OLDIES BUT GOODIES

I have quite the affinity for old people. I suppose I should start with my dad, the sprightly senior who at 92, is still as sane as….well, not anyone I know over the age of sixty. But nobody would be after parenting a progeny of ten children. He was such a trooper. Especially the time he was so proud of me for killing my first spider in the bathtub. I live with the unfaultering belief that he was more besotted with me than bummed about the flaming shower curtain I lit on fire and reduced to ashes while burning the eight-legged perpetrator.

Resorting back to childhood can’t be easy. Slipping into a vegetative state every day after lunch. Eating strained peas. Keeping candy hidden under the bed. The vestige of no self control. The crying when the room is too cold, or the many distractions that come with watching a motion picture. My most memorable experience with seniors came several years back when a buddy accompanied me to a home for the aged during their recreational movie night. Despite the commonality of benevolence, I wanted to take them The Sound of Music when my compatriot suggested Deuce Bigelow: Male Gigolo or Apocalypse Now. I’m not so sure the seniors would have loved viewing memoirs of a pimped out person, or experience perilous and increasingly hallucinatory journeys in their dreams that night. But it was the thought that counted. They favored my film over his unconventional mixture. Except that it was my own fault for taking a feature with a film length of two hours and fifty-four minutes and with an intermission time of forever, since we had to wait for the blessedly slow old man river to return to his seat after his potty break.

Into the second half, another gentleman decided to do a horizontal movie pause by drifting into a coma and was out cold. If I didn’t know better, I’d have to wonder if he mistook Vicodin for vitamins and swallowed them down with whiskey. And I love a man in uniform, unless that ensemble consists of boxers and a tank top with hair brimming from every angle. I had to crawl out of the mire of discouragement at thoughts of my own impending destiny in senior housing with flashers and other peculiarities. I was however very much a supremely chic senior myself in golden browns, joining others in what looked like a turtle convention, since the spots on my carapace aren’t so subtle as well. I was jealous of this individual’s ability to snooze throughout the film, and also through one lady’s full phone conversation with her daughter at a sound frequency only known to deaf people. God love her, and her hairy male compadre.

Meanwhile, there was one more over-the-hiller waiting in patient preparation for me to pass around my bag of peanut M&M’s of which I had every intention of hoarding. Surely he must have been aware that he had two candy bars of his own. But what do you do when a pensioning cutie pie looks at you with such an impassioned look on his face and a clobbering cane on his arm? I had to set aside that yearning inside my stomach to share. He told me of his fondness for both chocolates and hundred dollar bills. I would have handed over several banknotes with Benjamin Franklin if I had been much more closely connected to a treasury vault. I told him I would gladly help him out in my next life when I’m reincarnated as Bonnie Parker. I ended up giving the guy my yummy confections, and would likely keep this tradition of contributing if I could weed out currency extortionists and other chocolate lovers.

I remember one scene specifically, when it helps to associate certain situations with circus acts. Resident Ralph started flirting with Judith whose eye glass string got caught on Dorothy’s wheelchair and she jerked spilling her lemonade on Roy’s pant leg and he started swearing in Swahili just about the time Dolores sneezed on the attending caregiver who let her tray slip sending a glass that Donald tried to catch but missed by eight feet and the sugary liquid drenched the entire backside of Carl’s toupee.

Benny had won at Cribbage hours earlier and was very verbal about taking his winnings and running off to Vegas with a gal he used to know, a person whom he talks about every day and who was apparently a very highly respected bar maid with implants. Mister sleepiness and candy snatcher decided to wake up and because he was directionless, needed help walking back to his room. I bid my crotchety relic of a movie date goodnight, then watched the fine fellow slide underneath his bed as if he was ready to repair an automobile. I wanted to ask if he had ever worked as a maintenance man at Goodyear, and if he did same day service. Come to find out, that’s where he hid his candy.

I fully fess up to my inner weirdness. So I am hoping my girls will see the humor in my aging process and patiently tend to my decrepitness when I leave my dentures in the refrigerator and my mind in the gutter. I’m rather hoping my own retirement includes a pension plan that will totally shape my emeritus experience. One that will cover an ocean soaring yacht with a crew that follows me around with a shaker of martinis and personal pan peanut M&M’s.

My elderly friends aren’t your stereotypical seniors. They are the most refreshing things since Glade was introduced to us. I called my eighty-three year old friend Ginny recently to go to dinner since we both like Mexican food, and because she adds such sparkle to my life. She informed me that she was too sick to go out. I asked what was ailing her and she replied, “I’ve got the rockin’ pneumonia and my boogery grandson’s flu.”

This is why I love this lady. She is whimsically twisted just like I am.

TWO GREAT WHITE HOPEFULS

Sometimes I am assigned the responsibility of helping look for things, provided I have the essential dexterity to get the job done. This started with kids when they could never find anything. They walked around the house reciting the names of missing items as if they were going to magically reappear. It’s very much the same as cursing “Jesus Christ” which doesn’t exactly get you heavenly blessings.

