Category Archives: MILlie
I am sure that it is not just chance that the only toy that has ever stood up to the jaws of our bulldog, Wonderbutt, also happens to be the most annoying toy on the face of this planet.
My daughter and husband have plotted to make Squeaky Toy disappear. Permanently. So far, I’ve held them back. Wonderbutt is just so darn happy when he plays with it, and it’s not very often we get to see the pudgy little guy actually smile. (I told my husband the other day that we should have named him Bob Newhart.) See, look how gleeful he is when he plays with it?
Oh, right. I forgot. I have no pictures of him playing with it. As soon as I pull the camera out, Wonderbutt, races to me so he can shove Squeaky Toy in my face. There is nothing quite as enjoyable as having a stinky plush toy smashed into your nose.
The main problem with Squeaky Toy is that Wonderbutt refuses to allow me to schedule the playdates. Instead, Wonderbutt chooses the time and place that Squeaky Toy is invited to make an appearance – and those times are not what the rest of us would call ideal.
Yesterday, our elderly friend, MILlie, came for dinner. To keep Wonderbutt from leaping on her, I tried to distract him with Squeaky Toy. Wonderbutt sat next to MILlie, and stared at me like I was insane as I danced around squeezing Squeaky Toy enticingly. He finally sighed, and returned to the more pressing job of figuring out how to hump our guest.
An hour later, we sat down to dinner. Five minutes after we started to eat our spaghetti, Wonderbutt came racing into the room, merrily chomping down on Squeaky Toy. He pranced around the dining room table, and dashed through the curtains behind us, back and forth, now completely devoted to playing with Squeaky Toy, his long lost friend who had been annoyingly silent for entirely too long.
Short squeaky bursts, and long high-pitched wails emitted from the toy as Wonderbutt eyed us peripherally for our reactions. Then, he walked too close to my husband’s chair. Squeaky Toy hit a leg of the chair, and popped out of Wonderbutt’s mouth. With quick reflexes, Cap’n Firepants kicked Squeaky Toy under a low side table.
Wonderbutt realized that his attempts to remove Squeaky Toy from the table dungeon were only making things worse. So, Wonderbutt began to whine.
Which is worse – the joyous, ear-splitting shrieks of a Squeaky Toy being chomped on by a happy bulldog, or the less-deafening but amazingly depressing sound of a canine parted from his very best friend in the whole wide world?
We pulled out Squeaky Toy.
We made the difficult decision this week to move my mother-in-law into a Memory Care unit. None of us are happy about it. But when someone insists on going to bed in a room that isn’t hers and starts storing her socks in the freezer, it’s pretty clear that independent living no longer suits her.
At least it’s clear to the supposed “experts.” I’m not so sure.
The thing is, my mother-in-law discovered, several years ago, a curling iron that I had put in the freezer. So, I feel like I’m one bed hop away from my own memory care incarceration and I certainly don’t have room to judge. However, the place where she is living administered a quiz to my mother-in-law that apparently assesses one’s need for more assistance and it, surprisingly, did not include any questions about the proper place to store your socks or your hair appliances.
“What did they ask her?” I asked my husband.
“The date. She didn’t know.”
Oh geez. Half the time I don’t know the date either. I have to ask my students or the lady at the dry cleaners when I’m writing a check at 4:00 in the afternoon.
“What city she lives in. She knew the state, but not the city.”
Well, I do know that. But I’ve lived here for 25 years (she’s only been here 2 years). And if you ask my Kindergartners what city they live in, they will tell you anything from Canada to Paris. I don’t see any of them getting stuck in a memory care unit.
“They asked her to fold a piece of paper a certain way and she did that perfectly.”
Oh. My. God. I’ve watched videos on how to fold a fitted bed sheet 10000 times and I still can’t do it right. And now they want me to do origami?
That’s 2 out of 3 questions I would have bombed. So, basically, I would have scored the same on the quiz as my mother-in-law.
Please don’t tell these people I lost my wedding rings last week, then found them on the floor by my feet, or that I punched the play button on our home answering machine this afternoon and did not recognize my own voice leaving a message that I thought I was leaving on my husband’s cell phone voice mail until I replayed the stupid thing twice.
As long as I refuse to answer any questions and stay out of the freezer, I think I’m good for another couple of years.
But I’m going to learn how to fold a fitted bed sheet if it’s the last thing I do before my dementia diagnosis. And I know exactly the person who can teach me…
Despite all of my Googling expertise, the pile of things that I just don’t understand keeps getting higher. I am pretty sure that I know less now than I did when I was 10. I mean, back then, I actually had to hold on to information for lengthy periods for pop quizzes and exams. Now, I discard any facts that are not vital to my present survival.
