Patsy Porco

Archive for the ‘Aging’ Category

Delayed Gratification

In Aging, Humor, Valentine's Day on February 14, 2017 at 3:17 am

It’s Valentine’s Day, otherwise known as the one day each year when couples over-spend in order to prove the depth of their love for each other.

After 25 years of marriage, I might be a little jaded, but my cynicism is practical. My husband and I haven’t stopped celebrating Valentine’s Day. We just move it forward by a few days. The date we celebrate depends on when Walgreen’s reduces the price of their Valentine’s candy by 75%.

I’m not crazy. Why would I settle for one small heart of chocolate that costs $20 when I can have a shopping-cart full of giant hearts for the same $20 a few days later?

I learned the hard way. In our first year of dating, my husband and I were on the way to dinner when he handed me a box of beautiful handmade chocolates (that his friend’s sister made and forcefully sold to all of his friends). I was touched. They were almost too pretty to eat. The candy set the tone for the evening. I was giddy with romance and anticipating our romantic dinner.

When we got to the restaurant, my husband gallantly came around the car to open my door. I stepped out of the car and the expensive candy which was on my lap fell onto the ground and scattered all over the parking lot. That was embarrassing. And expensive for my husband.

Now I get truckloads of marked-down candy that tastes as sweet as it would have on Valentine’s Day, and if I drop it in the street, it’s really no big loss.

candy-heart

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

In Aging on January 27, 2017 at 10:40 pm

I went to see an ear-nose-and-throat doctor today regarding my chronic sinus pain.

While I was at the reception desk, the woman checking me in, Mary, told me that I had an outstanding balance of $15.

“How can that be?” I asked. “I’ve never been here before.”

She looked at me in confusion. “Yes you were,” she said. “On December 5.”

“No,” I said. “I had an appointment, but when I called I was told it was canceled.”

We appeared to be at an impasse. “Oh, just go ahead and add it to today’s bill, and we can figure this out later,” I said.

Mary shook her head and ran my flexible-spending-account card through her credit card machine.

While she was busy, a doctor walked into the office and stood behind Mary. He looked familiar. Very familiar. Had I seen him on television?

Then I looked around the office. It seemed to me that I had seen the same coffee machine and basket of complimentary snacks before. That’s when it hit me.

“I have been here before!” I said. Mary looked up from her work with a wary smile. “This appointment is to review the results of the CAT scan I had!” I said. “It’s been so long since my last appointment that I forgot all about it.”

Mary glanced gratefully at the glass separating her from me and nodded.

“Sorry,” I said. “My Alzheimer’s is acting up.” She laughed, in a we’ve-all-been-there-before kind of way. But it wasn’t sincere. I have a feeling she talked about me after I left.

There’s something about doctors that brings out the crazy in me. It has the same effect on one of my sisters.

She recently went to the doctor and told him she suspected that she had a tapeworm. She said the doctor looked very nervous and asked her, “How do you think you contracted it?” He then headed to the sink to thoroughly wash his hands.

Somehow they determined that she did not have a tapeworm, so she broached her next concern. “Could I have an X-ray for lung cancer?” she asked him. When he ascertained that she didn’t have any symptoms that would call for such an X-ray, he suggested that perhaps she should go home and lie down.

As she was leaving, he asked, “Are you seeing anyone?”

“No!” my sister exclaimed. “I’m happily married.”

“I was talking about a psychiatrist,” the doctor responded.

doctors-office

Mother Nature Stole My Identity

In Aging, Humor on October 28, 2016 at 4:03 pm

Three things used to be as certain about me, as death and taxes are about life: I was 5’7-1/2, I had good legs, and I was a redhead.

Now, I am 5’6″ and my thighs hang over droopy knees. The height and leg thing happened a few years ago so, while I’m not happy about it, I’m learning to coexist with my new reality. At least I’m still a redhead, I told myself.

It turns out I was fooling myself.

Last weekend, I attended a pasta dinner, hosted by our state senator and his wife, at the local American Legion hall. I was seated with friends of mine. The mayor and his wife dropped into the hall for an hour or so to greet the voters. When the mayor got to our table, one of my friends asked him if he was happy about the referendum on this year’s ballot regarding extending the mayoral term from two years to four years.

He said that its approval was critical (politicians love the words “critical” and “efficacious”), because two years is not enough time to get anything accomplished. He said that his Republican predecessor appointed people to “very important commissions” right before he was voted out of office, and the terms for those commissions are for five years. Therefore, our Democratic mayor said, those appointees obstruct him at every turn. However, if he were elected to two four-year terms, he’d be able to get things done.

I jumped in and asked if it were possible to get the law changed so that they were appointed for four years.

He looked at me for a beat and then said, very slowly, “Mayors aren’t appointed. Citizens vote for their mayors.”

I bit back my reflexive retort of “No sh*t, Sherlock,” tried to rearrange my facial expression into a pleasant one, and replied very slowly, “I know that, Mr. Mayor. I was talking about the terms of the people appointed to the very important commissions.”

He laughed uncomfortably. “Oh, I apologize. I misunderstood.”

