More fun from the Eldercare Underground:
Another week, another trip to the grocery store with my 91 year-old mother.
For those of you who have been keeping up with this saga, you’ll remember we last left our heroine in a pitched battle with the Mother of All Mothers over why the grocery list was tossed out after the last trip to the store and the brouhaha (I’ve always wanted to use that word) that ensued.
You’ll also recall that there were no winners in that one. There never is.
All my mother has to do is claim that I never told her what it is we’re “discussing” and that pretty much leaves me with no rhetorical ammunition with which to fire back.
You can’t argue with “You never told me that.” I may as well be shadow boxing.
So today I went over to her house to pick her up to go grocery shopping and found that she wasn’t ready for me. She insisted that I had told her we were going tomorrow.
I had last spoken with her just the day before to suggest we go today, but it was my duty (or will be from now on) to call her in the morning and confirm our appointment. And you know if I’d done just that she would have been miffed that I doubted her memory. Again, you can’t win.
While I waited for her to change her clothes, I washed her breakfast dishes and surreptitiously tossed out some really wizened up tomatoes she had left on the kitchen counter, along with some anemic looking cooked squash she had in the fridge. I also checked the expiration dates on some of the stuff in there because I never know how long she’s been hanging on to things.
She has no concept about expiration dates and never has, so this is not something that’s surfaced in her old age. I don’t know if it’s a Depression era thing or what. Food doesn’t get thrown out no matter how awful it looks.
Last month I tossed a half of a head of cabbage that resembled a science project despite her objection of “that’s still good!”
My mother-in-law, who’s 92, is also notorious for saving little dribs and drabs of food in Tupperware containers in her freezer.
A tablespoon of some unrecognizable foodstuff here, a dollop of what we used to jokingly call “pre-digested” food there.
Finally my mother was ready to go. As I walked out the door ahead of her she barked “Pull your shirt down in back!”
This, and the poke in the back to “stand up straight,” has been the bane of my existence with her. I’m short-waisted. Things ride up on me.
I replied that it would be nice if she didn’t start out the day by criticizing me right off the bat.
She said “Well, you were adjusting my clothes.”
To which I responded:
“That’s only because you asked me if you’d put your pants on backward!”
I guess I should count myself as fortunate.
At least at the grocery store she didn’t say “get your hand off the cart” this time.