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My MIL Ru working out HARDStill working out HARD

Dear Diary,

SOMEONE got the brilliant idea (already you know who it’s NOT) that it was time to step up her MIL Ru’s OLD workout plan— from the daily meandering around the block in front of her place at Happy Daze Assisted Living (floor dementia).. to hitting the seated elliptical and lifting something heavier then a handful of green foil thin mints from the downstairs dining room candy bowl, into her mouth. According to Ru.. she heard from somebody on her floor who by the way is an EXPERT (gag).. it’s absolutely necessary to take one or two mints by mouth (as opposed to what.. rectally?) every three to five minutes to replenish calories lost through.. foot sweat. “Oh pleeeze. You heard that from Blanche didn’t you? She is such a saboteur.. she doesn’t WANT you looking better then her in your summer capris and support hose. You need to KNOW your players Ru.. it’s a DOG EAT DOG EAT DOG AGAIN floor granny.

Every few seconds as granny was riding the “trike” she’d be all, “How long have I been ONNNNNN this thing? I’m not going anywhere.” Let me tell you, I’ve been watching The Biggest Loser and garnering training tips from the goddess of lean.. Jillian Michaels herself. I know EXACTLY how to handle simpering wussy babies like this one.

“WHAT’S a matter? You gonna cry? CRY then. Tell me RIGHT now.. are you going to quit? Because I don’t like crybaby quitters in this gym. Don’t you throw up.. YOU. Keep. Going. What’s the matter r-e-a-l-l-y? Dig DEEP Ru. Tough childhood? Nordstrom credit limit?”

RU: Why would I throw up? What did I eat?

ME: I want you to push FASTER and tell me WHY you’re HERE.

RU: Well.. let’s see. I’m here because (unwrapping mint patty and popping in mouth) it’s sprinkling outside and you just did my hair?

I’m really glad the cameras were turned off during my training session people.. because after about five minutes, when Ru looked like she was getting bored and I was sick of standing there picking up candy wrappers from the floor and running to get her tea so she could HYDRATE. Because GAWD FORBID some sort of leg cramps happen during mile ONE.. right?  I might have said something akin to, Hey.. let’s go get something to eat from across the street like a SUBWAY SANDWICH. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Jillian says it. But, Ru looks at me like ARE ya nuts? I just worked out for five whole minutes. I’m sure as HALLE not eating a PICKEL and gaining it all back. Oh yeah. So the BETTER idea is to first try and CLIMB your way onto the scale for positive feedback.. you know it’s important to SEE the results of all the amazing dedication and hard work on the TRIKE ride. Then.. we’ll grab something healthy— maybe a high in fiber Pumpkin scone.

Off go the UGGS— proving some things you guys.. are NEVER forgotten. Then grabbing hold of my hand she gingerly steps on the huge circa 1950 scale and after steadying herself swishes my hand away because I’m adding “dead weight”. Yup. That is so ME. Dead freakin WEIGHT. Just let me point a small detail out to you— Ru can’t read the numbers on the scale. Not for all the free mints in China.. if they do indeed offer free mints there. Which I am not saying that they don’t.. I just don’t KNOW. K? Whatever.. moving on.

“How much does it say I weigh?”

Ummmmm.. 135.

“WHAT (panic)?”


“Urrrrr.. 130 then. It says 130.”

“Naaaaah. I can’t be 130..can I?”

Judging from her expression.. the answer to THAT question is, NO WAY you most certainly can NOT be 130. There must be something wrong with this crap scale granny so let’s make it easy on me (THAT will be the day). Why don’t YOU tell me how much it says. You want it to be 115 pounds? Surrrrrre you do. Fine. SHAZAM. You’re 115. Better?

“WOW! I’m the thinnest I’ve ever been. Might need to add an extra dessert to lunch is what I’m thinking.”

Did you subtract for the sweater?

ONE HUNDRED AND FIVE is my final offer.


Copyright © 2009-2010 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 5 months ago at 10:24 pm.

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Granny Marnie and I at a party

Dear Diary,

Do you know the amount of tedious labor that’s involved in getting my granny Marnie (electric scooter girl) and my MIL Ru (dementia) ready for a party these days?  Oh what a joke you guys because I have to be so organized with the schedule for nails and hair. Plus I have to make sure everyone has their eyebrows drawn on correctly or see to it that their eyebrows are drawn on with as close of an approximation to some brown hue, as opposed to say.. experimenting at the last minute with Estee Lauder Red Poppy lip liner because SOMEONE thought she read somewhere that it would really make her eyes POP. Oh yeah Ru.. but you’re NOT Marilyn Manson now are you? So I suggest we take them off and try it again. K? This is where I totally get into character and start being all beauty salon technician— seating Ru in a special chair in her bedroom that I like to call my.. SPECIAL CHAIR.

