I cannot seem to find a man, but there is never a shortage of little old ladies in my life. Little Old Ladies – (LOLs) reside in the apartment above me, below me, across the hall from me, and in other buildings. Thanks to my landlord, LOLs have heard I am a nice person and will help them – free of charge. And the landlord wonders why the rent is never paid on time.
These experiences with the elderly have resulted in me apprising my parents of the fact that when they are close to 75 years of age, I am going to divorce them. Sorry, but I will be retired from old people by then.
My current LOL tells me she is “running out of bottled water,” and needs to get to the store. However, I notice while in her apartment returning from shopping, she has 28 cases of it in her closet, which I hope she has left me in her will.
Going to the supermarket is an all day affair. Each item must be analyzed and debated over, although she has bought the exact same product for 42 years.
One trip was particularly frustrating. We had already been to one supermarket, but my LOL didn’t like the meat there, so off to supermarket number two we went.
Five hours later when we got to the register, my LOL said, “Oh, no. I forgot the cabbage. I can’t make the cabbage and noodles without the cabbage!”
“Of course you can’t you old bag. We were in the produce section for 45 minutes and you couldn’t get it then?” I am a terrible person for thinking that and even worse for saying it and know I will burn in hell, but hell will surely be more pleasant than these shopping trips.
“What was that dear? I forgot my hearing aid.”
I knew that.
By this time I was harried and frazzled and debating methods for her demise, but smiling sweetly always – because I’m a nice person.
Now I was faced with a real dilemma: do I offer to get the cabbage, way over on the other side of the store, and risk my LOL looking at the head of cabbage I’d chosen, inspecting it with a magnifying glass, frowning and shaking her head and telling me she would need to go back to produce and pick it out? Or do I let her walk all the way across the store at a rate of five steps per minute, while the other shoppers behind me stared and cursed at me? I went with the latter. Never attempt to pick out fresh fruit or vegetables for anyone over 60.
“You go ahead and get it, you’re better at picking cabbage out than I am,” I say to her. The eight or so people in line behind me are shaking their heads, swearing, and giving me dirty looks. They just don’t understand. Someday they, too, will have an aggravating old person in their life, and then they will get it.
I shrug and say to the line of shoppers: “Well, she does cook for me.”
We finally arrive back at the apartment and, as always, she cannot find her keys. She has a purse with more pockets than anyone can ever use in two lifetimes, and this is a constant source of trouble. Hands and arms full loaded down with her grocery bags, I can only shake my head in wonder and frustration at this happening, yet again.
I drop the bags, dump the contents out of one, and proceed to put a plastic bag over her head and tighten it. OK, I envision doing this but don’t actually do it. At least, not on this trip.
I do what I end up doing on every trip and fish my keys out of my pocket, all while balancing the numerous shopping bags and case of water, which tears open and bottles begin to fall out of my arms and roll down the stairs.
After numerous trips up and down the stairs, I am spent. In the next day or so, though, like a good dog, I get my reward. She is a good cook, and since I rarely cook, the homemade food she brings me is worth all the trouble.
I remember someday, I too, will be in my eighties (maybe) and am taking notes about where to place my keys and to remember to buy the cabbage while in the produce section.