My mother had a set routine and everything was done on schedule. I mean everything. We ate at 5:30 pm Monday through Fridays and at 1 pm Saturdays and Sundays. She went food shopping at the same time every morning. She went to bed the same time every night. After dinner she studied the horse racing statistics, which she loved to do. She did her ironing on Sundays at 7 pm. You could set your watch by what was going on in our house.
One day my mother’s brother, John, died. He lived over 50 miles away. The wake was held where he lived and it happened to be arranged for a Sunday at 1 to 5 pm. My uncle Tony, who was going to drive her to the funeral parlor, told her what the arrangements were, “The wake is going to be Sunday from 1 to 5.” My mother’s startled answer, “Sunday from 1 to 5? That’s when I make my sauce! When are we supposed to eat?” My husband whispers in my ear, “Oh man you even have to die on schedule!” I chime in, “It’s ok mom, we’ll just eat at 5 or 6 when you get back.” My mother yells, “5 or 6? That’s too late to eat. We never eat that late.” My husband whispers in my ear, “He picked an inconvenient time to die, it’s messing up the dinner schedule.” I say, “Well Uncle John can’t help when he died, it’s only one time, we’ll manage.”
Of course this went on for quite a while. There was nothing she could do about the timing. It was too far away to eat dinner first and she was depending on my uncle to drive her there. Still, she was very upset because it ruined her routine.
PS Living on such a strict regimented routine had it’s effect on me too. When I went to college I didn’t know what to major in so I decided to take some interest tests. There are hundreds of questions and, after you answer them, they match your answers up with groups of people in certain occupations so that you know where you fit in. I was told I matched up the military personnel. I was stunned. No way did I want to go to or belong in the military. So I meekly asked, what other groups do I match up with. The counselor told me all other groups were a very distant second compared to the military. Then it dawned on me how many questions concerned routines and schedules and being told what to do. My mother was running the house like she was the general and we were her army! Well that test was a waste of time.