Today’s list of things I don’t understand:
- Why large things that protrude from your head are more appealing than small, unobtrusive things that can be covered by a fashionable hair style. Every time she sees my husband, Cap’n Firepants, our elderly friend, MILlie, complains to him that her stereo headphones will not work. He explains that the end needs to actually be plugged into something that makes sound – instead of dangling down her back. She says that she does not want to plug them into something; she just wants to walk around with them on, so they will help her hear better. (I tried to get her fitted for a hearing aid last year, but she refuses to wear one.)
- Why my husband insists on being loyal to a car-maker (let’s just call them “Frod”) who keeps selling him cars with transmission problems. After he got stranded, and they finally admitted there might be an issue (despite the fact that he brought it in 3 times before and there was “nothing wrong”), and then they proceeded to keep it for a week without offering him a rental car, I asked him if he still planned to go back there for his next car. “Well, they did fix it,” he stated.
- Why Google cannot help me find someone to help me fix my husband. Not that kind of fix. Just fix his blind allegiance to an automobile manufacturer who has not once returned the favor.
- Why I keep shoes in my closet that are agonizingly painful to wear, then forget the damage they did to my foot the last time I wore them, then stupidly choose to wear them to work one day, not realizing until I am at work that I have made yet another dumb wardrobe decision, make my way through an excruciating day with blinding pain, then come home, take off the shoes, and put them back in my closet without even a sticky note to label them as “Shoes That Cannot Be Worn for More Than 5 Minutes without Completely Hobbling You for the Next Week”.
- Why Dimples takes 90 minute showers, and she does not even shave her legs, yet.
- Why Twitter sent me an e-mail inviting me to use it more often (I never use it; I just signed up for it so I could get a Pinterest account) and then proceeded to suggest that two people I would probably like to follow are Tyra Banks and Snooki.
- How I can explain to Twitter, in 140 characters or less, all of the reasons that I will never follow Tyra or Snooki.
- Why one of my students gave me a very nice gift today, then ran to me after school and said, “Oh, don’t throw out the gift bag because my mom wants it back.”
Why Wonderbutt decided to grab, out of all of the sections of the newspapers spread across the kitchen table, the Obituaries. And dragged them, relatively intact, out to his Poop Pen.
So, we have an elderly friend, MILlie, who moved into town a year ago. MILlie needs to go to a doctor. Instead of choosing from one of the thousands in San Antonio, she wants to see her former doctor. Which is fine. Except that he is 2 hours away. And MILlie doesn’t drive. For a recap of the beginning of this story, you can go here.
After finally getting the doctor’s correct name from MILlie, assuring her that I did, indeed, intend to have her accompany me on the trip, doing an internet search, calling a wrong number that directed me to the right number, calling the right number only to be told I needed to give them more information which I didn’t have, calling MILlie to get More Information, calling back to give them More Information, not being asked when I called back the second time for the More Information..
I made an appointment.
We were in business. I marked the date on the calendar for MILlie’s appointment and cleared my schedule for our road trip.
MILlie came over a few days ago.
“I need you to cancel that appointment,” she said.
I raised an eyebrow. At least that’s what I think I did.
“May I ask why?” I cautiously said.
She pulled out an entire section of the newspaper from her purse.
“I was afraid you were going to argue with me, so I brought this as proof,” she said.
“Don’t Ever Drive in this Town Two Hours Away Because The Roads Suck and You Will Die a Horrible Death” the headlines said. Or something to that effect.
“The roads are terrible there because all of the oil trucks are ruining them, and I would hate for something to happen to you just because you were driving me to the doctor,” MILlie said.
The roads are terrible here, too. But, I did not point this out to MILlie. Part of me was jumping for joy that I wouldn’t be going on the road trip, part of me was resenting all of the time I spent planning this adventure, and part of me was thinking about the last time I took MILlie to a doctor in town – which was not an experience either one of us would like to re-live. The environmentally concerned part of me was ticked off at all of the oil trucks, and the financially desperate part of me was wondering how I could cash in on this whole oil thing…
MILlie said, “So you don’t mind canceling the appointment?”
“Are you okay with me picking a doctor here in town?”
I gulped. “Alrighty then. I will get right on that.”
As soon as MILlie was gone, I called the 2 Hour Away Doctor. “Uh, do you guys have a recommendation for a doctor here in San Antonio?” I asked.
“We’ll have someone call you back with that information.”
I’m still waiting.
Something tells me I’m going to wish I’d made that road trip.
I do not have a good track record with doctors. So, I tend to avoid them if at all possible. I prefer to use the internet for my diagnoses.
MILlie, an elderly friend of the family, needs to go to the dermatologist. The only one she likes is in a different town that is about two hours away. Because I have had experience with trying to convince MILlie to try a new doctor in our town, I know better than to try that again. So, I agreed to take her. Which, in case you were not paying attention to my first paragraph, is a major sacrifice on my part. I am not telling you this merely because I want you to admire my heroism, but also because I want you to truly understand the irony of the last line of this post.
