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?


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


3 Replies

  1. I love old people’s clothes. Both of my grandmas wear the funniest looking garb. They need some help.

  2. Adrienne Jan 7th 2010

    Lauren.. my MIL has the BEST taste. If I had her wardrobe I. Would. die.

  3. Oh man, not my grandmas. My maternal Grandma has the lumpiest (is that even a word?) wardrobe. We’re talking ugly Xmas sweaters but year-round and mu-mus and she’s not even a big woman! And the hats! Oh deargod the hats.