Today, Crazy Grandma Ichikawa and I'm-Not-With-Her Grandpa Ichikawa returned to Sacramento. Sadly, my dad hurt his back on Friday because my mom forced him to do his back exercises. Even more sad, this meant I had to help my parents pack up and clean their apartment.
When I got to their place, they actually packed everything up. All I had to do was carry luggage to the car and do some tidying up. But as with everything that should be simple, when Crazy Grandma Ichikawa gets her hands on something it gets all...well...crazy.
First of all, my mom packed up several large containers for me to store for them. I found it peculiar that they had so much crap although they were only here for 5 weeks. Looking through the containers revealed that my mom doesn't like to throw anything away. Here is a short list of things she asked me to store: disposable Panda Express chopsticks, wax paper, aluminum foil, Elmo wrapping paper, green tea bags, three rolls of toilet paper, one roll of paper towels, a large bag of assorted lotions, soaps, and cleaning solutions, and a used toilet bowl cleaner. I feel like you'd find more valuable things inside a homeless person's shopping cart -- or at least the same things.
I then started to help my dad load the heavy luggage into the car. When he opened the trunk, it was practically full already. My dad told me that half the stuff in the trunk were items my mom bought online, but wanted to return. This gigantic down comforter took a 1/3 of the room. Why my mom would buy a gigantic down comforter for Los Angeles when it has still been in the 80s is beyond me. But what surprised me more was that she bought these things online. My mom isn't the most tech savvy person. I think my mom still thinks Microsoft is the punchline to a joke referring to flaccid Asian genitalia.
The last thing we had to do was tidy up the apartment. My mom asked me to help her make the bed because she wanted it to look really neat. I obvious wasn't much help because everything I was doing was met with a "SCOTTY? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" And that was followed by a grunt and a sigh. All the while my mom was making the bed, she kept on saying "This is the way maids do it."
This reminded me of this story when I was in elementary school. There was this big confusion with me about what my mom did for a living. My mom was a stay-at-home mom, so that was her job. But when she first came to America from Japan, she earned her room and board by living with this old, wealthy lady. So my mom was this live-in, but not a servant at all; she only had to wear her geisha attire during tea and laundry time. Anyhoo, as a child in elementary school I confused this with my mom being a maid. So when my friends at school asked what my mom did, I told them she was a maid. And when I told my mom this, she said, "SCOTTY? WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
By 12:15pm, everything was finished and my parents were ready to leave. Lisa came by with the kids, so they could say bye to Grandma and Grandpa. And by "bye" I mean pee their pants and eat Cheerios. I don't think my parents were too sad to leave because they know they'll see the kids soon enough with Thanksgiving and Christmas around the corner. Plus they are still planning on coming down here next year to babysit the kids when I start work again. Hopefully by the time they return, the kids will know how to say a few words. One word I hope they can learn is "maid."