More notes from the Elder Care Underground—
The other day when I was driving my mother to the grocery store, I was mentally trying to hold my hands over my ears and go “la, la, la,” so I wouldn’t have to hear her latest story about the nice young couple across the street.
She watches them like a hawk from the big window in her living room and observes all their comings and goings like some kind of neighborhood air traffic controller. Nothing gets under her radar.
But since I wouldn’t allow her to go into her usual litany of complaints about the husband doing all the child care (he carries the baby out to the car–OMG!), she decided to tell me once more that she wished she still had her car so she could drive herself to the store.
It doesn’t matter that a.) she’s 91 years-old and b.) she’s essentially blind in one eye. Technically she still could drive if she had a car because the state of Texas, in its infinite wisdom, issued her a driver’s license renewal through the mail four years ago.
Her license is good until she’s 92–with no vision test–nada, zip, bupkus.
Besides being glad that she’s not on the road with other unsuspecting motorists, I was ecstatic when she sold her car because I hated that thing.
It was a Saturn. They don’t make them any more, so that tells you something right there.
It was one of the most irritating vehicles I’ve ever driven–and I’ve driven everything from a Ford Falcon with a perpetually primered fender to a Porsche 912, so I know.
Imagine sitting in a bathtub as you drove down the street. It was a lot like being in a Cialis commercial, but without the four hour erections.
Then I got to thinking about all the vehicles my parents had owned throughout their marriage. I think my folks were lemon magnets, to be honest with you.
When I was in high school the family car was a Corvair. Yes, a Corvair! The very car that Ralph Nader had warned us about in his book “Unsafe at Any Speed.” Among it’s many attributes he noted that the Corvair’s single-piece steering column could impale the driver in a front collision.
Now there’s a lovely thought to contemplate on your Sunday drive.
Just taking the car out of “park” carried as much risk as Evel Knievel jumping over the Snake River on a motorcycle.
So I’m very grateful that my mother isn’t driving any longer.
Although, not being able to drive hasn’t left her immune to a different kind of traffic accident.
A couple of years ago a woman lost control of her motorized scooter at the supermarket and ran into my mother’s heels while she was weighing some fruit in the produce section.
Personally, I think there should be an inquiry into the safety of those scooters.
Where’s Ralph Nader when you really need him?