I went out this morning, I chauffeured my Mom to take my Aunt Olof from the care home to her doctor and back again.
It took longer at the pharmacy than the doctor’s office.
We returned to the Care Home and I waited in the lobby, the condo living has arrived in eldercare, I suspect most places remain dormitory style and warehousing….
I was pacing in the lobby, pondering the state of growing old in Canada; when an elderly woman in a bright light blue jacket and a fabulous purple scarf ambled in behind her walker. She tried to get me to sit with her and I have become unaccustomed to welcoming strangers who want to chat with eye contact.
Soon, another woman joined and asked if she could take a seat near us.
I joked that this wasn’t high school, there’s no more cool kids and I couldn’t even finish my sentence, I was so stunned by the looks they both gave me – how cute in middle age that I think so.
“It really never ends, does it?” I asked. They both shook their heads no.
In any case, the second woman eventually sat and two more women arrived – the lobby was starting to fill as it was just before noon and the dinning room was soon to open for lunch.
they recapped the going to the doctor and the sense of ownership get get over lobby chairs, to a few giggles of that lady not having a full deck, running on all pistons, bats in the belfry.
I smiled to myself that people can’t tell by looking when someone is socially disordered.
The purple scarf woman mentioned getting good medical coverage because of her husband’s employee package and the other women nodded sagely. We compared Ontario and British Columbia, I surprised them by saying I was born in BC – two of them were from Holland originally, so I said I was born in Richmond, which was below sea level too.
Part of me wished that I had my video camera, because those gals were hilarious and I actually laughed several times. After a while, people making eye contact and facial expressions as they talked started to feel familiar, not a one of them held a phone gadget to refer to or have their interactions with face to face on the side disrupting.
We talked about going for outings and medical appointments, how much the world has changed and how much the first lady missed being in the Raging Grannies and the Red Hat Society. They all laughed when I said I was looking forward to getting into that group myself when I am old enough to qualify.
the world has changed a lot they said recently
the world changes all the time I replied
can’t fight city hall they said, sure you can, I said, I have 8 inches of paper to do it with by the end of the month
it starts with women’s rights I said
what? don’t we have those? they all asked, after all, the 1970s were a long time ago
No, I said, in law is just words, it takes society to actually extend them so that individuals don’t have to assert or demand what they are entitled to. given that the facility was Christian run, I didn’t expand that there was also sexuality, age and religion at the heart of the social change. Mostly: religion and especially freedom from it. You can have it but that doesn’t mean you get to impact me with it.
Also, by that time, I realized that my Mom was back and that really felt like childhood for a moment – whenever she’d take me out, she would always find me entertaining elderly people.
today, February 4, 2016, for a few minutes, I had a good day instead of being scared of people.
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