Puerto Rico, Xanax and My Mom

My mom and I are discussing her finances. Well, I’m trying to work while El Cap and my dad paint, and my mom is going through her mail. My mom, like me, talks as a way of thinking, which means if you’re in the room you get engaged in a conversation because she says things to-herself-but-sort-of-not-really-to-you that you can’t ignore without feeling like a jackass. <

So she’s talking about some retirement account she has and I make the mistake of encouraging her to take a teeny, tiny portion of their life savings and treat themselves. This is not an unreasonable request; my parents are not extravagant people. They’ve worked their asses off to make sure I had everything I needed and what I wanted, and they didn’t really do things for themselves (Mom, I know you’re reading this and no, the new refrigerator does not count as “treating yourself” because not getting ptomaine is not exactly a luxury). I would like to see them enjoy themselves. I would like to see them travel or buy 600-thread-count sheets or get a new iPhone or something just to reward themselves. My mom’s a polyester-blend kind of lady and she hates technology, so I suggest they perhaps take a trip.

If you know my mom you know where this is going. Now, I wasn’t crazy enough to suggest Sheldon and Tony Soprano take round-the-world balloon ride or anything (pick your battles), but I did suggest Puerto Rico. They honeymooned there and she used to tell me how pretty it was.

“You could take $3,000,” I say to my mom. “That would get you some really good Xanax, and-”

“What, as opposed to bad Xanax?” (she’s a smart ass, have I mentioned?)

“Fine. You could get a lot of Xanax for the flight and have plenty left over for a nice trip to Puerto Rico. You could go back to the hotel where you spent your honeymoon.”

“No. The hotel is gone.”

“You know, I don’t want to get crazy here, but I hear they have other hotels in Puerto Rico now. It’s kind of a travel destination.”

“Your father and I like having the money there. It’s nice knowing it’s all there.”

“I promise I will take care of you if you run out of money.”

“The hell you will. I’m not living with you.”

Other people have this sort of parent/child dynamic, right? This is totally normal, right?