“Hello? I’m sorry.. what did you say your name was again? I need to check my book to see what time your appointment is. Hmmmm.. Have you been here before? OOPS. NEVER MIND.. That was a dumb question. Who are you seeing today Ru?”

“Who am I seeing? Heh heh heh..Wouldn’t YOU like to know? Let’s see.. I think his name is..”

ME: (rolling eyes towards heavens) Nooooooo. Who’s doing YOUR hair and face today? Come on Ru.. just be with me won’t you in our own completely bogus reality. Even though I know it’s QUITE the departure from how you USUALLY live your life. Feh. This is now a beauty salon and I’m your girl. So.. who are you here to see today?

RU: I don’t know.. I forgot her name.

I get all set up with my supplies and begin to scrutinize the birthday girl’s features.. with the well trained eye of a seasoned con artist. Yuh huh. Have no freakin idea what kind of FACE I’m supposed to create with a tube of gunked up foundation from 1983 with some mighty nice (putting on back of wrist for skin match) GREYISH undertones. For the girl that wants that pasty I’M JUST DECEASED but ready to rock the town.. look. OMG. What’s THIS? A blush compact.. which people I totally recognize as this gift with purchase from my Clinique mascara a few years back. Neon magenta typically is the MOST flattering to all complexion types.. so maybe I’m doing something wrong because as I finish sweeping the pink powder on the apples of Ru’s cheekbones, in kind of a backwards “C” towards her eyes. You know.. like all the magazines tell you to do.

Granny’s all “well? How do I look?” Gah. I HATE really hard quizzes when I’m focusing. I stepped back (tripping over my purse) to ponder this question and WHO pokes her little blue-foiled head in the door to advise? But only the top ROAM (Random Occasional Accidental Memory) floor fashionista herself.. Marion.

“Who the halle smacked her upside the head like that? Maybe you should blend all that purple and blue and.. (leaning in and breathing dragon breath) green eye shadow, together more and really make her look like she TOOK it h-a-r-d. She’ll get an extra dessert at lunch if you do. Do you want ME to show you.. here give me that tampon. The trick is to blend it and blend it.. so that it all looks like one big (stepping back to assess) Hahahaha.” Oh shut it Marion. Obviously some people don’t keep up with the latest looks in VAGUE. I think Ru looks.. dramatic.

Wouldn’t you guess.. Ru’s BUSTING with excitement to go show off her look downstairs and I have no choice but to go along with her— of course keeping a safe distance between myself and my MIL. So people don’t get the wrong idea and think I beat her up or something. Unfortunately as we enter the All You Can Eat (and shove in your purse for later) free cookie and tea room there’s this group of about ten guys sitting around totally checking out Ru and pleeeeeze don’t think for a minute she MISSED that! Because.. of her AHBAD. Alzheimer’s Halted By Adorable Dudes. Hel-lo-oh? No way she’s gonna not slow WAYYYY down as she passes the table so they can get a real GOOD look of her YOUTHFUL beauty and totally real teeth.

“Look at all of you. I could cryyyyyy. Thank you so much for being here (shaking hands) and giving me SUCH a fantastic party and I want you all to just kick back (not too far) and enjoy yourselves. You can hand the gifts you brought to my DIL so you don’t forget to later.” *wink wink*

I’m looking at these old guys who have these blank (er) stares on their faces and chime in with my youthful fakey chirpy voice, “It’s Ru’s BIRTHDAY today. Isn’t that AWESOME? How about we do something for her?” They’re looking at me as if to say, WHAT exactly did you have in mind lady?

Ru has this devilish grin on her face that screams, YES! Score! You found my birthday present.. now see if you can finesse it a bit— get him to put on the SPEEDO tank and squeeze himself inside my cake and we’ll be good.

MIL Ru waiting for dude to jump out of her cake.

We stand there and wait for some kind of response. Anything. Then this one guy.. who’s been looking in his pocket the whole time for what.. his cell phone? Car keys? Ohhhh wait. Magnifying glasses and THOSE won’t be helping our cause at all. Peers over at Ru and says, “How old are you anyway?”

Oh I’m so sure. Who asks a question like THAT and thinks they’re going to get an answer that’s within ten to twenty years of said WOMANS real age.

“I turned NINETY-SEVEN today.”

Say wha? You’re eighty-two.

RU: Who cares how old I am.. did you hire me my little “birthday wish” yet? You REMEMBERED didn’t you?

