Monday, May 12, 2008

EXTRA! EXTRA! Read All About It...The Ancient One Rises From The Couch!

It took Mother's Day to do it and LOTS of planning to get The Ancient One to agree to go to brunch, but by Gawd, we got 'er done. It's surprising that any of us could waddle out of the house because for Mother's Day, we got TAO the MOST rich chocolate buttercream cake, of which we all partook in small quantities in the, we felt like we needed a nap before we even left.

Then we had to get her dressed, made up and hair curled. Our lunch was at 1:30 pm so we started at 9:30am. Some of you won't be surprised by this. For example, in order to curl her hair, we had to get her from the couch to another chair in the living room where there was a plug. This took about 6 minutes...tick tock!

While I was curling her hair, she just started stream of consciousness talking nonstop. Luckily, because I was behind her with the curling iron, I could watch Meet The Press while she jabbered on. Sal and I have learned how to work with her while tuning her completely out, but with the requisite 'mm, hms' and 'absolutelys.' She told me for the umpteenth time about her cousin, Kelly, who was her favorite family member. He was gay...making his living by tripping and falling all over downtown San Francisco, then suing whoever owned the property. He finally died of alcoholism. It was sweet to listen to her walk down memory Lane (for about five minutes...remember, we've heard this story).

Next, Sal took over with the dressing and adorning with appropriate jewelry. She had to get from the chair, down the hallway to her bathroom...another 9 minutes for that...with a stop to look out on the deck at the squirrels. SalGal could be heard saying things like, "Not those, no, doesn't go with pale blue," "Here's the armhole, right here...little farther...lift your head so I can button your blouse."

The walk from the front door to the car always takes the longest because she begins to realize that she is OUTSIDE! With each step, she discovers something is soooo much like taking a toddler out that we smile because of all the things she's (re) discovering. Verrrrrrry carefully we pour her into the front seat of the car and off we go!

We arrive at her very small country club in our neighborhood and people become immediately helpful in getting her from the car to the dining room. It's Mother's Day, and she's so obviously a MOTHER! Then, it's a glass of Chardonnay for each of us. She looks beautiful and is happy and smiling and retelling other stories as Sal and I keep drinking. Such a lovely time was had by all and because the service was so outstanding and because we're not used to getting liquored up in the late morning, we walk to the buffet area where the staff is beginning to break it all down and we stand and applaud! They're gobsmacked but thankful. We're semi-embarrassed because applauding the staff is not country-club behavior, but we always want people to know what good jobs they are doing.

SalGal will continue this story from here. I'm tired just thinking about it and a new day dawns!



After lunch we drove around the quiet neighborhoods to look at the houses, comment on the tree growth and steal flowers from people's gardens. This always makes for a nice bouquet on the coffee table. All you need is a quick exit, a paper bag and a pair of clippers.

We got home at about 3:30PM and headed for seperate beds. Well, The Ancient One went straight for the couch as usual, KK dove into her bed and I went into the back bedroom. It was a given that naps were to be taken immediately. If you were to walk around the house an hour later you would have seen dark rooms with cats draped and snoozing over the backs of chairs and women snoring everywhere in the stillness of the late afternoon.

We all woke up at about five o'clock but only because the cats were hungry and decided to let us know by using the house as a jungle-gym and using our sleepy bodies for traction in their chasing of each other. The huge cake sat on the coffee table like a giant giraffe turd but that and the neighborhood roses made the house smell like a funeral at the Sarah Lee factory.

The Ancient One got into her robe and KK and I settled in for the three hour finale of 'Survivor.' Heaven. That was a perfect day.

We hope you had a perfect day too,


Rhea said...

A great account of Mom's big day. It's great you both have wonderful senses of humor.

Bear Naked said...

Glad you all had a wonderful time on Mother's Day.

Mental P Mama said...

Oh that is so very good. I scared my own cat laughing out loud. The Ancient One is a very blessed mama!

Mage And George said...

"Really" said with rising inflection is useful too. :)

Merelyme said...

awww happy belated mother's day. never saw a giant giraffe turd...that is one image i would not forget.

Bill Evertson said...

Found myself here after a post on Jafabrits blog and discovered even a 50 something guy has to cross his legs to keep from peeing his pants. I'm a care giver for 91 year old mom who only seems to have memories of the times I embarrassed her. Thanks for the new perspective. I'm adding a link for sure- you two are hilarious.

Ellen Besso said...

Hi Lizbet & Mayrie: You guys are a riot a minute! I love your 'Extra...the Ancient One rises..." particularly.

I relate to it. Getting my mom out of her apartment used to take about 1-1/2 hours, without the hair curling! That included about 15 minutes of teeth & appliance brushing at least, as she had undiagnosed OCD along with her Alzheimers! The toileting was a whole other issue...say no more!

Now when I go to pick her up, she is all ready to roll. Well usually ...the sunday before last she was sitting in a wheelchair (not hers) wearing a quite pretty nightgown (also not hers), as the morning staff couldn't find any clothes for her to wear & didn't realize she was going out! You get the picture.

So many of us have aging parents &/or are squished between young adult kids & elders.

Thanks for your stories & your humour.

Ellen Besso


You had a much more fulfilling Mother's Day than I did with my Ancient One! I had to lie to her, it should be a double sin to lie on the Sunday that's Mother's Day. Anyway... I make my daily call she didn't know me, but she knows who "that son of hers" is and she is really mad. Remember his AKA is "Baby Jesus" and he just got tossed out of the manger! She's mad cause he got her messed up with some "volunteer folks" and she has to go work for them three days a week. She is totally pissed, cause she had to work for no pay! This so called job is actually adult day care so my poor dad can get away from the day/night-mare called Alzheimers. I played into the conversation... told her they would be lucky to get someone with as much experience as she had, and maybe if she liked it and they liked her... they would hire her on permanent.

Fast forward to Wed. AM... The Ancient One got up this morning, got dressed in her polyester pants and a scrub shirt (used to work in a hospital),and wanted to know why Daddy wasn't ready to take her to "work" yet! HE was going to make her LATE BY GAWD!

I may have to start slippin' the day care a $20 to pay her before it's over, but it's a small cost for a little relief!

I'm hoping that God will give me some time off for helping out my daddy get some quiet time! After 55 years of crazy, 4 hours of peace and quiet is pure bliss. Keep on bloggin girls, you are the greatest!