Notes from the Eldercare Underground—The Continuing Saga
So today was grocery shopping day, once again, with my mother. As I’ve mentioned before, she has a tendency to say “no” to any of my suggestions first and then, after some wheedling on my part, she usually warms up to my ideas.
Well, sometimes. Not always. Pretty much never.
Today was no different. We were in the frozen food section picking out some dinners and I was holding the freezer section door open with my behind while we perused the Lean Cuisine offerings.
(At 4′ 11″ and 114 lbs. my mother definitely doesn’t need to lose weight, but she likes most of their dinners and the portions are in keeping with someone who has a birdlike appetite.)
She pointed out some things she thought she might like this time and I made a couple of suggestions that met with a wrinkled nose on her part.
She couldn’t decide if she wanted my selections or not. Finally I asked her if I could just put them in her cart, fer cryin’ out loud.
To this she replied “Coax me,” and I knew I was doomed so I just let the door slam shut and we moved on down the aisle.
I wasn’t about to coax her into deciding if the lasagna with meat sauce was calling her name today or not because by that time my hiney would be on its way to a galloping case of freezer burn.
When we got home she gave me a stack of “House Beautiful” magazines to take to the thrift store the next time I went. My mother has always been a frustrated interior decorator who now gets to live that dream vicariously through her granddaughter (my daughter) the furniture designer.
I noticed that the latest issue she had was for June. I checked the address label that was printed directly on each magazine and saw her subscription ran out with that issue.
When I pointed this out to her she just waved her hand dismissively and said not to worry, she would still receive them. Her reasoning (!) was since she’s taken the magazine for so many years now, they send them to her free of charge.
(Once, years ago, she received a year’s subscription to “Architectural Digest” because she was on somebody’s list as an interior decorator, but I know that was only a one time deal. Apparently, it stuck in her head.)
Um, okayyy….Again I pointed out that the labels definitely say “Jun11” for the expiration date. This means she did, indeed, have a subscription she had paid for at some point and it had run out.
We are now in September and she didn’t have any new magazines since the final issue in June.
She wouldn’t hear of it. My mother picked up one of the magazines and triumphantly pointed to the printed address label, which was upside down on all of the magazines.
“See? The labels are upside down. That’s a signal to me that they don’t charge me anything for them and I get them free.”
I tried to patiently say that, no, you aren’t going to get anymore magazines. Why not re-subscribe since you know you’ve always enjoyed reading them?
Again, the “coax me” thing reared its head and she insisted she didn’t need the magazines because “my house is already decorated,” which never has mattered before. She came up with a couple more lame reasons why she didn’t need the magazine, but by that time I was too pooped from a morning at my Zumba class and two hours of grocery shopping to argue any further.
I admitted defeat and left with my expired magazines in tow.
But when I got home I went online and subscribed to two years of “House Beautiful” for her for her upcoming 92nd birthday on the 12th.
I only hope the labels are on right-side up.