Yeah. About that. Not happening granny.

Ru made a point (to the whole dementia floor and all the staff) about what she wanted MOST for her birthday. After I got over the initial shock and started to think it might be doable.. the last I heard he got busted and has a court appearance booked for today so he can’t make it. Drat.

Party pooper.


Copyright © 2009-2010 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 6 months ago at 8:47 pm.


Time of the MONTH

My MIL Ru checking out the..TV.

Dear Diary,

Can I just tell you right now that every single woman up on ROAM (Random Occasional Accidental Memory) floor at Happy Daze Assisted was having her PERIOD today. I don’t know what the HALLE is going on. I’m standing there in the middle of the dining room looking around for my MIL Ru and out of NOWHERE people— for no stinkin reason other then what I suspect is Auntie Flo’s ghost come to visit.. Faye, with this glazed fury look in her beady little eyes takes her walker from behind and bashes it full strength right into my cankles. AAACK. Drat it Faye. H-E-L-L-O I’m standing here woman. Could you have not GONE around me perhaps.. instead of trying to run me down in front of all these (cheering) witnesses and leaving me for dementia floor road kill. To which Faye, the kindly, old and feeble woman answers, “Well then MOVE your fat ARSE out of my way next time why don’t you. I have no other way to get around you.” Right Faye. No other way. Everyone’s sitting at the tables and you’re in a small space that can only accommodate a.. GOVERNORS Inaugural Ball (if they ever so chose to have one here..har har). Such the nice try.

I guess my yelps of pain sounded familiar to Ru because she looks up from the far end of the dining room and upon seeing me all doubled over (picking up my fallen .20 cents in tips off the floor).. starts yelling, “Help! Help! She’s fallen and she can’t get up”. Could we please be a little MORE dramatic when we scream that Ru? Just in case it takes a few DOZEN staff to come quickly sauntering in from all corners and gather around you waiting for further direction.. in roughly (checking watch) five to ten minutes.

Fortunately granny who wastes no time when a human LIFE (responsible for her basic comforts and beauty maintenance) is at stake, decided to take matters into her own hands and ask for a FASTER assessment by (looking around the room)

“YOU there. The enthusiastic girl with her hand raised yelling ME! ME! Quick.. off you go.” Faye— the conscientious hit and run felon HERSELF was going to take time out from downing her tables chocolate pudding surprise and check up on me. I. Am. Honored. She’ll enjoy doubling back to no doubt FINISH her work I would think. Faye decides to add MORE salt to the wound by whispering under her breath while smiling and flashing the thumbs UP sign to Ru, “Oh get off the floor. You’re nothing but a big baby.. like your sister over there in the hallway.. what-chu-ma-call-it. She’s been sitting on the kiss and cry bench sobbing her heart out because she doesn’t know where the TV REMOTE went to and she wants to change the channel on the FISH TANK. Hmpf. Why don’t you go help her and make yourself useful for a change.”

Hey Faye.. I know. Why don’t YOU roll John off the couch and curl up with a Hot Water (and Tonic) bottle. Maybe pop a few MIDOL. K?

As instructed I brought Beth— also known to answer to the name of WHAT-CHU-MA-CALL-IT (a nickname given to her by her BEST friend, WHAT’S-HER-FACE) back into the dining room after making a completely bogus promise that at my earliest convenience I would track down a Ti-Vo and hook it up to record What Not to Wear..from the fish tank when it comes on. Well, what would you have me do? It all sounded perfectly legit—throwing real technical terms like that around.. plus the “girl drama” stopped for a few seconds.. so chill. You should have seen her face when I’m all, “Beth.. just after the part when the little Orange fishy floats up to the top and gets eaten by the blue one.. YOUR show will be on. Cool. Huh? Not only THAT sweetie.. we’ll be able to fast-forward through all the commercials with my new state of the art, soon to be installed— UGGS shoe box. It should work real well balancing on top of the water pump. Want some chocolate?

I had to BRIBE my MIL with a Snickers before SHE caved and agreed to let.. What’s your name again dear?

(sniff sniff) Buh-uh-uh-uh (sniff)-ethh .. wait here it comes. One, two, three HOOOONKKKK. Ewwww.. Gross.

As I was saying.. BETH, sit down next to her. Ru has a realllly long selective memory.. and if it’s one thing she won’t forget it’s our little friend WUSSIE faces’ penchant for being a full on.. as Ru delicately puts it, “pain in the butt.” Fine Ru.. have it YOUR way. I guess (sarcasm drip) I could seat her next to your SHARED boyfriend Wilbur (drip) and see to it that she receives the proper comforting we all know she deserves (splat).

