Taking mom shopping

Tobi had finally managed to call his mom back, only to find out that she just wanted him to fix her mouse. Which he had then tried to do, but she had, in an apparent fit of frustrated rage, bent the pins so badly that it would be easier to buy a new one than to try to get them back in position. Talk about spazzing out.

This time, he mused as he held open the door to the Comp USA, he'd get her a USB mouse. Normally he would order this sort of thing online but knowing his mother there would be some little annoying thing about the way the buttons clicked or some crap like that, so he figured he would let her test drive a few and get her one that felt right.

If, that is, she could handle the store without ripping anyone's head off. She was already looking a little twitchy.

Loretta Emiliano 17 years ago
Loretta sniffed a little as she walked through the door and made a face of general distaste at the unnatural, chemical scents that assaulted her nose. Most unappealing. It was, however, rather sweet of her son to invite her out; many children did not have time for their mothers but Tobi had always been so good about that sort of thing. She’d missed him terribly when he went away on his Andre and was secretly delighted that he hadn’t left his family since that traditional journey.

Although grandchildren would be nice…

She couldn’t understand why her son seemed so unsuccessful with the fairer sex. Surely his mastery of…electronic things…would appeal to someone. Perhaps some intervention was needed? A matchmaker, or even something less contrived?

No, surely not yet.

Even these musings could not long distract her from the harsh lights and scents in the computer store. She gave the man who seemed to be doing nothing productive, but instead was standing around by the door speaking to everyone who entered, a slightly strained smile. A Politian’s wife smile.

She hoped she wouldn’t be recognized today, but she had dressed the part just in case. She’d chosen a pants suit because she simply couldn’t long abide by stockings, but she longed to kick off her shoes and take off her restrictive jacket. Well. They would all pay a higher price than this to take what the mulo had stolen from them.

Her son led the way to an aisle with mice and keyboards, along with a few other devices she didn’t immediately recognize, and she gave everything a solid glare before approaching the first display. Oh, how charming, the grease seemed to be included on this one. Pressing her lips together, she moved on to the next one, looking doubtfully at her son before reaching out to give it a test run. It seemed to be sticking, and so she gave it a firm shake, feeling vaguely satisfied at all the little rattling noises it made. Then she set it back down and rolled again.
Tobi Emiliano 17 years ago
Oh, well, this was going well. Mom didn’t even want to –touch- the first mouse they came to and instead moved on to the second. He screwed up his face and looked down, resisting the urge to match her spazzing with his own.

“Mom…mom….-mom-. Geez!”

She finally stopped beating the snot out of the first poor mouse and seemed to be making an honest effort to test it, but he could already tell this one wasn’t going to work.

“That’s not a good one mom; you should try an optical mouse.” He very gently took the current mouse away from her and flipped it over to expose the roller underneath. “See? That’s going to get all clogged and shi…uff.” Heading for the next one, he likewise flipped that one over to show her the flat bottom and the red beam. Fortunately this was also a usb, which served their purposes. “See, the LED bounces light onto a CMOS sensor, which then sends each image to a DSP which…well, very quickly figures out how far and in what direction the mouse has moved. Then it sends the coordinates to the computer so it can display the cursor…yeah, you don’t care.” He waved his hand in a rolling gesture, indicating just how much information he was skipping over. “It’s smoother, you’ll like it.”
Loretta Emiliano 17 years ago
When had Tobi become so high strung? Really, she’d only shaken it up a little, but it seemed to upset him so. Perhaps he was working too hard and not having enough fun.

She covered a smile, amused at the idea that her son was trying to ‘handle’ her. With anyone else it would be irritating but her soft spot for Tobi was legendary, and so she went patiently along to the next display. A slight frown creased her forehead when he came perilously close to swearing, though. Had he been spending more time with Thanos? While the Jiro had turned out to be surprisingly suited to his position, he was, she believed, a terrible influence. She knew Tavi spent more time with him than she approved of and she would be damned if…

She sighed, realizing her temper was flaring. Tobi was going on to explain…well, something that clearly interested him, anyway.

Such a good boy.

Patiently, she tested out the mouse he showed her and found she liked the feel of it in her hand. This could work…

“I’d want it with a scroll wheel, though.”
Tobi Emiliano 17 years ago
Tobi wondered if he had bored his mother into a more docile state of being, but decided ultimately the whys weren’t as important as the results. Maybe they could make it out of the store without breaking anything. It seemed she was agreeable enough to the optical mouse and her request was easy enough to fulfill; there was one that fit her specifications just a little further down.

“Here, try this one.”

It had a microsoft logo on one side but he could scrape that off no problem.
Loretta Emiliano 17 years ago
Loretta wondered what happened to the days of getting a product made exactly to one’s specifications, but it didn’t appear she would have any luck making an appeal to good sense in this store. Why were all the employees wandering about in a haze, avoiding making eye contact with the customers except to hand them little disks that the shoppers simply placed on the nearest flat surface without even looking at them? This was capitalism? She sniffed, disgusted, and immediately regretted it as it brought the smell of the store to the forefront of her mind.

