Previous Post: Therapy Couch   Next Post: A Peachy Life

The Diva and the Wench

My Bar Wench Elizabethan CorsetDear Diary,

Some of us were blessed at birth..practically straight out of the womb.. with an exceptionally high level of grace, poise and also.. a staggering knowledge of social decorum. If there was ever a tiny child that DIDN’T mess her hair, stain her pristine whites with any kind of smeared snack food or let out ANY kind of bodily “noise” that was not considered ladylike it was my MIL Ruth. I am absolutely POSITIVE that when her mom went to burp her as an infant.. Ruth did one of these little..uuhhhh hummmm and just cleared her throat and put her little baby fist in her mouth. Ahhhh. Cute. Feh. Dementia has not changed her in the slightest.. leaving me to look like a pathetic inept bar wench to Ruth’s Cinderella whenever we’re seen together. Which is pretty much every day. So NOW you can understand why my self-esteem is completely in the toilet. Not there is ANYTHING wrong with bar wenching.. the Elizabethan corset is so adorable. I saw one that Dolce did last season—OMG. Fab. Just add the Calvin peasant skirt. H-e-l-l-o? Still.

I have had much opportunity to study my MIL and her refined ways over the years and have taken copious notes so that I may posses an intellectual working knowledge of what it takes to pull off the “haute socialite..I am SO the diva and a queen” ways.

Wear pearls at all times

This is a non-negotiable must do for any girl who wants to be stunning and be taken seriously..whether you live at Happy Daze Assisted Livings ROAM floor (Alzheimer’s) or not. There is some creative freedom in your choice of pearl color..Ruth prefers her strand to be long, plastic and in the beige and pink tones. This way..they GO with all your beige poly/rayon stretch pants,  cotton blouses and also— doggie and lips printed nighties. Oh. What? Were you thinking that you were to be able to REMOVE them when you sleep? Pflug. Sorry. You’re going to be sleeping in those babies. Let the pearls become one with you..they will never leave your person. Except maybe when you get your SHOWER assist. Then..and only THEN may they be removed for a short spell to avoid the paint from peeling of the pearl. It’s a common problem.

Make conversation with ALL of the little people

It will be very important to acquire the skill of polite conversation with any Tom, Dick and Edna whom you may encounter during the course of the day. Say goodbye to any inhibitions, fears and “we don’t talk to strangers” rules that have been put in place for your protection (by your overly cautious..some may say PARANOID, DIL). Just go on and walk over to any gentleman (sitting at a stop light holding a sign) and ask him how his day is and what he’s “been up to?” Or.. if he’s “HAD any business?” I’m sure you’ll raise his spirits and his hopes as he gazes at your fine accessories and flashing charismatic smile while you listen to his story as if you had known him for years..and used to entertain him and his wife “on the boat”.

Never leave your room without lipstick

I have never seen my MIL without her lips on. Wait. Yes. Maybe I have once..but those were SPECIAL circumstances because she was going into surgery to get her appendix out and she only had enough time to get her UPPER lip done before the pain overcame her and the ambulance driver rushed her so badly that she had to do the “press together” without full color saturation. Without having dementia I’m sure Ruth would relive this terrible day over and over. Remember this..if you forget all else—The color that is chosen should never be anything to bright (tangerine neon orange does NOT compliment your age and liver spots) or dark..which shouts out TRAMP and FlOOZY.. Loudly. This is a clear message people— to STAY farrrrrrr AWAY from MAC Cyber no matter how much you love the intense blackish-purple color and satin texture. The refined and classy women.. that you and I wish to be like.. choose soft and polished shades of frosty mid-tone pink like the Limited edition Hello Kitty Lipstick by MAC in Strayin..Ruths fave.

Sit with the right people and show restraint at mealtimes

Ruth n-e-v-a-h just sits at any table with random old CROAM-IES (cronies up on floor ROAM). What she WILL do.. is make the rounds to see how everyone is doing and take the time to introduce herself to all the “new and interesting” people she only has just recently become acquainted (three years ago). When rounds are complete.. is it acceptable to scour the joint for the most prestigious table to sit at and do so? Oh yeah. How do you no which table is the “right” table? Easy. You must find a table where all your friends are sitting UPRIGHT. None of this, “I didn’t get my morning nap.. so I’ll just catch a few winks before my cream of chicken soup comes.”..and drool all over my fake china place setting. Gro-tt-ie. Your meal companions should be great conversationalist— lending itself to stimulating and thought provoking dialogue..

Lady in green and brown plaid sweater: I heard Thelma’s son got into medical school.

Ruth: Reeeeeally? How old of a boy is he?

Dude in pants hoisted up to his neck with suspenders: Hey. THELMA. How old is your kid?

Thelma: Who me? My name’s NOT Thelma.. it’s SELMA.

Ruth: Thelma?

Thelma: Noooooo. S-E-L-M-A.

Ruth: Ohhhhhh. Selma.

Thelma Selma: What?

Ruth: uh. heh heh heh. I forgot what we were saying.

Once the food does arrive..you mustn’t think that’s your cue to dive in. A well bred woman waits for..for someone ELSE to start eating before she remembers begins to enjoy her own meal. I have a really challenging time with this as I do so ENJOY inhaling whatever is placed before me..and then helping myself to my neighbor’s plate unabashedly. Ruth does the opposite. She eats in small little bites..always chewing well the tiny bits of mystery meat the staff have so helpfully cut for her. Then using her napkin to dab at the corners of her mouth.. she keeps her face clean of any residual morsels that could adhere by accident. While on the other side of the table..in a universe far, far, away, her DIL..ME..is shoving the MONGO roll and butter (450 calories) in her mouth while hiding her face behind her napkin and dropping crumbs down the front of inside of her shirt. You can’t take me anywhere.

Dear elegant people of My Sandwich generation, some deep inborn qualities stay with us forever..even where dementia is concerned. If your senior has always been brilliant with the social graces then chances are you’ve got a Queen (or king) for life. Maybe a queen who forgets to put her slippers on the correct feet or pairs her Powder Blue cotton pants with a red cashmere sweater vest..but the royal tendencies shine through in all there glory. As for Me? There is nothing to be ashamed of sitting at the bar wench table and belching loudly because let’s face it..we can’t ALL be DIVAS.

Please excuse me..I’m done.

A

Copyright © 2009 My Sandwich Generation. All rights reserved.

Posted in Uncategorized 8 years ago at 11:43 pm.

Add a comment

Comments are closed.