While there seemed to be an attempt from the family as a whole to make Mom and me feel guilty about it, we did manage to do a little shopping together. We were out briefly Thursday morning so that Mom could pick up some things she’d forgotten to pack–sufficient underwear, deodorant, etc.–when the hospital called to get permission to insert the ventilator, upon which we rushed right back. However, I made the mistake of telling one family member that we were “at the shopping center,” and every one who called after that seemed to know about it. You’d think we’d flown to London to shop for Prada while Dad lay gasping his last.
Mom was so upset that for the next day and a half we were nowhere except at the hospital or at the hotel or on the road driving between the two. I finally convinced her that it made no sense for us to sit staring at the waiting room or hotel walls for the remaining 18 hours when we spent every minute of the six hours we were permitted to be with Dad in his room holding his hand and talking to him. The hospital could reach us, if needed, on our cell phones just as easily at the shopping center–which was no further away than the hotel–as in the hotel room. And during Dad’s other hospitalizations he’s made it very clear that it upsets him if we do nothing but sit around the hospital; he’s always encouraged Mom to get out and do other things while she’s waiting.
So we finally did do a little more shopping Saturday evening, though I was so exhausted and headachy I just couldn’t concentrate on and enjoy it as much as I usually do; this gay boy and his mother, always pretty close, usually bond particularly around the activity of shopping. Mom says that I’m the same way about shoes that she is about handbags; to be honest, though, I think I’m more extravagant about my camp and tropical print shirts than I am about shoes, though I did firmly but regretfully forego two gorgeous silk camp shirts in favor of a great deal on two fabulous and funky pairs of Steve Madden and Kenneth Cole footware.