Published in the Rains County Leader on November 3, 2015.
It’s true. There seems to be a national day, week, or month for almost anything you can think of. The last two weeks I’ve mentioned that November is National Caregiver Month, but November is also National Novel Writing Month. I’ve been working on, if not the great American novel, at least a project that interests me for quite a while, but I’ve only managed to get a little over 6,000 words actually written. I’ve decided to use the motivation and peer pressure of NaNoWriMo and to focus my keyboard time on getting a complete rough draft into the computer. With that in mind, here’s one more week of stories about the lighter side of aging and caregiving.
An older woman went into a store to buy curtains.
She approached the salesman and said, “I want those pink curtains in the display, but I need them customized to fit my computer screen.”
“Ma’am,” said the salesman, “I’ve worked here for 20 years, and I’ve never had a request like that. Why do you need curtains for your computer?”
“Hellooo,” said the woman. “I have windows!”
Many of us older people don’t understand electronics as well as we’d like to. The wisdom of seniors is if you need tech support, call your grandkids. My Aunt Fay is an exception. She is 94 and has used her computer to take a couple of college courses, compile a history of her church, research the genealogy of her family, and keep in touch with her family by e-mail. She was on Facebook for a while, but she it was a bit racy for her, so she closed her account. She might ask for help in learning to use the Dragon software her daughter bought her so she can write the family history, but she would never put curtains on her computer screen!
A very elderly gentleman walked into an upscale cocktail lounge. He was very well dressed, his hair was well groomed, he had on a great looking suit with a flower in his lapel, and he smelled slightly of a good after shave. He spotted a nice-looking older woman seated at the bar next to an empty stool. He walked over, sat down, ordered a drink, and turned to her.
“So tell me,” he said with a smile. “Do I come here often?”
There’s an old saying that goes just because there’s snow on the roof doesn’t mean there isn’t fire in the furnace. Mom wasn’t interested in finding a boyfriend after Dad died, but that’s not always the case. The Senior Center here in Emory has seen three romances bloom and lead to the altar in the last few years.
A student nurse was told that the patient in room 212 was being discharged and was ready to be escorted to his vehicle. Hospital regulations required a wheelchair for patients being discharged, so she found one that wasn’t being used and went to the room. An elderly gentleman was dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet. He insisted he didn’t need her help to leave the hospital, but after a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let her wheel him to the elevator. On the way down, she asked him if his wife was meeting him.
“I don’t know”, he said. “She’s still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.”
When I first heard this story, I could picture this happening to Dad. He and Mom looked at those in the medical profession as being a step or two above us common folks. They never doubted or asked questions, and they never went against doctor’s orders unless the orders involved exercising or cutting down on Blue Bell.
A group of senior citizens was taking an overseas tour, and they were spending several days in London. On their first day there, the tour guide loaded them aboard a double-decker bus for a tour of the city.
The seniors on the lower level were partying and having a great time, when they realized there was no noise coming from upstairs.
The tour guide decided to go up and investigate. When he reached the top, he found all the passengers frozen in fear, staring straight ahead, clutching the armrests with white knuckles.
“What’s going on up here?” he said. “Everyone is having a great time downstairs.”
“Yeah,” said a man in the front row. “But you’ve got a driver!”
I never had the chance to travel overseas with Mom and Dad, but we traveled with them a lot in the motorhome. Their child-like trust kept them from being afraid, even at times when fear might have been in order – like when David and I traded drivers while the RV was still in motion – but that’s a story for another time.