Finding things is no different today. Take my beau, whose forgetfulness has started to dominate his existence and he can’t find things he leaves around the house. You know, those oversights. And when I say oversights, I mean standing directly over something when it is staring right back. If lost items were topped with grilled Ahi and oyster shooters, he’d have no problem finding them. I am basically entrusted to bring a mountain of things to Muhammad, while Muhammad experiences moments of lamentable agitation. Of course the typical way to find anything is to moan miserably and ask if I know where they are.

Last time this happened, I suspected the consumption of something sour could have possibly created this mood swing. The jury is still out on eggs and tuna fish sandwiches. It’s like he’s looking for a lost puppy only sputtering vulgarities in the process. He recently misplaced his IPad and meandered from room to room. He would never find the black technical wizard if he places it within any diameter that is richly pigmented in ebony tones. I can see why he wouldn’t want to lose his precious metal when it’s a library, game console, has sexy voice Siri instruction, and is basically what keeps him from doing anything else. So I want to provide him with a tracking device during his last few minutes of exasperation. Thank you Lord for making me realize my lifelong purpose is to look for things. What’s it going to be like when he can’t hear anything quieter than a raceway dragster? I love my baby sweetie pie. But if Patty hears the words “Patty, have you seen my IPad” one more time, Patty may lose Patty’s mental acuity and purposely misplace everything else in his house to really test his length of profanity. He did tell me that he wants to be cremated with the wireless accessory and his ashes scattered throughout Home Goods. That way he’s assured I will be with him for eternity when he plays Hearts. I do love doing things for him, partly because it helps keep movement in my bodily vessels.

My guy often comes from his dressing area clad in a severely lacerated shirt and shorts with no undies, as if he was entering a torn t-shirt contest and his gonads were the grand foothills of Mt. McKinley. Not that I am adverse to seeing moving objects beneath a pair of pants. I like not having much of a barrier between me and my man. But I wonder if he does not see that the shirts hanging in his closet look like they came from Good Will thirty years ago. More hilarious is when he walks around with the greatest of ease in the buff if he can’t find the closet. Some folks like letting their privates feel the fresh air, except for maybe the audience of neighboring peepers who would like to eliminate prancing exhibitionists. My boyfriend is either destined for total alienation, or the neighbors could simply put up higher fences. I’m lucky the guy can see me. We’ve learned that there’s a reason to all his eyesight silliness, something as simple as a growing cataract. Surgery is planned soon.

I’m not any better. I have the same infrastructure as a washing machine. I stand over the hard working appliance that provides a certain level of functionality and effectiveness, and all it does is sit there and hum. My brain gives me the same bumbling treatment. It’s best said that I should just live in a one room house so I can find missing items easier. When I can’t locate something, you want to put enough distance as you can between yourself and the growling that occurs. A person of any intelligence looking for a robe should really hang that robe in the closet and keep it there for the next time she needs it. There have been times I thought we were having an earth trembler when my cell phone was vibrating and I totally forgot it was in my hand. Then there’s my car, where I parked my car, what color my car is, or did I even take my car. Leave me for long periods without glasses and supervision and I’ll be ramming my toes into furniture and frying chicken in apple cider vinegar. Everything has become an optical delusion and I should wear stringed spectacles and bubble wrap. I should already be dead from things in my past. Jarts. Second hand smoke. Drinking water from the garden hose. The 1970 Goose Lake Music Festival.

Yesterday I was on the freeway heading to a specific location for the first time. And since my cranial area often accompanies thoughts other than paying close attention to what I’m doing, I had to swiftly scoot over three lanes to make my exit. It took passing that exit and snarling “Oh shag me” as I contemplated almost getting killed along with my next move. I got lost within this one mile radius and was ready to call the cops to come escort me back. For a minute there, I thought I was in a Metromaze at the county fair. I also admit to the time I simmered a chicken carcass all afternoon, grabbed a colander, and poured the entire pot of hot goodness down the sink. A coupla cans of Campbell’s aren’t nearly as satisfying. The sad part of diminishing brain matter is that I have gums that are receding as well. But after watching a slew of crime dramas, I’ve come to the realization that rapists only prey on women who wear matching bra and panties, and don’t have skin tags. I feel so much safer now.

Our brains spin impotently when trying to focus and find things. So surely my mate and I don’t need to duke things out over our shortcomings. We are fairly equal in these two categories because there’s simply no hope for either of us. I just hope my man doesn’t mistake the front door with the bathroom door when he’s naked. Author Robert Brault quoted, “What we find in a soulmate is not something wild to tame, but something wild to run with.” I’m glad I’m running with a stallion. I’ll always be his helpmate when he needs me to lead him back to the barn.