“Well,” I said, “I’m glad we straightened that out. I’d hate for you to tell people about the redheaded moron you met tonight.”

“You’re not a redhead,” said one of my friends. Everyone at the table agreed with her.

“I am so a redhead!” I exclaimed. “I’ve been a redhead all of my life. It’s who I am.” The mayor and his wife took this opportunity to make a hasty getaway.

“Maybe you were a redhead, but you’re not now,” said another friend. “You’re a blonde.”

I was speechless. My final identifier had been ripped away in an instant.

The husband of one of my friends piped up. “She doesn’t want to be a blonde because of the dumb-blonde jokes.”

“Like the one about the dumb blonde who didn’t know that mayors were elected?” another friend remarked.

Everybody laughed. I seethed.

patsy

2014

patsy-1988-1

1988  courtesy of Susan Dmuchowski Meyerowich

 

 

The Cost of Beauty

In Aging, Humor on August 25, 2016 at 11:50 pm

I just got a facelift kit in the mail. I ordered it a few days ago. It consists of rubber bands and adhesive tape. All for the low, low price of $16.95.

I’m sure I’m going to look fabulous at a family wedding next month … as long as I stay away from strong breezes that lift my hair and expose the tape behind my ears and the band around my head.

Maybe I’ll order a hat, too.

Eye, Eye, Eye

In Aging, Humor on April 24, 2016 at 4:33 pm

In the movies, the husband wakes up, rolls over, takes one look at his wife (who slept in full makeup), and makes mad passionate love to her, morning breath notwithstanding.

In real life, I roll over, my husband takes one look at me and says, “Oh my God! Do not go out in public today. People will think that I punched you.”

In all fairness, this is what my eyes looked like this morning, and still look like. Eye Eye Eye

On Friday, I undertook a spring cleanup in our yard. When I came into the house and passed a mirror, I noticed that there was swelling in the corner of my left eye. I figured it would go away, but the swelling got worse and now there is a big, swollen, red circle around my eye that leaks. The center of the circle is white. I self-diagnosed as having been bitten by a tick. I’ll probably go to the doctor tomorrow to see if I have Lyme Disease. I live in Connecticut, so the odds are good.

Meanwhile, I’ll keep my husband out of prison by hiding indoors. I’ll also wear sunglasses round-the-clock to spare my family’s sensibilities.

Tuesday Now Beats Monday for the Worst Day of the Week

In Aging, Humor on March 31, 2015 at 10:25 pm

I piled my purchases onto the counter at Walgreens. The female Indian cashier looked at me and sweetly said, in halting English, “I am embarrassed to ask you this, but are you 55?”

My stomach sunk to the floor. Because she was so nice, I moderated my tone when I answered, “Why? Do I look 55?”

“I am asking,” she answered, “because Tuesday is Senior Citizen Day and everyone 55 and over gets 10% off their purchases.” Without answering my question directly, she did answer it, which made my stomach sink even lower.

“No, I’m not 55!” I responded. She looked vaguely embarrassed, but not by much. She obviously thought that I was lying.

“I’m not going to be 55 for another …” I stopped to calculate.  “… 22 days,” I announced.

She smiled knowingly. Looking back, I’m certain that she was thinking, “Another 22 days, give or take …”

“Thank you,” she said. “Then, your total is $31.29.”

“Here you go,” I said, handing her the money. “And thanks for ruining my evening.”

She smiled and said, “You’re welcome. And be well.”

A Gray Matter

In Aging, Humor on January 14, 2015 at 5:13 pm

“Where ignorance is bliss,/ Tis folly to be wise.”

— Thomas Gray

Ever since I read my MRI report* and discovered that I had mild brain atrophy—which my doctor had neglected to mention during my visit—I’ve been determined to stop any more atrophying and, if possible, reverse the damage. The jury is out on whether this is possible, but some doctors—or people posing as doctors on the Internet—claim that it can be done, so that’s good enough for me.

I also learned, from my Googling, that a deficiency in vitamin B12 can lead to brain atrophy, so I started eating those supplements like candy. I then attempted to join the brain-training website, Lumosity, but I was too dumb. Before Lumosity hits you up for a lot of money to play games to train your brain, they give you a “fit test” to assess your baseline scores. I played three sets of games that tested three different abilities (speed, train of thought, and memory). At the end of the test, I got my results. According to Lumosity, I scored higher than 19% of everyone in the world in speed, 14% in train of thought, and 3% in memory. Three percent. That means that 97% of the world has a better memory than I have. This worked to my advantage, though; by the time they asked me for my choice of payment to join, I had forgotten what I was signing up for, and left the site without cracking my wallet.

My boss told me that her neurologist husband believes that doing puzzles can improve brain atrophy so, right after work today, I’m heading over to Toys”R”Us. I hope he was referring to those wooden puzzles, or even the 100-piece scenic ones. If he meant crosswords or Sudoku, I’m out of luck. I’m no good at all at crossword puzzles, and I can’t even fathom how to work a Sudoku. Wish me luck.

* Read about it here at https://patsyporco.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/my-new-excuse-for-everything/

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