Way to get Granny’s panties in a bigger bunch.. ME. Ru’s like THIS I’d like to see you try. GO AHEAD. You won’t be able to pull Selma out of his face anyhow. This was so very true. Selma was all worked up spitting venom at poor Wilbur, “Don’t you DARE tell me I’m being moody and irrational. You keep THIS up.. you’ll be sleeping on the couch tonight mister.” Poor Wilbur get’s this look on his face like, LADY where the heck do you think I sleep EVERY night? Then reaches in his pocket and produces the two missing TV clickers and shuffles towards Ru’s table seeking asylum with friendlier nations.

“What time is kick off.. do you know?” Ru turns to him and full of snark replies, “Anytime you want to lean over.. we can make it happen.”


Copyright © 2009-2010 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 6 months ago at 9:36 pm.

1 comment

Happy Birthday Granny

My MIL Ru had a fantastic birthday right up to the point when SOMEONE took it upon herself to answer questions for the birthday girl.. that she probably would have been able to answer HERSELF. Maybe MARION.. had you given her more then THREE seconds before shouting out the WRONG answer she could have pulled it off WITHOUT your help. Ever think of THAT you little svengali?

Not only that.. my guess is that you shot out “NINETY-TWO” in some pathetic attempt to confuse Ru more and make YOURSELF feel better. Did you stop there? Ohhh noooo you most certainly did NOT. You transfer your own selfish desires to my MIL.. thinking somehow she could make it happen for the BOTH of you, with the whole “WISH for a GOOD LOOKING MAN” instruction. Hmpf. I’m sure my MIL would n-e-v-e-r even think to wish for something like THAT..
after she already asked me to pick one up to jump out of her cake.

Posted 14 years, 6 months ago at 10:02 pm.

1 comment

Mad Hatter

My MIL Ru pitching the totally fab.. RU VISOR

Dear Diary,

First off.. I’d like to thank Happy Daze Assisted Living for really zeroing in on and bringing to LIFE a hidden talent in my MIL Ru (dementia) that quite frankly I had no IDEA existed. One can only imagine the tremendous JOY and yes, PRIDE I get from being accosted by an over zealous sales girl shoving this gaudy foam VISOR at me, the very SECOND I walk into her room on the ROAM (Random Occasional Accidental Memory) floor. So what do I do? I let out some obligatory OOOHHHH’S and AHHHH’s.. which MAYBE I overdid a smidge— because then Ru starts PITCHING me the selling points of said HAT. Leaning in really close, I swear she was basically flaying me with the merchandise. Then she’s all—LOOK HERE what’s-your-face. I want you to know this VISOR was l-o-v-i-n-g-l-y hand made by me and I painstakingly added all these little die-cut foam shapes. Look.. it’s an adorable little turtle and the smiley face guy. I affixed them to the visor MYSELF. Hmpf. Wellllll?

This is the part where my CLERK goes all (more) delusional on me and starts DEMANDING I cough up the purported RETAIL asking price for her one of a kind, SIGNED for authentication purposes “work of art”. No kidding you guys. It’s almost as if she doesn’t know how to do business with a wise and LUCID customer after trying to pitch Walter and George all day. Pash-awww. Think. Granny. Why would they want to buy YOUR marked up 1000% special hat (with nary a rhinestone I might add), when they already have their own subpar (covered with all kinds of crap) “hood” which I heard (while sitting on the bench by the fish tank) they’ll turn around and SPIN to a hard up SELMA.. who dumped glue all over hers as per USUAL.

So.. in my own very easy ZEN way, I set Ru straight..

“What are you NUTS? Get a life granny. I’m SOOOO sure. You know what YOU’RE doing? You’re u-s-i-n-g dementia art projects that took all of FIVE minutes as a way to extort $25 bucks from your own FAMILY. Shocking.”

Ru looks at me with her world famous KITTY EYES and says, Nahhhhh. I don’t THINK I ever had that thought. Just go ahead and take a good look at this one-of-a-kind, hand crafted, piece of art. When you think of it as an INVESTMENT piece that you’ll wear and enjoy FOREVER on the courts.. it makes SENSE to pay top dollar. Nowwww what’s your decision?

Yah huh.. that could work except for one small detail. I don’t PLAY tennis. Remember? Too “CLUMSY” somebody once told me. Ring a bell?

GAAAAAAA. Fine. You take lay-a-way?

