Friday, February 24, 2012

Waste not, Want not. I don't wanna sew!

Something I've noticed about old people lately, they hate to waste things!
For example, in the dining room. There's a rule at the Wesleyan , I assume for sanitary reasons, that the
food being served cannot be put down on the table and taken away until the end of the meal. Often, the elderly person doesn't notice the desert cup or yogert that is sat down beside their plate by a server. They shake their head no when they see it and the determination to get someone to eat it begins.

They don't want it but they want someone else to eat it. I can't count how many times in the last few years, I have been literally begged to eat food that was sat down without being asked for or desired. Sometimes I take it and hide it behind the fake flower dining room table centerpiece.

A few weeks ago, Mom wanted me to sew up a hole in her red sweat pants. Mom won't wear anything with a hole torn in it, even if it's in a place it doesn't show.  She kept begging me to take the pants home and stitch them up. Thinking she would forget about it in time, I just took them home and threw them away.

Every couple of days like clock work, "Did you sew up my red pants?"  While shopping , I saw a new pair of red sweatpants. Problem solved! "What happened to my other pair?" she asked in dismay.
Yesterday, she asked me to sew up a tear in her OLD OLD blue pockadot shirt. "Mom, I dont wanna sew! You know I hate to sew! I've got a job, a son with a broken ankle, a house to clean, a workout at the gym, a class at Church. I don't even own a needle! I have no thread! I don't wanna sew! I'll buy you a new shirt!"

"Well it would only take 5 minutes to sew up that shirt, Ann." she responded sadly.

My neighbor sews. Wonder how much she would charge me?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Ask yourself these questions, Do you qualify as a wife?

From the book"The Christian Girl" published in 1963. "Ask yourself these questions. Do you qualify as a wife?" These are the questions, "Am I domestic in my tastes?", "Can I cook." and "What kind of temperament do I have?"

Sunday at my church, I noticed a table of books and a sign that said "free books". Within one minute, a book caught my eye. It was a book written by Mamie Hayhurst. It was a series of lessons taught in many Churches in the early 60s to teenage girls. As I looked at it, several senior women noted , "Oh, yes I remember that bible class book ! It was very popular!" Why did this book named "The Christian Girl" catch my eye? Because Mamie wrote it. Mamie married my Grandpa Whitten (Mom's father)after my Grandma died. It was a brief marriage mostly for companionship and was cut short by just plain old age. Neither could really take care of the other anymore. I had often heard that she wrote "The Christian Girl" from relatives. It was utilized for teenage girls bible classes all over the USA.

Looking through it, I realized that this series wouldn't go over well in 2012. Activities included making a scrap book. Front Cover, top right hand corner, picture of the girl. Title "The Girl Becomes a Woman." Page 1: Paste a picture of a bride. :) Whoa, wonder what kinda reaction that would get in 2012! "Is that it?' "Our only choice?'
Other qualities encouraged in this class, are two words my generation never really picked up on all that well. They are being submissive and having a quiet spirit. In reality, men are also told in the bible to submit to their wives. ( Had to add that here, it's sort of a natural reflex.)  Anyway, it wouldn't go over well today in a teenage girl Bible class but in reality, we all know that our divorce statistics would not be as high if women and men didn't insist on our own way all the time. Additonally, who's gonna argue that it's kinda hard to live with a loud overbearing, nagging ... ? Irreconcilable differences is what we like to call it. No fault divorce. Back then, they had the nerve to tell people to submit to one another. A novel concept, I guess.

Mom and I often have these same conversations.  "Don't you have to get dinner on the table?" Mom asks. "Are you going to travel by yourself? Isn't Dan going to go with you?" "Did you get Dan's ironing done?"  I've learned not to  answer these questions with women her age and just to smile instead. Answering "Well I guess he will get dinner some way or another sooner or later." results in a very worried expression. Why worry her? Mom and other nice ladies her age had wonderful long lasting marriages. I'm not going to argue with their success.. In fact, it wouldn't hurt me to take on a more quiet spirit. I've decided to work on that.  No, I'm not going to start ironing.

I wonder if there was ever in history a bible class for teenage boys that taught submission, and being gentle, quiet and kind to their future wives? hmmmm.

Nancy Wright 2/2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

It's never too late to find love.

Is it ever too late to fall in love?

I ask around the Westleyan and the majority of Senior citizens who live there said no. No, it's never too late to find love. One of Mom's good friends, a wonderful lady who's still quite a charmer said it this way. "You never know when it could happen and if and when it does, you should just be open to it, no matter how old you are."

Mom thinks it is too late for her. " I still think of your Father all the time. I wake up at night and I think he's right here. Something happens to me and I wish I could tell him." Her and Dad were married for 65 years. That's a mighty long time and lots of valentines days. Every once in while an older gentlemen flirts with her though. There was a former dentist with a nice smile that would say, "There you are! Such a beauty! How is my girlfriend today?" Mom would get this sort of surprized confusing look on her face and then just the slightest giggle. Unfortunately, he was like my father and didn't last long there. She still mentions him from time to time . She misses him . All women like to be flirted with whether they are old or young or if it's going anywhere or not.
Another lady I know has run the gambit of boyfriends at the nursing home. In fact, she went through a slew of husbands before she came there and now she's still going strong. Every once in a while, she drops one old love struck guy for another and it's as dramatic as high school. I was curious as to her response to my question, "Why of course not! My last husband was 15 years older than me but he was still going strong. He didn't even have to use Viagra !"

Too much info, Arleen, a little too much info. :)

Most people tell me they just wish they would have been a little more appreciative of their love because for many older people , their loves have moved on. And by chance if love comes their way again, they would appreciate it more.
Or as Don Henley of the Eagles put it, "If you find somebody to love in this world, You better hang on tooth and nail."
So for Valentines day, I hope you appreciate those you love now, not later. I love you Daniel Thompson! You are my happily ever after. I'm still hangin on to you!