As you know, I’ve been taking care of Dad 24/7 now — could NOT bear to put him in a nursing home, after touring a few.
BTW, when the day comes that you have to consider one of those places for yourself or a loved one, here’s “the hot tip”: After the sweet, compassionate marketing babe shows you around their fine facility — old folks out on the sun porch, playing all their wonderful “planned activities” together, eating in the cafeteria, etc. — say your “goodbyes”, walk out the front door — then duck “around back” — now THERE’s your story! I saw a half dozen of the grimiest, nastiest, and downright SCARIEST dudes taking a “smoke break” outside the back of the “food preparation area”. These dudes looked like, and I feel certain actually WERE (at least a couple of them) in prison as recently as THAT MORNING; either prison or a mental hospital, and I’m not making this up!
But I digress: I got Dad up one morning, ushered him to the pissoir, and then to his favorite chair. While I was preparing his breakfast, he announced that he’d like to go visit “those poor bastards Al & Frank” who WERE both in a local nursing home. These were a couple of friends he had from The Optimist’s Club that he was a member of for many years.
I reluctantly agreed — going to those places is EXTREMELY depressing to me; taking care of my OWN parent is reminder enough of my own mortality — going to one of “those places” is “reminder times 100!” But I agreed, and took him that very afternoon.
Al & Frank were both sitting out on the sun porch after a nice starchy lunch of questionable origin — they seemed vaguely glad to see my Dad — I say “vaguely glad”, since everyone in that place appears to be in some sort of bucolic haze all the time — I suspect they are getting “slipped something” in their food supply, but that’s pure speculation on my part.
So — if you’ve been around more than one person who is “in their Golden Years” (now THAT’s a God-Damned “marketing coup descriptor” if EVER there WAS one!), you’ll not wait long ’til the discussion turns to “ailment comparison” — today was no exception.
Exactly SEVEN MINUTES after the small talk commenced, Al starts in: “I tell ya’, Boys — every morning I wake up at 7AM, go sit on the toilet, and by 7:30, I STILL haven’t pee’d!” Not to be outdone (these ailment comparisons seemingly ALWAYS turn into “contests”) Frank chimes in: “Oh, poor YOU! Every morning *I* wake up at 7:30, go sit on the toilet, and by 8:00AM, *I* STILL haven’t pooped!”
My Dad swills all this around in his head for 15 seconds, then pipes in: “Boy, you fellas are in some sad shape — you BELONG in this place! Every morning *I* wake up 8AM, take a big long pee, then I follow that up with a giant Navy Yard shit!” Both Al & Frank pipe up in unison: “Geez George, that’s GREAT!” To which my Dad replied: “Not really — I don’t get out of bed ’til 9:00!”
So you see – it’s all in your perspective!