Stress Talk #9: Just Trying to Do Good


It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these because I haven’t had much time or reason to do one until now.

Mom has been acting weird and I think it has something to do with the YouTube videos she’s been consuming.

She’s binging on something. I don’t know what but the same 7 notes (musically speaking) has been blasting from her tablet ever since I returned from my road trip, doesn’t matter whether it’s 3 AM or PM. It’s playing 24/7. It drives me more insane than back when she was listening non-stop to people chanting “Four more years.”

Not only that, it’s like she’s giving me the silent treatment. Each time I try to talk to her, she would give me the stink eye before responding with a “whatever,” or a “stop talking.”

I’ve been back from my road trip for two weeks and she hasn’t asked “how was your road trip,” or “what did you see on my road trip.” It’s like I might just as well had been MIA for 4 days before suddenly showing up.

Yesterday, she finally put down her tablet and led me, my aunts, and uncle on a 4-mile hike in her favorite hiking spot – Wheeler Creek. In her typical fashion, she spent the whole time complaining about two things – my aunts, uncle, and I taking too many photos and we were walking too slow for her standards.

The trail was not paved and with loose rocks and my poor hand-eye coordination, I must be careful because I could not only slip and fall, but I could also risk of damaging my camera. I walked as fast as my body could handle.

I was full of pain that day too. I have been having joint pain in both knees for months. I can’t sit nor can I stand without my knees screaming in pain. I tried to tell her but she would respond by saying, “You think you’re having pain? Mine is worse.” Well, pain is still pain.

As we neared the end of the hike, she asked me to take a photo of her sitting on a rock with her feet dangling toward the water. I let her see a preview of the photo on the tiny screen of the camera afterwards. She gave the thumb up, I took it as okay.

It was a different story a few hours later after I sent her the full resolution of the photos. “This isn’t what I look like.” She shrieked.

“What are you talking about?” I asked, confused.

“Look at my face, any idiot can see I don’t have that lump on my cheek.”

“That’s what you look like. The camera see what it sees.”

She started jabbing a finger at her face, “See, see? I don’t look like that.”

“What’s wrong with you?” I said. “Have you looked in the mirror lately? That’s what you look like.” I honestly couldn’t fathom why she was freaking out. That’s what she looks like – real life and in photo.

“No,” she shrieked, and then a moment later, she sighed, “what a waste of view, you couldn’t even take one good photo with that camera of yours.”

My fists clenched and unclenched before I stalked into the backyard, “I will never do anything for you ever again. You want your picture taken, hire your own photographer, because apparently I don’t know how to photograph. I’m trying to do good but obviously, you don’t appreciate me.”

“Don’t forget to water my plants.” She yelled.

“Water your own plants,” I shouted, “I’m tired.” The conversation seemed to had ended right there. I didn’t know what happened. The house was suddenly silent. I’m guessing the conversation didn’t go as planned.

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