Sunday Post 160: They’re Getting Older

It’s interesting to watch your parents get old.  I imagine my kids feel the same way.

One of my “second” moms growing up died recently.  It broke my heart.  Doesn’t seem like so long ago when we were vacationing together at Litchfield beach – playing cards, sitting by the pool, eating dinner at that humongous picnic table.

One year when in my teens, we were playing a huge game of Spoons.  It is a card game where you work to get four of a kind.  There are one fewer spoons scattered on the table than there are players.  The first person getting all four of one card quietly grabs a spoon and then, anyone can snatch one.  The player left without a spoon is the loser.

On this particular day I was rushed out of the bathroom and threw on a robe – just a robe – don’t ask me why.  Being relatively competitive, I jumped across the table to grab the only utensil left.  My robe flew above my waist exposing all of what should have been private to my mom, my friends and my mom’s friends.  Yes, I inadvertently showed my mother’s friends my business in order to win a card game.

Sweet moment – well sort of – gone by.

When do your parents stop caring for you and you start caring for them?

I’m not there yet with my folks, but when their friends get down, it makes me think.

My dad’s heart is now a stent farm.  My mom is well save her hip issues, massive allergies, swallowing problems, her teeny bladder – hmmm, maybe she isn’t well.

As much as they’ve done for me, the payback should be tremendous.

But, if I know them, there will be a limit to what they’ll allow my brother and me to do.

Whatever their issues, I’m game.  Yeah, I guess it is a responsibility and a duty to help, but that’s not why I’ll be there.  I’ll be there because I love them.  I’ll be there because they’ve been there for me.

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Sunday Post 155: Pleated in a Flat Front World

I recently went to the dry cleaner with my favorite khaki dress pants, the bottom half of my favorite suit.  The front pocket had a rip at the top – guess my money clip just got too heavy.

My friend behind the counter just shook her head; she doesn’t speak much English.  She turned the pants over and pointed.  I put on my glasses and got close.  She frowned as if I’d misbehaved.

There below her finger was a thread bare hole where my right rear cheek normally rests.

“Can you fix it?”

She glanced at me like I was crazy.

“No.”  Ha-ha-ha.

I hung my head and retreated to my car.  My favorite pair succumbed to my own behind.

I plotted my next move.  Khaki suit, gone.  The gray stripe is frayed at the cuff.  I might need a new suit or two.

I’d been shopping and saving, waiting for the bi-monthly Joseph A. Banks buy one get 67 free sale.  When it arrived, I jumped in my car and headed to Cameron Village.

I picked out four suits – all for the price of one!

The young salesman was great.  He stuck with me as I pondered my selections: khaki, a light gray, checkered blue and a deep charcoal.  He was patient.  I’m a slow shopper.

When I got into the dressing room, I tried on the first pair of slacks.  Flat front, no pleats.  Hummm.  Not a fan.  Their suits always have pleats.  I was feeling a bit encumbered.

This is the trim cut suit.  You can handle one pair of flat fronts.  I thought to myself.

The seamstress came out and pinned my trousers.  The jacket needed a quick fix too.

I headed back to change into the light gray.

These are flat front too!  Oh no.  I can’t breathe.  Everything’s all squished in.  I can bare-ly move my legs.

Before I went out I glanced at the blue checkered and the khaki – they were flat front too!

Ahhhhhhh.  It can’t be!  What has happened?  I can’t do this.

I stepped out.  My guy was waiting, dollar signs in his commission only eyeballs.

“I don’t like the flat fronts.  I’m feeling claustrophobic.”

“Nah man.  They look great on you!  You’re thin.  The pleats are for guys with big thighs.  That is definitely NOT you.”

He brought the seamstress out.  She agreed.

I glanced once more.  I felt my hips, stuck in position as if held in place by a straight jacket.

“I… can’t… do… this!”

I dropped trou and dashed back into my dressing room.  I pulled my left boot on as I dashed by the dress shirts, my guy nearly in tears.

Too often I live my life wearing pleats in a flat front world.  Sometimes, yes sometimes, you have to make a change.

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