I’ll Have the Special

I spent another two (+) fun-filled hours at the retinal specialist’s office today with my mother.  Most of our time was spent just waiting to get back to the inner sanctum of the exam rooms.

Fortunately, the office is in a quaint old limestone building that had been a private home at one time in this German pioneer community.  It has hardwood floors, high ceilings and interesting architectural details that give you something to look at once the supply of magazines runs out.

After an hour past her appointment time waiting to have my mother’s vision checked, and another hour or more waiting to have her eye injection for macular degeneration, we pretty much ran the gamut of reading material.

By the time we were done I’d thoroughly reviewed a Better Homes and Gardens issue from (I’m hoping) last Christmas and had even delved into a magazine devoted to diabetics; of which I’m not one nor is my 91 year-old mother.

But from the physiques of the many people who passed by us during our time of butt-numbing incarceration, it must be a pretty popular magazine.

My mother, who weighs all of about 116 (not much over the 98 pounds she weighed when she got married in 1938), remarked to me later that she’d never seen so many men with big bellies in one place.  I had to agree that, yes, this seems to be the future of America.

Tonight I was watching an old Golden Girls episode where Sophia’s sister, Angela, visits from Sicily.  Angela is played by Nancy Walker, whose dry comic delivery is the perfect match to Estelle Getty’s Sophia.

Dorothy asked Angela if she’d found an apartment yet, since she was thinking about moving closer to Sophia.  Angela said yes, she had that very morning.

“I was at the Senior Center for the Early Bird Special:  de-caf coffee, low sodium bacon and a chest x-ray.”

Only in America.

19 thoughts on “I’ll Have the Special

  1. I have started to write a comment several times already and each time I get depressed. Should it be how we are all killing ourselves by overeating? Or should it be about taking my 89 year old aunt to the doctor? Or how about my own 4 hour opthalmology appointments? I think I’ll go find chocolate.


    • Chocolate is my drug of choice too.

      I worked for an ophthalmologist for several years and I know that emergencies can come up, but the problem now is that they tend to overbook appointments to make up for the lesser fees that Medicare pays and they end up running behind even before the day has gotten started. Arrghh….


  2. I’m more and more convinced that food is just opium for most of us. Coping with this world is only possible by stuffing food inside to push away how rotten, powerless and depressed people feel. I’m glad your momma is little and spry and I envy the time you get to spend with her.


    • Thanks for your comment about my mother, Snoring Dog!

      I’ll tell you, it was a real eye-opener the other night when I watched “600 Pound Mom” on teevee. I’d seen a couple of other shows about morbidly obese people, but this one was particularly disturbing because it fits in with what you’re saying about coping through eating. The woman couldn’t get out of bed at all and had to be dragged down her hall on a tarp by six paramedics, but she still wouldn’t admit she was overweight because she ate too much. Yikes!


  3. At the Mother’s Day Lunch Sunday, our waiter’s jacket could not quite conceal the huge belly which hid his belt. It was ALMOST enough to make me lose my appetite.

    Sometimes I find magazines from the past century in doctor’s offices. Ask the nurses for the new ones–they have them in the back, reading them. 🙂


    • The only doctor’s office that I take my mother to that has any kind of interesting reading material is her oncologist’s. He has stacks of fascinating art books and books about local history that come from his own personal collection. Sometimes I find myself wanting to stay to finish something I’ve been reading. At other offices we go to, it’s either the NRA monthly or “The Diaper Rash Gazette.”


  4. I think it is a combination of how much we eat and what we eat. In the 80s, I think the quality of the food declined. Now, with organic ‘in style’ I believe there is hope folks will start to lose weight by eating right. But, like Snoring Dog Studio said, food is an opium, enabling us to get through the yuck in the world. I think social media feeds the need to eat, too. I lost 7 lbs in 40 days, when I gave up Facebook for Lent. I seriously believe their is a correlation between eating and social media.


    • The Facebook Diet! Who knew? But you’re right—when we’re not on the computer we’re more likely to be moving around and not mindlessly stuffing our faces. It’s really easy not to even notice how much you’re eating when your attention is absorbed by what’s on the screen.


  5. i have come to believe the key to aging as well as you possibly can is to be as thin as your body is comfortable being. better for the heart, joints, and cancer loves fat. i’m failing miserably in this quest, but a recent boot-in-the-ass from my family doc has me cranking up the calorie counting.

    carbs are my downfall. going to a high greenery / higher low-fat protein approach, with strict accountability. fingers crossed that i’m not amongst the morbidly obese in my later years… i can see how it can happen.


      • Sadly, this is what I suspect too many doctors are telling their patients. At least mine did – he really discouraged me from trying to lose weight by telling me “at your age…” I went out and defied him and lost the weight.


  6. Hi,
    We have the same problems here in Australia as well. I seem to be seeing more overweight people, I thought it was just me seeing this at first, but friends also have said the same thing. It is sad to see.

    We also have the long wait at the specialists as well. I must of been very lucky the last couple of times, as they had some old magazines, but they were very interesting, and ones that I hadn’t seen before.


    • Oddly enough, magsx2, I read that Australia has a very serious obesity problem. Odd, because I never would have thought so and I don’t know why. Are fast food diners everywhere there, too? Do Australian towns and cities have many walkable areas? I really want to visit someday in spite of the ghastly long plane trip.


      • Hi,
        It is odd, as most Aussies love the outdoors, so you would expect people would have plenty of exercise. Yes we have fast food diners everywhere, no different I should imagine than other parts of the world. Too many I feel.

        There are plenty of walking areas, in every city, town, suburb, lovely parks, as well as good bush walks, it really does make you wonder. Australia is a long, long, way no matter where you are, we really are the “Land Down Under” 🙂


      • My sister-in-law is from Australia and she and my brother-in-law make the trip down there about every six months to stay in a condo they own. My son has gone to Australia several times now on business (once with his wife and daughters) and really loves it. At age 45 he’s really into surfing and paddleboarding, so the beaches are a big draw for him. I think he said the flight from Los Angeles takes about 14 hours. For a white-knuckler like me—I don’t think so!


  7. Those bellies scare me. I had an old flame contact me on FB a few years ago. He offered that he hadn’t changed much, just a barely noticeable pot belly beginning to emerge. Can somebody please tell me what part of the brain men use when they see themselves in a mirror? Or fasten a belt? When I saw this guy at a reunion shortly thereafter, he looked like Mr. Ultrasound in the cartoon. You’d think he’d notice the obstruction when he tried to hit a golf ball, at least!


  8. Not that Canadians are exactly dainty, but whenever I travel in the US, I am blown away by the portion sizes in restaurants!!

    And the cartoon is a hoot.


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