Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Facebook:Take II

Beware: Reconnecting with those from your past on Facebook has the potential for unexpected expenses, and not reconnecting with them can do severe damage to your self-image. With respect to your pocketbook, if you are planning a big, expensive party take note: unless your bank account rivals Donald Trump, be careful of reconnecting with too many or all those long distant and/or out of sight, out of mind friends and relatives from your past who once were on your invitation lists and expected to come. If you reestablish contacts with these folks who you have on your “invited, never respond yes list” or “delete them, we haven’t seen them in years list,” some of them may expect an invite and even worse, show up. As I said, if money is unlimited, keep on searching and reconnecting.

Now to the negative self-image issue. Since I am no longer planning catered affairs, this is the problem that affects me. Not one long lost friend from high school or college has contacted me since I joined Facebook. I was active in my high school sorority and college house plans. My photo albums are filled with pictures with long forgotten people and me having fun. So how come none of the gals in pictures from my ancient past has recognized my name and attempted to contact me? And how come I don’t have the slightest desire to contact any of them? Is it for fear of rejection or that none of us really remember each other?

The answer is debatable, but in the meantime, I will enjoy the postings from those I know, continue to reconnect with those long lost friends and relatives that I remember and care about enough to want to reconnect, and be grateful I’m not making anymore weddings or other parties where I need to cut down my list.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Crumbless Floors

There are people who only permit eating and drinking in their home at the kitchen table. From birth on, their children only eat in one room. Crumbs can only be found under the kitchen table, and, on rare occasions, the dining room table. Then there are those like my family. We treat any table as an extension of the kitchen table and any room as an extension of the kitchen. The former group never has to replace sofas, carpet, or have grout cleaned. When their children were in the throw food on the floor stage, they had plastic under the highchair. Their house is always spic and span. They climb into a crumb free bed each night. After 20 years, their couches are out of style, but in brand new condition.

Unlike them, my electric broom is in constant use in every room. If not, the ants will invade my home and invite all their fellow crawlers for a feast. My couches never last long enough to go out of style. It’s cheaper to buy new ones than have them recovered because of all the stains. I gave up on leather ones when I stabbed one with a knitting needle and couldn’t get it repaired. Clear plastic slipcovers worked for my Mom, but my generation ridiculed them so much we wouldn’t dare use them.

The two philosophies conflict when they live in a development like mine with common elements – a.k.a. – the recreation facilities. The neat freaks won out when the rules were written, and I’m told some of the nibblers have a tough time being good. Last week, I sat down, paper coffee cup in hand, at the table where I was to play Mah Jongg. “Get a cover fast,” a new friend said and quickly explained the rule against eating and drinking from uncovered cups in the card room. “The tattletale’s here and she’ll head to the office if she sees you with that cup.”

Office? Was I back in school? I decided against pursuing my line of thinking out loud. These women hardly knew me, and I didn’t want to get a negative reputation. Also, although not my style, the rule made sense. We were playing on carpeted floors – a floor covering necessary to keep the noise level down. Coffee spills are deadly and with so many people playing cards, Mah Jongg or whatever in one-room, accidents were likely to happen. Obviously, if each player made a tiny spill, the carpet would need to be replaced frequently. Food stains – especially squished chocolates, do permanent damage. Even though I rarely spill coffee, I didn’t want to take a chance. I went into the cafe and took a cover for the cup I had purchased minutes before. When I returned, I glanced around the room filled with seniors who were playing games and wondered which one was the tattletale and exactly to whom she would squeal.

By late afternoon, I still didn’t discover who she was and no longer cared because I made a more important discovery. About 50 people played cards or Mah Jongg in a card room for over five hours. When they left, the floor was spotless. The only thing the maintenance crew needed to do was slide the chairs neatly under the table. Since each group brings their own tabletop cover, even the tables were spotless.

“How was your game?” Hubby asked when I came home. He was sitting on our brand-new beige couch munching on pretzels. A cup of chocolate diet soda was resting on the new glass coffee table. I walked over to him, and instead of giving him a peck on his forehead, I took the pretzels and soda and moved them into the kitchen, setting them on the table.” We need to talk about new rules for this house,” I said.

Do you think two leopards can change spots after 47 years?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Nursing Hubby

In my day, when I had to make a career choice, only those women who had guts stepped out of the box and did something different like study law or engineering. The majority of us that had the privilege to go college majored in either education or nursing.