I’m SURE the asking price is due to granny thinking that she had a LIVE one with deep pockets (judging by my really expensive borrowed plastic G.I. Jo watch no doubt). Little did she suspect that I’m but a mere TIRE KICKER, with no real intention to purchase.. not now. Not ever. Period. Ummm.. also granny my husband (your SON) has told me repeatedly that I’m to make no unnecessary purchases on a whim without prior joint discussion. K? Period. Plussssss.. OMG I left my wallet in my suitcase headed for Tahiti.. do you take credit cards? Period.

After you tell the straight up truth.. because (sing song voice) HONESTY is the best policy (snort). The next step, MY Sandwich Generation friends.. if this situation should everrrrr happen to you. Would be to PROMPTLY and without delay.. re-direct. Re-FREAKIN direct.

Ru decided on second thought (Cuz there HAD to be more then ONE) that I was indeed a pathetic lookie loo and decided instead to GIFT me the visor. On one condition. That I walk up and down the hallways to MODEL her work and then hit the dining room for the FINALE. No problem until I caught a glimpse of Ru standing behind me in the mirror making a lovely “P” shape with her fingers on her forehead. That I have no DOUBT was intended to be an “L” for LOSER sign, but the signals got crossed. Granny’s all, I don’t know what YOU’RE talking about. I had a little itch on my eyebrow that’s ALL (cough cough).

Thank you Happy Daze for your great and I might add useful projects that produce a whole new crop of gifted and TALENTED designers (cons).. ready to take the fashion world by storm.

Be on the lookout for the new RU VISOR on your very own ROAM floor.

Coming soon!


Copyright © 2009-2010 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 6 months ago at 11:01 pm.

1 comment

To our Brothers and Sisters of Haiti

Lean on me

Lean on me, when you’re not strong..



Global Giving

Yele Haiti

We’ll help you carry on..

Posted 14 years, 6 months ago at 4:47 pm.


Picture of the DAY: Brow Beaten

Marnie Brows #1Marnie Brows #2

Scared.. MUCH? OK. Come back here.  I k-n-o-w how you guys like to voice your opinions.. especially when seated a safe distance away from the HORRIFIC reality that I do so enjoy on a daily basis. So here’s what I want you to do— Please look CLOSELY at the subtle differences in brow design that my granny Marnie (electric scooter girl) sported this morning. Yeah, it’s HARD to tell.. but even to the untrained eye you should be able to catch the interesting shading techniques done by TWO totally different makeup artists. Pfffft. I don’t want to give it all away.. but ONE set of brows greeted me at the door this morning with the wearer quite proud of the little “loopy” deal she painstakingly added to customize her own interpretation of Pretty Baby.. meets Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.. meets constipated LOOK. You’ll find it shocking that I didn’t share the same enthusiasm for her talents as she did— being one who feels that slasher brows have a tendency to look HARSH and yes, even a bit matronly on the.. LIVING.

I’ve been known to be wrong on occasion and for this reason I ask that YOU vote for the brows YOU think are the most attractive and flattering for the mature face. Keeping in mind all the while.. that if you screw me just to have a giggle.. and I’m FORCED to look at those slasher brows tomorrow— FORGET you people. I will so march her SCOOT her sorry little self BACK into the bathroom and scrub them the HALLE off.. a-g-a-i-n. That being said.. The POLLS are open.

Posted 14 years, 6 months ago at 10:03 pm.

1 comment


MarnieDear Diary,

Today found me standing in the hallway of granny Marnies bachelorette pad at KillJoy banging on the door for what had to be ten minutes while I waited with my ear pressed against the large wood door listening intently for anything that sounded like electric scooter sounds coming from the other side. Finally I hear the revving of a motor and the screech of breaks and what I’m sure was the smell of burning RUBBER as Marnie made her way to the door in a timely fashion. urrrrrrrrrr urrrrrrr Kbshhh. (wince. That had to hurt) Urrrrrk. Urrrrrr urrrrrrr Boooph (Cripes. ouch) Urrrrrk urrrrrrr urrrrrrr..

“Who’s there?”

Urrrrrk. Crsmshhh (moan).

“Marnie. It’s me. Are you ok?”

Urrrrrrrrr. Urrrrrrrr. Kpowwww. (Ga)

“I’m coming. Who’s there?”

“It’s MEEEEEE Marnie. Slow down, I have an hour.”

“Who’s THERE???!!”

Oh for GAWDS sake woman.. just get to the friggin door THEN we’ll talk.