I called MILlie to make sure I had the right contact information so I could make the appointment.
“Well, let me get out the phone book,” MILlie said. “Okay. Here’s the address.”
“That’s okay. All I really need is the phone number for now,” I said.
“Well, it’s right across from the hospital. It’s in a big building. Across from the hospital. And, it’s in a suite. S-T-E.”
“No problem. If you can just give me the phone number, I’ll get the directions from the internet later, and then you can point out the building to me when we get there,” I said.
“Oh. Am I going to be with you?”
I’ve decided that my daughter, Dimples, elderly friend, MILlie, and Donald Trump are all conspiring to drive me bonkers. The three of them seem to enjoy having the same darn conversation over and over again…
Dimples: Can I get this hair band for my hair?
Dimples: Why not?
Me: Because you won’t wear it.
Dimples: Yes, I will.
Me: That’s what you said the last three times.
Dimples: No, I didn’t.
Me: Yes, you did. And then I fell for it, and you didn’t wear it.
Dimples: So-o-o, can I get it?
Me: Yeah. No.
Me (to MILlie, our elderly friend): I notice you are wearing your old glasses. As soon as I get out of school, I’ll take you to get the scratch on your new ones fixed.
MILlie: It won’t make a difference. They’re no good.
Me: What do you mean? That was the 5th pair we’ve gotten this year! You said they were good!
MILlie: They don’t work. He didn’t fit them to my eyes.
Me: Of course he fit them to your eyes. He used the prescription you gave him – remember, the one that you went to get on your own because you didn’t like the one that my doctor gave you?
MILlie: They give me a headache.
Me: You said the old ones, the ones you are wearing now, the ones you keep going back to every time we get you a new pair, give you a headache.
MILlie: But I can take these off when I read.
Me: Now, I’m getting a headache.
As for Trump, I’m sending him a box of Dimples’ headbands, since I think he needs them way more than she does. Or, maybe he would like to borrow one of MILlie’s pairs of glasses, so he can take them off when he examines President Obama’s birth certificate for the 798th time. Geez, dude, give it a rest.
My brief mention of St. Francis of Assisi the other day reminded me of a funny story regarding saints, real estate, and MILlie.
A few years ago, we were trying to sell our house, and MILlie, an elderly friend of ours, mentioned to us that there was a saint who could help us with this. She claimed that, if we buried the saint upside down in our yard, we would quickly get an offer on our house.
Even after it was clarified that we should probably bury a STATUE of the saint, instead of the actual saint, I was still skeptical. I had grown up in the Catholic Church, and had never heard of this practice. I can be a little irreverent sometimes, but this sounded downright sacrilegious. Weren’t the saints treated badly enough when they were alive?
I consulted a few other upstanding Catholics, and some members of the real estate field, and they all confirmed MILlie’s claims.
A couple of weeks later, MILlie presented us with a statue of our very own to bury in the yard. As luck would have it, we did not even have the chance to bury the statue before we got a bid on the house.
A couple of weeks later, a good friend of mine was desperate to sell her house. Her husband had been transferred unexpectedly, and they had a short turnaround time before they needed to move. I gave her the statue, and told her the story.
The next weekend, MILlie visited. In her hand was a new statue, different saint.
“I gave you the wrong saint,” she said. “You’re supposed to bury St. Joseph.”
“What saint did you give us?” I asked.
“Well, what does he do?”
“I don’t know, but it’s St. Joseph you’re supposed to bury in the yard for an offer on your house.”
After we explained to MILlie that we already had a good offer on the house, she still convinced us to keep St. Joseph – “just in case.”
As soon as she left, I did a little research on the internet about Saint Anthony. Then I called my friend.
“Uh, remember that statue I gave you to bury in the front yard? Did you, uh, do that?”
“Yeah, why? I figured we could use all the help we can get.”
“Hmm. Well, uh, it’s the wrong saint. Apparently, you’re supposed to bury St. Joseph, not St. Anthony.”
“O.K. So, you gave me St. Anthony? What does he do?”
I mumbled my response.
“What? I don’t think I heard you right.”
“Well, it’s an honest mistake. People also bury him in the front yard. But you probably don’t need to do that. He’s the ‘matchmaking saint’.”
“O.K. Well. You bury him in the front yard if you’re trying to find a husband.”
Silence. Did I mention my friend wasn’t exactly thrilled about this sudden transfer her husband had gotten?
“I think I might just leave St. Anthony there for awhile,” she finally said.
I hung up, hoping that I wasn’t going to be held responsible for any unintended consequences of a case of mistaken saint identity.
I’m pretty sure that’s not at the top of my List of Transgressions, though.