how unemployed Mel has been spending her days, besides cooking weird food, consider this a good summary:
Woke up to not one, but two drooly dogs in my room. Maverick rolled over to get a belly rub and rolled right off the bed (quite the fall), and Smokey took this opportunity to cannonball him from above, and so at approximately 6:15 am, I was roused abruptly from gentle slumber (a GREAT dream about a manfriend, might I add) to a delightful THUD, PING, YELP, GROWL, SKITTERING succession of noises that are generally reserved for Tom & Jerry cartoons.
Wandered, contact-less and one socked, downstairs to start the coffee, and was greeted all too cheerily by Darlene, the hapless, hopeless middle-aged country bumpkin put in charge of tending to my stepfather as he recovers from a stroke. She gave me a full (and fully unwanted) update on last night’s Dancing With The Stars, instantly segueing into a discourse on the positive effect of YMCA Zumba on her daughter’s post-baby weight loss.
Chugged a very strong cup of coffee, smoothly extricated myself from the kitchen and the conversation, and threw my bleary-eyed, nappy ass into the shower.
Accompanied my sister to the old folks’ home, to see my doting grandfather and my completely-senile grandmother. If you’re ever needing a self-esteem boost, if the boys your age aren’t giving you the time of day, don’t go up a generation, go up two. Forgo the sportsbar and spend a day at a nursing home. Geri-gigging. Man, it was like flies to honey. You like men in uniform? We got picked up by (former) Navy SEALS, Coasties, Marines…you name it, the Jewish Home houses em. Sure, they’re WWII vets, but they can still turn on the charm, with winning lines like,
“Come here often?” ”Are you my nurse?” and my personal favorite,
“I think I shit myself!”
We met our grandparents on the 5th floor (dementia ward - colorful characters), and were invited to a birthday party (no getting outta this one) for lunch. We wheeled down the hall to a sight right out of an indie dark comedy; I wanted to take a panoramic picture to show somebody (all 8 of you), but I thought better of it. I’ll try my best to paint you a picture:
The celebration site was a large nursing home cafeteria, the kind with dour off-yellow paint and signs on the walls that say “Help your neighbor!” and “Happy Halloween!” even though Halloween was weeks ago, and a sizable stage, upon which strummed a two-man band. The singer was a dead ringer for Garth from Anchorman. My sister and I exchanged a look, silently agreed not to indulge in the soggy tuna fish on rye placed before us by a smiling nurse in pink floral scrubs, and took our seats.
As I panned around the scene - round, paper-covered tables crowded with wheelchair-ridden, plaid-bib-clad geriatrics in varying degrees of dementia, drooling into their tomato bisque while trying gamely to clap along with “Bye Bye Love” - I thought Garth had made a rather peculiar choice in set lists for the occasion. The lyrics to that Everly Brothers’ song seem a little callous, given the context:
Bye bye, love.
Bye bye, happiness.
I think I’m a-gonna cry-y.
Bye bye, love.
Bye bye, sweet caress.
I feel like I could di-ie.
Bye bye, my love, goodby-ye
What do you think? Poor choice for a nursing home? Of course, the band made a full recovery with a rousing rendition of “God Bless America”, followed by the ever-popular “One-Eyed, One-Horned, Flying Purple People-Eater”.
When our dear Garth gaily suggested that “everybody, c’mon, cover one eye with your hand and sing along with me!”, the addled cougar across the table from me, the one wisely saving her macaroni salad for later in a nook between her sizable bosoms, said what we were all thinking, in an inimitable Yonkers accent: ”Yee-ahh, riight. Fuggeddaboutit!”
And THAT, dear reader(s), is how I have been spending my days.
LA in two weeks. There, I shall have a life.