Every now and then I am reminded why I selected teaching, and the last few days have been one of those reminders. I am a disaster as a nurse. Nursing TLC is not in my genes. I also detest the site of anything that has to do with injecting a needle into the human body. Watching an IV needle be inserted or removed sends shivers through my body and the site of blood causes me to dry heave. I was blessed with two sons that rarely skinned a knee. Their specialty was anaphylactic reactions or severe asthmatic attacks – neither which involve blood. Although far more deadly than scraped knees, I could handle their illnesses.

Hubby had meniscus surgery on his right knee this past week. The patient survived the hospital end of the deal. My lack of TLC skills kicked in when I had to help him into the car for the trip home. He had to sit in the rear seat of the car, both legs resting on the seat, and his back to the door. Hubby is a head taller than I am. Getting him into the rear seat without bending his leg is something that had to be done, but we were not sure how. My clumsy attempts almost sent us to the emergency entrance, so once his butt was on the seat, Hubby decided to complete the task by himself. When he felt comfortable, I started the car and headed home. I made a sharp turn out of the driveway, and Hubby screamed. “Watch out for that truck!”

I slammed my foot on the break, looked, and saw no truck. One glance in the rear view mirror told me he had to still be under the effects of anesthesia. He was looking straight ahead – out of the side window. He quickly realized his error, but still his complaints continued all the way home. “Drive slower,” he demanded from the rear. “Every time you switch lanes the handle jams my back.”

“There’s a minimum speed,” I reminded him as we headed north on I-95.

When we parked in our driveway, he decided it would be safer if he inched his way out of the car than have me assist him. No argument from me. After a few minutes and not too many groans, he was standing sort of erect, leaning on his walker. He headed towards the house, me the mailbox. “Can’t you at least walk next to me in case I fall?” he asked.

“If you fall on me, who’ll take care of you?” Not even a smile came to his face.

Once inside, my lack of physical therapist skills continued to sabotage Hubby’s recovery. So far, every time I have had to do anything – change the ice water in the ice pack wrapped around his knee, take off the ace bandage and then rewrap it, help him stand up or sit down – he manages to scream “!#%@ can’t you see what you’re doing?”

Today, when I tried to help him dry his feet after he showered, I accidently bumped his knee with my elbow. Instead of !#%@, he simply said, “Thank goodness you never wanted to be a nurse.”

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You're Getting Even Older When . . .

A few weeks ago, I realized my Florida son was more than his usual two inches taller than I was – way more. I looked down to see if he was wearing new sneakers with extra lifts in them. I shuddered when I realized he was wearing his usual worn down sneakers. At 39, he is not growing in height. There could be only one explanation for the fact I was looking up – way up – to my son. I have moved up another notch on the morphing to Mama ladder.

This shrinking is probably the true reason my clothes are becoming tighter when my weight is the same: I am condensing! How low I will go is unknown. My mother went from being two inches shorter than me to a head lower by the time she reached 90.

Hubby had his rude awakening to the fact that this unavoidable aging process is happening to him also during our recent visit to our Atlanta family. He always stood two inches above our Atlanta son, but now stands eye-to-eye. Up until that moment I thought the reason Hubby switched to a 32 inseam instead of the 34 he was until last year is that jeans made abroad weren’t measured properly.

I’ve yet to read in any of the usual email jokes about “you know you are getting old when” a reference to the inevitable shrinking, but they do refer to the sagging. They also don’t talk much about gray hair. At my age, I’m used to my male peers being gray or white. Heck, even some of my “girlfriends” have thrown in the towel and let it go natural. (Gray is a problem I never will have – in my family you turn from black/brown to a charcoal blackish/gray mixed with a drop of normal gray – my hair is the real thing.)

Anyway – back to the topic - last week it hit me during religious services that most of my friends kids – excuse me – sons – were either gray or bald and our grandkids are closer to college age than preschool.

As I glanced around the room, spotting my friends’ pot bellies, flabby arms, and crow’s eyes on their adult children, the idea for this blog came to me. I’ve yet to receive a “You Know You’re Getting EVEN Older When” list. So, let me be the one to start it.

1. You’re clothes are getting tight and you’re not gaining weight.
2. Your daughter dyes her hair to hide gray.
3. Your grandchild applies for a driver’s license.
4. Your daughter and/or daughter-in-law are having hot flashes.
5. Policemen look the same age as your grandchildren.

Anyone else have any other add-ons please feel free to do so and past the list on!