The White Room

Thursday, December 4, 2014

My daughter is threatening me with the White Room again.

She has a new rule.The rule is that I must email her every night even if she doesn't email me.

We have this ritual of emailing each other goodnight, but lately she's making excuses. She's too busy, she's tired, she's boring, all kind of excuses like that.

Let me tell you about the White Room in her house.

It, naturally, has white painted walls. It has two windows covered by heavy curtains. No light sees the room, day in, day out. Even if the curtains were open, the view would be the garage and the street....not an inviting scene.

When my daughter and son-in-law bought the house, she designated the White Room as the one I would stay in when I visited.

I said no.

I wanted the blue room that has a large window with a view. Looking out the window, I see lots of landscape, tall trees, birds and a pond. A dock, complete with lawn chairs and an umbrella table, is built by the pond...a lovely view that stretches out over a couple of acres.

"I want the blue room," I pouted.

"No, mom. You can't have the blue room because that's where my desk and computer are. That's where I'll be grading papers each night."

"I don't care," I insisted. "I won't make any noise. I don't like the White Room."

Eventually, I insinuated myself into the blue room. She had to work her schedule around me.

However, I had to sleep with her cat.

Since then, every time I get the sniffles or complain of any ailment, my daughter threatens me with the White Room.

If I complain about not feeling well, she'll email, "Mom, if you don't start feeling better right away, you're going into the White Room."

I dare not get sick or that's where I'll be.

I have to obey all her rules or she brings up the White Room again.

She says when I get senile, she will move me into the White Room where I'll be safer.

I call it lock down because there's no door that leads outside.The only door is the one that leads into the room from the hallway.

Wow! It doesn't take much to get a loving daughter riled.

When I told my daughter I was going to write about the White Room, she took immediate offense.

She vehemently said, "It is not a prison. It is for your own safety. It is self contained, and you would have to pass my room to get outside."

She is right about that. The White Room is near her bedroom, while the blue room is far away, private, down a long hallway at the far end of the house, just the way I like it.

"You might add that the White Room has flimsy, airy, lace curtains (she must have changed them), a brand new dresser, a walk-in closet, a treadmill, a full bath of its own, and a television set," she said. She forgot to mention there's a thick memory foam topping on the bed.

Okay, okay, it is a nice room, I admit.

She riled on, "There's more in there than I had when you would ground me!"

Yes, I did ground her on occasion. There was the time she told me she was going to the library. Well, I happen to know that the library was closed that day. When she returned, I questioned her about her day and her visit to the library. She, of course, was innocent. She had certainly been to the library to study.

She was grounded.

My daughter continued her ranting about the White Room, etc.

"If you would follow the rules, get a REAL cell phone and USE it (I never turn it on), not drive all over creation in the dark and the rain, and email every night so I'd be sure you aren't stretched out on the kitchen floor (again!) or in a ditch (again!) or in the hospital (again!), we wouldn't have to talk about this so much!", she said. (She forgot about the brain concussion).

Well, okay, I did faint once in my kitchen, landed in a ditch another time, and stayed overnight in the hospital, once.

Actually, I guess my daughter can't help it. For the last 18 years she has been overwhelmed with rules. As a teacher, she makes rules, hands out rules, enforces rules, explain rules, and follows rules.

She can't help dishing them out.

I can imagine what it will be like sequestered in the White Room.

Talk only when permitted, Stay in your seat, No gum chewing, Raise your hand, No talking back.

Brush your teeth, take your medicine.

No jumping on the bed.

Get off the phone. Turn that TV down!

I'll be grounded for life.