The problem is— beside the obvious hand eye coordination necessary in turning the scooter in such a way as to avoid the.. walls (lamp, couch, wall hangings). Marnie has this really thick..well constructed (for obvious reasons) DOOR that she can’t HEAR anyone ANSWERING her questions through. Yet I, like the dummy I most certainly am.. continue doing just THAT. Answering. All to the rapturous and ultra supportive vocalizations of granny’s neighbors in 134 A-156L. Happy are they who can here my voice echo all the way down the hall in it’s thunderous booming whiny nasal for the duration of my now fifteen minute wait time. Dear Bertha.. ever the demure proper old gal that she is, peeks her little blue highlighted head out her door and gently reprimands me with some thinly veiled threat of either knock it the halle off.. because she doesn’t CARE who I think I am or she’s going to wake up her husband (96 year old Stanly) to come wheel himself over here this instant and kick my sorry arse. Bring it all I can say.

I hear one more final thump.. rattling of the doorknob and then sheer r-e-l-i-e-f.. followed by my own shrieks of terror as Marnies door swings open to reveal, sitting in the very seat of the electric scooter that MY grandmother usually sits is, no other then.. Mr. SPOCK himself. That’s right. You heard me correctly. Vulcan salutations to you oh dear sweet grandmother (spreading fingers apart). Um Marnie.. just for the record about how many times have I told you that a proper eyebrow shape involves AN ARCH. (spitting on tissue) What’s on here anyway? (scrubbing away at delicate eyebrow tissue) Permanent Sharpie marker? It was in the middle of trying to wipe the alien accoutrements off granny’s face that I realized that the perplexed look wasn’t budging.

“Oh. I’m so distressed, My thingy fell off my machine and I don’t know where it went.”

Yeah. That didn’t make much sense to me either.

“Marnie.. by THINGY do you mean DEALY? Or the much more common and easy to replace thing-a-ma-bob?”

I dug a bit further only to learn that the end part of Marnies electric scooter “stick shift” had flipped off and she had come up empty handed on her furious search for that little “thingy”. To me.. who has begun to think VERY fast on her feet, due in part to the process of evolution and survival of the fittest, this only signifies the need for some superficial SHOW of hunting for the gizmo.. followed by some creative replacement for a piece I know will never turn up.

Voila! The new and improved wine cork gearshift. Now with special black Sharpie pen coloring in black (found in the cosmetic bag). We’ll also throw in.. if you order now— your very own fantastic personally hand crafted swirly design on the top. Yup. Drat I’m good.

Marnie's new cork THINGY.



Copyright © 2009-2010 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 6 months ago at 10:56 pm.

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My MIL Ru.. checking YOU out.

Dear Diary,

My day started out with me over on Happy Daze Assisted’s— ROAM floor (Random Occasional Accidental Memory) shrieking to my MIL Ru (dementia).. full of shock and horror as we gazed into her closet together. “What do you MEAN you can’t remember what you used to put this Oscar de la Renta blazer with? Are you kidding? Think. Think hard. Could you have put it maybe with an off white cami or a black scoop neck silk shell?”

Ru’s just standing there racking her long term memory banks, which are SUPPOSED to be still able to put out all kinds of important data when called upon by the user. But at THIS.. my most important hour (since I’ve procrastinated as per usual), when I need to find something in the vintage section of Ru’s closet to wear to a party.. we had a drat hardware glitch.

All the signs were flashing SYSTEMS ERROR as granny, after fingering the texture of the black crepe material with satin cuffs for about at LEAST a full minute—which I cannot emphasize ENOUGH people.. given her talents and abilities, is absolutely ludicrous. Seriously, I’m thinking THIS. IS. IT. Anything over five seconds to pair a simple (yet elegant) blazer with a top, can only spell trouble.

Ru proceeded to shakily move towards her green and white hoochie cotton tank, with a look of “could this WORK?” written all over her pale and drawn face. She nervously inserts the tank into the jacket and fiddles with the jeweled buttons. My heart is pounding remembering (because SOMEONE has to) that perhaps THIS was the slide that I’ve been warned about. The one that can strike unexpectedly.. pffft and totally catch you off guard (only if you’re heads up your kazoo and you’re in total DENIAL, which I am most definitely NOT). Then your next task is to quickly readjust your expectations so as to not put added PRESSURE and induce performance anxiety in your senior.

“Oh my friggin LAWD Ru? H-e-l-l-o.. you can’t be SERIOUS? Are you going to tell me that you’d even THINK to go out to a formal function pairing those together? What would you put on the bottom.. tan CAPRIS and a ballet flat?”(snort)

Then I see Ru..who’s still deep in her trance like state (no need to insert JACK here) move with great inner fortitude and obviously some kind of dare I say, PLAN.. towards, a solid black trouser. Jeeeezus. Sheer GENIUS. Yeeeeees granny! I see where you’re going with this. I’m thinking if she picks up the faux jade cuff and the pair of black slides.. I’m going to have that coronary you’ve heard me refer to time and time again.

