Tuesday, November 10, 2015

What Do Old Princesses Do? Drink Bad Coffee.

I am, I admit, a bit of a princess. I do not tolerate discomfort well. I can feel the pea beneath the mattress and I might complain mightily about it the next morning. Or I might suffer in silence. It depends on my mood.

Hot, cold, aches, pains - while I have a fairly high pain tolerance, I don't like any of it. Things must be my way - my teeth brushed, my deodorant just so, my clothes washed in certain powders because of my allergies to the world.

My food must be what I like even if it isn't the healthiest stuff, and I don't like spiders and snakes. I want things clean but I don't necessarily want to be the one doing the cleaning.

No dogs allowed, no dirt on the carpet, no noise when I'm trying to write. Temperature just so.

Yeah, I'm a little prima donna. Or something.

This morning I was reading this weird thing going on about red cups at coffee shops and how this is part of that silly non-war on Christmas that crops up every year. It is so stupid that it makes my eyes roll of their own accord. Even people who post the "I will say Merry Christmas not Happy Holidays" things on Facebook thought this particular brouhaha was over the top.

Some of my more liberal Christian friends were wondering where the real Christians are. You know, the ones who buy a cup of coffee for the homeless guy outside, not worry about the color of the cup of their latte. Such a society we've become, where this kind of nothing becomes the topic of the day. We're so bone-headed and stuck that we don't even realize what fools we are.

Anyway, a picture of older woman digging through the trash crossed my page in regards to this - you know, what are the Christians doing about the homeless sort of thing. Which is a good question. But mostly it made me think about growing old.

I am so finicky I fear that my old age with be a total disaster. I will want my Burt's Bees Honey Lip Balm and the nursing home will tell me I can't have it. I will want my bath and my toe nails clipped back, and they will tell me it isn't time yet for either. I will want my hair cut and they will say not now.

My world will be uncomfortable and I will be so out of control of my life that I will wonder what I am still alive for.

And then I thought about all of those folks in nursing homes, who are living like that. Living but not. Feeling pain but unable to do anything about it, not even take a Tylenol. I can't help but wonder where the love is in that. What are we doing, when the breathe is more precious than what goes on in the heart and soul? How many of those folks would have preferred not to have survived that hip surgery or the heart attack or the stroke? Is it truly more moral to make people suffer until finally they give up the ghost?

People cry out because they can't get their coffee in the cup they want, while others cry out because they can't get their toiletry needs met. And who has the loudest voice? The idiot with the coffee cup, obviously.

I am so confused about how our society works. Nothing about it makes any sense to me any more. I used to think I understood it, or parts of it, anyway, but now it is like smoke. My values and morals reside within me, and they say screw the coffee cup, go help the homeless person. But I'm not sure these values are the those of the majority anymore. I think they were once, long ago. Maybe even before I was born.

Now people just say get your own coffee cup and step over bodies. Is it really that bad? Or does the media make it seem that way?

I fear old age. I fear being trapped in a shell of a body, my mind wandering because that is the only way I can deal with the pain that those around me ignore. The only way to deal with the loss of my chapstick or my favorite pillow or whatever it is I need for comfort, maybe, would be to lose my mind if my body didn't give out first.

My grandmother is 94 (?) and sitting in a wheelchair in a nursing home in California. She doesn't know anyone. I doubt she is happy, comfortable, or glad to be there. My other grandmother stayed in a nursing home for several years. I dutifully visited her every weekend, including the weekend before she passed away. I remember her main complaint was not physical discomfort but the food she was served. They gave her food that diabetics should not have been eating, loaded, apparently with the salt that someone with high blood pressure is supposed to avoid. I was pretty sure the place was trying to move folks along with the diet.

I don't expect any of this to change. I expect it to get worse. In older days, the young folks built a house hooked onto the parental house, and the old people peeled potatoes or did whatever they could to help, and then they died. They weren't warehoused and put out of the way when they became a burden. And their children didn't worry about the color of coffee cups. They drank out of chipped stoneware and were grateful for it.

This blog entry had no focus when I started it, and it still has none. I just needed to write, and I started writing. Sometimes I do this and I delete it, or I never publish the post. I think I have about 75 draft posts in my blog, things no one will ever see.

There's no reason not to hit the publish button on this, even if it lacks the cohesiveness I prefer in my work. Sometimes, I think, it is good to ramble. It is good to be lost and wandering. It puts hair on your chest, as my father might say. Not that I need any there. But I suppose you never know.

I do know I don't drink coffee, and I don't care what color my cups are. I know I give money to various charities several times throughout the year, the ones I think make a difference. I know I use my connections to put one person in touch with another, to meet a need or to make a change when I can. I try to influence folks around me to be their better selves. I try to be my best self but think I'm a miserable failure at that. Maybe we all are, I don't know. I know some people think they never fail at all.

Anyway, I will stop rambling. I know you'd rather see a picture of a pretty deer or a lovely landscape than read the wanderings of a tired aging brain. So here you go. One lovely picture, coming up.


5 comments:

  1. When I was out and about last Saturday I stopped by one of the local churches who were having their holiday craft sales. I saw my neighbor who used to live diagonally across from me. I say "used to" because her son has placed her in a nursing home and sold her house in record time...I think it was two days. She is the same lady I had stay at my house when we lost electricity one winter since I had a gas fireplace and her son had "no room" for her at his co-op. When she saw me it took her a moment or two to remember me (I think my accent jogged it) and she gave me a big hug saying how much she missed living in her home and was especially sad that she wouldn't be seeing the lights we put up every Christmas. Seeing as she remembered that I wondered just how "bad off" she was that she needed to be placed in a home. I asked her if she would like me to bring her some cookies when I begin my Christmas bake-a-thon and seemed so thrilled that I even asked her. I felt so sad after seeing her. I can't imagine how hard it must be for someone who is suddenly placed away from what they've known their whole life. My father made me promise to never put him in a home and although he left this earth before that time, I never would. My grandmother is 104 and lives with my aunt in Brooklyn. She too made her children promise to never put her in a home, and they haven't. I have said the same to my children...

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    1. Unfortunately, since I have no children, that is where I expect to end up. It is kind of you to offer to take your former neighbor some cookies. I hope you do.

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  2. I find this whole red coffee cup thing ridiculous. Every Christmas it is something. My grandmother has to live in the nursing home right now. Not the life any of us would desire.

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  3. I'm with you on the cup issue and the silly so-called war on Christmas. Like there aren't enough REAL issues about which we should be concerned. Beautiful photo!

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  4. Most people would not even be aware of the 'red cup' brouhaha if the media would simply not bring it up. Slow news days generally stir up issues like this that are really non-issues. All it does is shine a nasty light on Christians which may be part of the media's goal. I am trying to leave the entire issue alone since all it does is create hate.

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