom: “I went to pour myself a cup of coffee, and when I came back in the room, the screen went black!”
Me: “It’s okay, it just means that it went into hibernation-mode, and you can press any button and it will wake up.”
Mom: “Which button?”
Me: “Any button.”
Mom: “Yeah, but which one?!”
Me: “Mom, seriously…ANY button!”
Me: “Press the space bar.”
Mom: “Okay, that worked. Bye.”
The first time that I brought Rea home to meet my family, Mom was having one of her computer “crisis” moments. It was first thing in the morning, so I looked at Rea and said, “I seriously don’t have the patience to help her right now. Will you help her, please?”
Poor Rea didn’t know what she was in for when she said, “Sure, no problem.”
I went into the kitchen to pour myself a cup of coffee, but I was listening to their interaction the entire time.
Mom: “I’m so glad that you’re going to help me, Rea. Whitney just gets so impatient with me!”
Rea smiled: “She’s just tired and cranky. What can I help you with, Margaret?”
Mom: “Well, I’m trying to get on my email and it won’t let me because it keeps saying that it needs my password.”
Mom handed her laptop to Rea, and Rea grinned, thinking that this would be an easy solution.
Rea: “Do you remember what your password is?”
Mom: “Well I think that it is my favorite pet’s name and then a couple of numbers…?”
Rea: “Okay, well what is your favorite pet’s name?
Mom: “I’m not sure, because I really love them all the same.”
Rea tried the names of each and every one of my Mom’s pets, past and present, followed by different variations of numbers; Mom’s birthday, my birthday, Stacey’s birthday, Steve’s birthday, Tony’s birthday. Nope.
Rea: “Okay well, here’s what I can do. I can reset your password, but you will have to answer your secret question first.”
Mom: “Oh yeah, okay, what’s the secret question?”
Rea: “What is your favorite drink?”
Mom: “Oh boy, that’s a tough one…I mostly just drink coffee.”
Rea typed in coffee. Nope.
Rea: “Do you drink any kind of juice?”
Mom: “No, I really can’t drink juice because it gives me just TERRIBLE diarrhea!”
Rea: “Okay, no juice. What about soda?”
Mom: “You mean pop?”
Rea: “Yeah, pop. What kind of pop do you like?”
Mom: “Well, I really don’t drink a lot of pop, but if I had to choose between Coke and Pepsi; I’m a Pepsi drinker.”
Rea typed in Pepsi. Nope.
Mom: “When I’m on a diet, I drink Diet Pepsi…”
Diet Pepsi. Nope.
Mom: “I LOVE Starbucks. Maybe it’s Starbucks?”
Vanilla Latte. Nope.
Mom: “Eggnog lattes are my favorite, but you know that they only have them during the holidays…”
Eggnog Latte. Nope.
Hazelnut Latte. Nope.
Grande, triple shot, extra foam, skinny, sugar-free, Caramel Macchiato…
Rea, with more patience than I could ever muster, said: “Okay Margaret, I need you to think about this for a minute. You must have a favorite drink…”
Mom: “Maybe it’s Gatorade! The blue kind is my favorite…”
Gatorade. Blue Gatorade. Nope.
Rea: “What about milk?”
Mom: “I’m not really a big milk drinker. When I was growing up on the farm I drank a lot of milk. Sometimes right from the cow’s tits! But now, I really only use half ‘n half in my coffee, and every so often I will crave a big glass of buttermilk…”
Half ‘n Half. Buttermilk. Nope.
Rea: “What about alcoholic beverages? Like beer…?”
Mom: “Oh god, I hate beer! I just hate the taste of it! I do like beer if it’s mixed with Clamato juice though…”
Clamato Juice. Beer and Clamato. Nope.
Mom: “I’m just not much of an alcohol drinker. If I drink anything, it’d be wine.”
Wine, Red Wine, White Wine, Merlot, Rasberry Wine. Nope.
Mom: “I do love a good Bloody Mary! But only if it’s non-alcoholic, and has extra olives and vegetables in it. Bloody Marys should really just be a meal by itself. I fill mine with all kinds of pickled vegetables. Have you tried any of the pickled green beans that I sent home with Whitney?”
Rea: “Yes, and they’re delicious.”
Bloody Mary. Non-alcoholic Bloody Mary. Nope.
At that point I just started to look at my watch so that I could time how long it took for Mom to drive Rea completely crazy. I peeked my head in the living room and I could see Rea typing like a maniac.
Rea: “Okay Margaret, I’ve seriously typed in every single drink that I can think of, so let me ask you a question. If you’re not drinking coffee, then what do you drink?”
Mom thought about it for a minute: “Well, I do drink a lot of water…”
Rea typed in water, and sure enough…
The answer to Mom’s secret question was “WATER”.
Mom cracked up: “Oh yeah, now I remember! I told Stacey to make the answer to my secret question really easy so that I wouldn’t forget it! What’s easier than “water”?”
I walked into the room then: “Oh my god, Mom. Seriously?”
Mom looked at Rea and said, “Thank you, Rea, for being so sweet and helping me.”
Me: “Yeah Rea, thank you. I would have had to kill her an hour ago.”