All posts tagged old

At The Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale

Published April 17, 2012 by Sandee


Grandma Hattie finally got her eye classes from the optician at the Hebrew Home for the Aged at Riverdale.  She lives here.  I went with her today for her exercise class on the terrace overlooking the Hudson River.  Debbie would lead the class in exercises today.  We walked to the terrace through the hall in a procession of oldsters, some in wheelchairs, others pushing walkers, and the others walking slow as hell.  Grandma Hattie was behind me.  “Your hair looks terrible,” she said.  “Well your wig looks terrible!”  I said it loudly because she needs a hearing aid but won’t wear one.  She’s stubborn sometimes I think just to exercise her right, even when it doesn’t make any sense.  My grandma and I have a history of bickering, but I love being around her.  I see her once a week during good times.

I know the exercise teacher Debbie outside of the Hebrew Home because she visited where I work often.  I work at a botanical garden also overlooking the Hudson only a half a mile away from the Hebrew Home.

After Debbie and the nurse’s aids sat all of the oldsters out on the terrace, she started her old people work-out routine.  They stay in the chair the whole time.  She did arms, neck, hips, legs, waist, and head things.  I did them to encourage my g’ma to do them because she had said “I don’t feel like doing no exercising.”  But sometimes all you need is a little push, I say.  My Grandma Hattie was on the left and there was another old lady Hattie on my right it turns out.  My Grandma Hattie is 90 years old.  She sat with her hand under her chin for the first round of exercises but warmed up slowly and began doing them.  It was warm today, an unnatural 85 degrees.  I didn’t like it.

I did the exercises with the oldsters and was worried because I began to tire out.  I was relieved when the good-natured exercise teacher Debbie said that she was wearing herself out as well.  She huffed out in exhaustion after reps of leg lifts from her chair.  I jog and work out, but I’m mentally wearing myself out which helps in weakening my  stamina – those exercises went on for a half an hour and damn if I wasn’t through!  I wonder if it can count as a legitimate workout for me today…

The Properties of a Buffoon

Published April 7, 2012 by Sandee


I wonder.  Does a person go to hell for laughing and being insensitive about people’s infirmities?  You can use your imaginations regarding the particular infirmities.  But I did, today — now I’m scared.  And I’m a wee bit concerned about bad karma too.  Granted – one of the ‘infirm’ people I believe deserved it – in his rendition of what he thought to be an alpha male, he actually demonstrated the properties of a buffoon. Believe me I have a long history with this person and his buffoonery – I’m not excusing the possibility that I might have been insensitive.  I didn’t laugh in his face – I laughed when I got home, far far away from him.  Damn, I wish I could irreverently relay what the fuck actually happened – I do a pretty damn good impression of this person and his infirmity.

To be fair and understanding of my position – my ninety year old grandma laughs at the people in her senior home all the time.  They’re all infirm.  Oh, but I know, I’m not her.  Right?  Plus she’s a little senile and I’m not (I don’t think).

Okay, well, the other person that I’m referring to I didn’t laugh at.  She actually was old, and her ‘infirmity’ interrupted my morning bus ride to work dammit.  Please have sympathy for me as it was early, I hadn’t slept the night before, and for Christ’s sake, I was going to work!  Bad karma, I imagine, would involve me contracting these very infirmities…

What a dumb ass

Published April 6, 2012 by Sandee


He took a shower first — came out wearing a towel.  “Do you want something to wear to bed?”  I say.  “No, that’s fine,” he said in his Swedish accent.  He has something in his bag to put on, I think, and go in to take my shower. After, I put on ‘sleeping’ gear and came out into the room.  He was in bed with the blanket over him.  There was an electrical storm.  Very romantic. Loud thunder, lightening bolts, heavy rain.  I have a nice view, so I pulled the blinds up all the way so that we could see the storm.  He was my friend’s cousin from Sweden, biracial, six foot two or three, handsome, lean, tone. My friend lived on the floor below.

This guy and I had spent the day together, and he decided to stay with me overnight instead of at his cousin’s.  Just because.  He was seven years younger than I was.  He was enchanted by being in the U.S., by the prospect of getting to know an American woman by eating dinner with her and sleeping in her bed.  I thought, “Well, he’s European.  I think that they sleep platonically with people because they’re more sophisticated.”  So I climbed in the bed, inches away from him, and we marveled at the storm and talked.

Fifteen or so minutes later, he got up to go to the bathroom. The storm was raging and the lightening flashed throughout my apartment.  He came out of the bathroom and was illuminated.  He was naked.  And hung.  I didn’t know he was naked.  Fuck, me.  But did we, do anything?  Noooo.  What, was I trying to prove how pro-gressive I could be?

What if it was the “Swedish” way to wait for the maiden to make the first move and I didn’t do it!  What if his etiquette prescribed that the hostess should make the first move, and I didn’t do it!  Ohhh, the pain, when I think of this today…  All that thunder and lightening!  What could have been!

Yes, I am “dumb ass.”   Oh, I want this to happen now…I want it to happen now.  All these years later and this dawns on me today, April 5th, 2012.  Eighteen years later.  But it’s too late.  I’m old now.  I’m old now.  This opportunity will never present itself again…