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Meal Pass

Waiting for Lunch GuestsDear Diary,

Lunchtime over at Happy Daze Assisted Living (floor ROAM) is a real treat for the guest LUCKY enough to score an invitation. Even Granny Marnie (electric scooter bound and reckless)..who herself already lives in the much ado-ed and incredibly pretentious Killjoy Assisted Living (motto: If old age doesn’t do it..we will.) will “stoop” to great lengths to gate crash (or just crash) into this must be seen exclusive lunching haunt. I think I overheard Shirley say the much coveted meal pass is going for about $15 on the “open” market these days. That’s like…ten strands of green tin beads in ROAM floor currency. Doesn’t really matter how you get in to the dementia dining hall, it’s really all about how you survive once you’re there. Don’t let me scare you. Sure, it can be a bit intimidating at first. Everybody is staring at you all “What is SHE doing here? ” and “Who does she think she is?” Remember, it’s not being mean spirited, they’re only saying that because they don’t have a clue themselves who THEY are and WHAT they’re doing there. But, if you end up at the “choice” table you’ll already be looked upon by the rest of the group as highly special and one of the elite so you can relax just a spot and enjoy the meal.

Every time, before I sit down, it is paramount that I make “the rounds” if I wish to enjoy my meal (avoid acid reflux). This is the first piece of dementia floor etiquette to note. Always introduce yourself. No. Not just to YOUR table. Get up and go to each and every lady and the gentleman and tell them who you are and state your title and business. Example:

“Well hello______(fill in the blank with residents name for higher marks.) I’m Adrienne and I belong to Ruth. Ruth is my MOTHER-IN-LAW.”

You must state your title clearly and hope that your senior has high social ranking in the group. If not.. You’re screwed. The minute you turn your back to walk away they are SO going to talk about you and it won’t be pretty. Because my Ruth has very high standing, I can turn my back with confidence and know that Selma will not be talking trash to Blanche when I’m out of ear shot. Ha.

“I’m here because..”

Make this good. Don’t just say, “I’m here because I’m hungry and I heard you have good fries.” Use your creativity.

Say THIS: “I have missed you all so much. You can’t imagine how droll my friends are compared to you. There is always so much knowledge that I gain by spending time here in your company. Thank you for having me. Is that a new blouse?”


Now, just don’t say another word. Zzzzzippppp. Shhhhhhush. The key to your success or failure at lunch, is knowing when to just say enough. Too much and your going to illicit serious eye rolling.  Maybe even a little shouting if you’ve hit a bad “Faye” day. “Ahhh sit DOWN and be QUIET already. Don’t you know when to shut-up? Bring us our dessert if you want to be helpful.”

On the flip side— is not ENOUGH gab. Too little talk and someone will inevitably shout “What’s a matter with her? Doesn’t she understand English?” Just sit there and take in the flow of the conversation before you step in the river.

RUTH: We were supposed to have a bus ride today. I guess the bus must have broken down again.

SHIRLEY: What do you mean? We had a bus ride. We went to..Where did we go?

GRETA: We went to exercise class with Teddy upstairs.

RUTH: Oh. Is that where we went on the bus ride? To exercise class. Yeah. I remember. What did we do there?

BERTHA: What did we do where dear?

RUTH: At exercise class?

BERTHA: We didn’t HAVE exercise class..b-e-c-a-u-s-e we had a bus ride.

All I can say is thank the higher powers that be for TUMS, my bottle of MOTRIN and my cell phone. Who’s going to notice me texting my husband Steve who unfortunately could not join us this afternoon but begged me to relay every single detail of my conversation so he didn’t feel excluded in any way!

“What’s she doing there?” shouts Faye. Rats! Ruth being the tech-savvy chick that she is blurts back, “What does it look like she’s doing? She’s texting.” Way to go Ruthie. You tell her. “Are you doing that twitter? Here let me get on.” OOPS:( How does Ruth KNOW about twitter? Gulp. Probably because she’s DOING IT..Meet “dementiachick“. Cripes! SHE has more followers then ME. Yeah. I know—pathetic. Have to admit her tweets are slightly amusing.

Now Ruth will launch into her explanation of social networking. This is the fun part. I get to see Ruth in the educator role and she is always so clear and concise in her teaching methods. She explains (very well I may add) how I type on the little typewriter all sorts of very important “codes” so that everyone who follows me will know what I’m doing because (these are my words now) “I’m a very important person and people like to know how I spend my time.” Hey. Why fight it.

My Sandwich Generation ladies, (who may or may not lunch)..Having your meal with family is such a great time as long as you remember the basic and old fashioned rules we learned as children: A. Only speak when spoken to. B. Out of site out of mind..out of hitting range. C. Don’t talk with your mouth full..keep your mouth always full. D. You can only be excused when everybody’s done..So bring your phone and text discreetly. Lunch goes on right through till dinner.

Plop Plop Fizz Fizz,


Posted in Uncategorized 14 years, 7 months ago at 10:54 pm.


2 Replies

  1. I’m new to your blog but wanted you to know how much I enjoy it. Reading it makes me think of talking with my sisters because you tell your stories in the same way we do and that cracks me up. Thank you for sharing your witty observations—they make my day.

  2. Adrienne May 15th 2009

    A very big thank you ” l. Holm” for your kind comment. I’m so very glad that you came by to visit Granny and enjoyed. I really am grateful to have the opportunity to create a little more laughter in our readers day and it is a pleasure to get the great news that it’s happening.
    Wishing you all the best! Please feel free to share with your sister!

    Adrienne Schoenfeld