“First of all.. if it’s a formal— I’d consider going long (rubs smooth, freshly plucked jaw line) but the only long gown I have is pink and has LIPS on it and might FIGHT the h-e-a-r-t-s on the long terrycloth jacket (robe) if you wear them together. I might be tempted to put you in something more like THIS..”

See you guys? I got all worked up for nothing. Ha! It would be perfectly acceptable for me to wear a stripy tank with red knit (holding them up to get a better look) LEDERHOSEN and an orange floral print scarf.

I of course have only one thought at this point.. Go see what Blanche has next door in HER closet. Oh come on! I’m KIDDING. I’m just going to veer off for a sec.. It’s not the bestttttt idea to have too many choices in your seniors closet. Especially with dementia— given that excess can cause all kinds of confusion when your loved one rises to go out cruising the hallway at 2:00 am and needs to throw a little something “darling” on. To have to riffle through ten pairs of slacks (dark, light, tweed, denim) and about 15.. no, make that 20 assorted tops.. to find something both age appropriate (anywhere form 35-95 depending) and seasonal (always hot, humid and 85 inside) can lead to utter chaos, headaches and over medicating (you).

Ru’s still examining away.. all the contents of her rather full closet. Shoving this and that around like the SEASONED stylist that she is. When— shock of shocks.. she stops DEAD in her tracts as she comes upon a chocolate brown set of flannel pajamas with cupcakes on them. In all fairness.. these may sound a tad UGLY but oh people.. they are no more disturbing to look at then those fleece onsies everyone’s wearing.. SNUGGLIES. Bah. Granny takes the hanger with the PJ’s attached and starts waving it in my face all, HOW did t-h-e-s-e get here again? I thought I threw them in Selma’s toilet.. but joy of joys here they are. Want them? Wait a minute. Are we discussing this again? (shaking head incredulously). Ru looks at me like it’s ME that has cognitive impairment (this is where you zippppp it friends) and is all smirks, “I didn’t KNOW we discussed it a first time.”

Oh yes dear MIL.. we most certainly DID. After you woke up in the middle of the night and in your sleepy state started shrieking, “What do I have ON? Dear GAWD. Who did this to me? These aren’t MY jammies.. they have cupcakes on them” Woke up the whole floor. Everyone was talking about it.

I’m still puzzled by my MIL’s abilities. We think it’s fine to dress with our shirt partially buttoned and our bra peeking out, “because they’re showing it in the MAGAZINES”, but the minute we see a pattern that’s slightly BOLD we let evvvvvveryone know of our displeasure. Hmpf. My Sandwich Generation, don’t EVER think you know what’s coming next for you in the way of eldercare and your seniors aging pattern. If you think about it.. the element of surprise is p-r-o-b-a-b-l-y the best way to go. Please remember (cuz you CAN) to keep it simple.. and take it ONE step at a time.

Cupcakes anyone?


Copyright © 2009-2010 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 6 months ago at 7:44 pm.



Granny Marnies diet breakfastDear Diary,

I’m highly perplexed because as I stand at the entrance of KillJoy Senior Living’s dining room I’m being greeted by a pair of beady, stabby with a dash of guilt ridden, EYES belonging to my Granny Marnie.. resplendent with dark brown penciled slasher brows (which obviously I can’t take credit for). Truth be told, there’s actually MORE then one pair of beady stabby eyes with crappy brows.. but THAT pseudo friend of Marnie’s, Gertie, ALWAYS has that look of gastrointestinal distress or a bad case of hemorrhoids (the choice is yours) every time she sees me. OBVIOUSLY she’s still holding on to some petty grudge against me for not alerting her to the fact that she had a rather large quantity of NORTHERN quilted bathroom tissue hanging off the back of her polyester pants leg when we walked out of the ladies lounge together.

Excuse meee (sing song voice). Please don’t judge my actions until you get the full story. I didn’t SAY anything because.. b-e-c-a-u-s-e I couldn’t catch up to her. She was limping WAYYYYY too fast now that her cast is off and she’s figured out how to use that staff she wields like Queen Nefertiti to propel her across the floor. Oh pleeeeeze. You know what the Toilet Paper Madam said to me under her breath when we were all seated at the dinner table? She’s like, “Dear, you chew your food like cud” and I’m all, EXCUSE me? (Because I wasn’t sure I had heard right) Then she does one of THESE.. “What? Huh?” Obviously Marnie and the assorted 6-8 OTHER hard of hearing GOT it the first time. Hahaha. Cackle.. much.