Deciding she really needed to get out of here, she followed Tobi to the next mouse, frowning as she tested it. Why couldn’t the –other- one have a scroll wheel put in? After a moment, though, she had to admit the differences were minimal.

“This is fine. Let’s buy it.”

With that, she walked on ahead, assuming Tobi would take care of the details.
Tobi Emiliano 17 years ago
Tobi wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or annoyed with his mother’s snap decision, but there was little time for internal debate as he had no desire to let her wander around the store alone. He quickly scooped up the appropriate box and trotted a little to catch up to his mom, pointing out the bay of registers to one side.

“There’s where we pay.”

Waiting by the lines, a smallish teenaged girl was handing out AOL disks. Tobi was not typically a junk collector but these actually had a use in a pinch and so he accepted one with a ‘good boy’ smile.
Loretta Emiliano 17 years ago
Loretta once again allowed her son to lead the way, thinking fondly of a time when people would come to –her- with offers of goods and services. Everything was different in this country…or perhaps everything was simply different –now-.

Wondering vaguely what all those people were doing, standing in a row with vacant expressions, she brushed past them and approached the counter, where a young man wearing a red shirt was accepting someone’s money. As no one else was pushing their way to the front to be helped, she made the perfectly natural assumption that she would go next and was quite surprised when Tobi grabbed her arm and tugged her back.
Tobi Emiliano 17 years ago
As he was shoving the cd into his pocket, Tobi was a little late on the draw and had to scramble to pull his mom away from the counter. He tended to forget that some social conventions were just lost on his mother.

“Mom, wait, we gotta go back here…”

He guided her to the back of the line, giving the group of scowling customers a somewhat embarrassed little grin that effectively lightened their dispositions.

“See, we have to wait for all these people to go first.”
Loretta Emiliano 17 years ago
Loretta privately thought that Tobi was beginning to cross that line between being helpful and instructive and being outright condescending, but she simply never could stay annoyed with her son for long. It was clear to her that his way of doing things made little sense but it was hard to argue the fact when the rest of the people waiting to pay seemed to have the same idea. And so she calmly blinked and simply replied with a soft ‘oh.’

As it annoyed her too much to watch the proceedings, with the red shirted boy moving as slowly as possible and the next person in the row being totally unprepared to go through the payment process, she turned her attention to Tobi, giving him a smile and trying to look as though this didn’t bother her at all.

“You should join us for dinner this week. Perhaps after Thanos leaves on his trip.” After a brief but obvious pause, she added: “Octavia should come as well.”
Tobi Emiliano 17 years ago
Tobi watched his mother carefully for a moment, waiting for her to flip her lid, but she seemed cool with waiting in the line. That was his mistake; she just didn’t always handle this stuff well. He knew most people didn’t see his mom that way, but he had always thought there was something very vulnerable about her that needed to be protected. And then there was something hard and ruthless about her that other people needed to be protected from.

He grinned a little at the dinner invitation, though his expression went tense at the mention of his sister. Did mom have a bone to pick with her? Because if that was the purpose of the invite maybe he should weasel out of it. Those two already had enough trouble without providing a forum for a fight.

But no, including his sister had been an afterthought, which meant she probably didn’t care one way or the other if Tavi showed up. That in and of itself was sad but not so much that he was about to stick his nose in it.


“Hey, we could always get together –before- Thanos leaves. Say goodbye, or something.”

Tobi didn’t consider himself the keenest of observers but it seemed to him that Tavi and Thanos got along okay and things might be a little more smooth if he were there. Personally, he was fairly indifferent to the Beta; it was too much effort to have an opinion on the somewhat controversial figure. He had the vague feeling that Thanos had a contemptuous attitude toward him but he honestly didn’t care enough to return even low level animosity. Besides, Tavi was cool with him so he didn’t figure he could be that bad.
Loretta Emiliano 17 years ago
Loretta waved her hand noncommittally, though internally she was more than a little peeved at her son’s interest in inviting the Jiro. So they –were- spending time together. Conspiring? One eye twitched at the thought of that man influencing her children, but she recovered her composure quickly enough.

“I’m sure we’ll work out something.”

Sighing, she turned to check their progress and noticed for the first time that they had moved without her realizing it. Was that adaptation or conformity?

Deciding it was of little consequence, she stepped back to allow Tobi to place the box on the counter, as she had seen the customer in front of her do.
Tobi Emiliano 17 years ago
The line was, in spite of its length, moving fairly quickly, and it wasn’t long before they were at the register. It certainly felt like a long time, though; the pause after his mother’s dismissive wave was painfully awkward. She was pissed at him, that much was clear, and he resolved to do a better job of staying out of the dysfunctional little dramas that made up their family.

Sighing, he pulled out a credit card (this one with his name on it; there was no reason to use a fake, though it was tempting just for the fun of it) and scanned it while the cashier bagged the mouse and tried (unsuccessfully) to sell him a warranty on top of the manufacturer’s.

They left the store in silence, with Tobi dreading the drive home.

/ooc out out, both out!