As I walk closer to Marnie I see she is determined to try and pretend she didn’t see me and is bending down in her electric scooter to.. roll under the table. Not a stunt that I feel comfortable recommending to anyone sporting a hairpiece that is held in place by a singular hair.

“Ummmm. Marnie. Lose something down there or.. stuffing a few (dozen) SPLENDA packs into your bag? Here (hands over salt shaker). This is the match to the one you have upstairs.”

I happen to know when something is about to go down. Call it my sixth sense or call it being welcomed by the front desk staff with a complete shock and AWE greeting of, “How much has Marnie LOST? Oh emmm geee! She’s going to be down to NOTHING at this rate.”

Then I look at the receptionist like dude SERIOUSLY? Because you know.. she only plays BRIDGE for nickels right? I mean.. on a really pathetic day (which I may add NEVER happens) she stands to walk (whizz) away from the card table seventy-seventy-five CENTS in the hole at the very MOST. Hardly enough to hawk her scooter and dig out the knee and elbow pads.

Apparently SOMEONE in an attempt to fool herself into thinking she might actually lose 15 lbs of “water weight” in under a week.. increased the stakes a touch— by blabbing her lofty GOALS to a few choice individuals. Now KillJoy maintenance, housekeeping, nursing, book keeping, Jo Shmoe the cable man, the gardener and (as I later came to learn) the Access city bus guy.. all are keenly aware of Marnies highfalutin promises to herself and are impressed beyond measure at her amazing FIVE-pound loss in thirty-six hours. Imagine all these great results from my innocent sweet little granny sitting here next to me dropping ONE, TWO, THREE.. no wait. FOUR sugar cubes in her six-ounce coffee. No doubt, to replenish the lost carbs from her “STRENUOUS” workouts on the “machine” (Treadmill according to the mail chick. Pflugg)

Hey granny I hear you’ve advertised that the “seated, with arm mobility only” contraption has “helped you drop a pant size in two (cough) days (cough, bull.. cough, sh.. cough, hack). Congrats.” Another incredible weight loss story people.. from the girl who has a tendency to make bogus resolutions KNOWING full well that in roughly three to five business days they’re going to be chucked out the window like yesterdays fruit cake and replaced by admissions of FORGETFULNESS.

“Ma’am.. here is your eggs Benedict with a half a quart of crème sauce dumped on top to help hasten a coronary. A side of well-done bacon, for a touch of atherosclerosis and ummmm let’s see. What did I forget? Oh YES! The extra jumbo hurkin cinnamon roll you asked to be wrapped up to go for your afternoon workout. I’ll just run and get your prunes.. anything else I can do for you?”

I’m staring at Marnie transfixed. Unable to squelch the amused smile playing around my lips and a look in my eyes pretty much asking the question that I’m SURE you’re thinking.. ZOMG! ARE YOU KIDDING?????? Marnie who hath no shame says to the waiter while looking him straight in the stomach (higher.. there ya go) eyes..  all defensive and full of (fill in the blank) and indignation too..

“I’m sorry but you must have the WRONG table. Uhhhhhh. I ordered the plain oatmeal with a side of steamed non-fat soy like I get EVERY morning. (wink) Go find out who ordered this before it gets cold and I’ll just wait for mine. Ohhhh Wait. (Looks at me) Deeeeaaaaaarrrrrr.. would YOU like to have this?”

I swear.. can you even get over the nerve? The poor sweet KillJoy waiter was NOT getting Marnies body language AT ALL. The shrugs, the bottom lip pout, the winks. What’s with the winking Marnie.. you plan on slipping him a quarter when my head is turned for his l-o-y-a-l-t-y?

Granny (woefully) turned away our sweet and sorely MISTAKEN waiter.. who did indeed decide it was best to leave the heart attack on a plate for me and emerge a few minutes later with Marnies delicious and full of visual appeal, bowl of groats. Not thrilled with her lumpy bowl of lukewarm oats, Marnie predictably turned her sites to my side of the table and began to eye my every move with what I’m sure can only be categorized as.. LUST. Apparently it’s just been recently discovered that to lose weight not only must you watch what you eat.. you must monitor what everybody eating AROUND you is eating and remark on the nutritional information and how it will help increase the size of my THEIR already rather “BIGGISH posterior”. Meh

It was a lovely way to start the New Year. But don’t think for even a minute, that I would leave a perfectly good cinnamon roll sitting in some dark kitchen to meet it’s end in the trash. As we made our way out (in reverse mode) of the dining room, I promptly told grandma I forgot something and before I could go running back to retrieve my reward, she reaches into her bag..

“Looking for THIS?”


High FIVE granny.


Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted 14 years, 6 months ago at 10:11 pm.

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