Sunday, April 16, 2006

Better than yesterday

It is frustrating to have my camera in the shop. I had wanted to record everything waking up for spring and it is going by fast.

4/16/06 Sunday
Woke up a little better this morning and so did Cherie. She has been depressed for reasons I can’t go into on the blog. It is good to start out the day well. We will be going to dinner (or lunch) with Fred, Barb, and Wayne. Of course it will be a mad house at the Home Buffet. It is Easter Sunday and Fred wants to get there right when everyone is getting out of church. I reminded him of that but it didn’t seem to register so we will plan on a long line. At least Wayne has a built in seat with his walker.

While I am in a philosophic mode here is a short essay on a common human trait. Honesty is that mark of character that is the integral part of Christianity and the basis of our society in America. It is touted by all from our government on down to the American family. But the truth is that honesty is only acceptable if it conforms to what the hearer want to hear. We all have our own view of reality. For many reality is a created delusion. It is built up to support the life they live, to make them feel good about themselves, to blind their eyes from the truth surrounding them.

Allen is a good example of that. In his mind he is not a drug addict and feels he has everything under control. His financial problems, his constant search for pills, his painful withdrawals, all this he tries to sweep under a rug and pretend it is “Not that bad”. (One of his common phrases) I have slowly been able to open his eyes to the truth but he still clings to his “reality”. For most of us, anything that threatens to burst the bubble of the delusion we created, will be feared and attacked. We will avoid what we fear and shrink into the protective shell of our delusion, hiding from the truth that exposes that delusion.

Honesty? No! Lie to me. Tell me what I want to hear. And don’t you dare make me see myself or I won’t like you. I’ll attack you. I’ll find or create any fault in you I can. That will make me feel better. If your not perfect I don’t have to listen. Anything you say will have no value. There is no truth. Only what I decide I want. The hell with reality.

I have a big mess to fix. In trying to back up my files on this laptop I have inadvertently deleted what I wished to save. I should never try to do things like that when I am slow as I have been for the last couple of days. I had tried to organize things that were all over the computer and think I did a good job of it but evidently didn’t save that so now I start over. I am restoring everything I deleted but there is tons of stuff in the recycle bin that hasn’t been emptied in a year or so. This will take hours. The fact that I am not really on top of computer stuff combined with how easily I get confused doesn’t help.

The following narrative was written by Cherie.

Cherie: We are finally back from the Easter dinner thing. As usual, it was both entertaining and frustrating. We got Fred in the car and took off to pick up Wayne and Barb. Fred doesn’t like the way Bob usually travels to pick up Wayne as it means going through one of the more dangerous areas of town. Bob drives fast to get through it and I always close my eyes at some point in the journey – it’s just easier that way. He gets through the traffic and I keep my mouth shut – if I don’t see it I can’t complain about it, get it?

Anyway, we went a different route which was pleasant – though took longer. Fred made the argument that the shortest route between two places is a straight line. This was not a straight line. He kept trying to make conversation, Bob was moody, and I just sat in the back, realizing that in a few minutes I would be squished in the middle of the back seat with Wayne and Barb. We got Wayne (he stuffs his walker in the trunk) and left to pick up Barb, but we had to make a side trip up to Kroger Grocery Store to get gas.

Kroger has had this promotion going on where the more you spend with your special Kroger customer savings card, the more you can save on each gallon of gas. And it’s good for 4 fill-ups in a month’s time. Between our own shopping, we also used the card for Fred and Wayne and Barb for their shopping. We are up to 30 cents off per gallon this month. There are lots of Kroger’s in the Toledo area, but only three of them have gas stations.

Well, we finally got to the closest one and their computers were down, so Bob only got 3 cents off instead of 30. This did not make him (or me) very happy. There are other places I like to shop, but have been trying to get most everything at Kroger’s because of the gas thing. Now he’ll have to go back there tomorrow and go inside to complain and try to get it taken off his bill – glad I get to go to work!

After he got the gas we went and picked up Barb, who really did make an effort to look nice. She had on nice clothes, (and a bra), and had washed and set her hair and even put on a little make-up! We all talked about different things and the conversation always kind of goes in circles, but it wasn’t too bad. Other than being close (like a can of sardines, Wayne said), we were all anxious to get going with this lunch thing.

Now for the real fun. Fred had decided he would take us to Home Town Buffet, which is close to our apartment. Bob had tried to talk him out of it, or to at least change the time. Nope. Fred is 88 years old, and stubborn. We had left our apartment promptly at 12:45, and after picking up people and getting gas, we headed back to our end of town. By this time all the churches had let out as Bob knew they would and the place was packed. There were no handicapped spaces open, so Bob let us out at the door and he went to find a parking space.

The line went out the door and was at least an hour long. I knew this wasn’t going to work – so did the others and the decision was made to try someplace else. Fred suggested a Chinese place over by Kazmaier’s (another grocery store), but I didn’t think it would be open. However, Fred was determined, so we all piled back into the car and off we went. We got over there and sure enough it was closed.

Everyone was talking trying to think of someplace else to go – at that point McDonalds would’ve been fine, and I could feel myself start to zombie out a bit. Fred decided on Café Marie’s over in Maumee, so we headed in that direction. For some odd reason, all of a sudden I thought the whole thing was funny and had to try and hide my laughter – I didn’t want to try to explain why I thought it was all so funny. I wasn’t sure myself. I thought they would be closed because they’re a breakfast place. I was pleasantly surprised (and relieved) to find they are now open until 3:00PM. It was 2:00PM, so we were in time to get in there and get served.

There were hardly any people in the place (probably had a huge breakfast crowd) as it was getting past the late breakfast (brunch) hour. Café Marie’s now has a luncheon menu and it’s pretty nice. I got the Chicken Crepes and they were delicious. We all got to try something new we hadn’t had before and we were all happy, except Fred. Sometimes I think he’s just not happy unless he can complain about something. But he also doesn’t have any teeth and pretty much has to get soft stuff that he can gnaw on.

He had wanted to take just Bob and I and Barb out to dinner, but Bob knew that Wayne didn’t have anywhere or anyone to share the day with and promised Fred he would pay for Wayne’s meal. He actually paid for his own also, which was better for Fred, who didn’t have a clue he didn’t pay for Bob’s. It wasn’t that expensive – Barb, Fred and my meals only came to $21.84. Bob and Wayne’s were around $13.00 or so. Wayne decided to leave a tip, pulled out $2.00 and Bob added $3.00 to that.

We knew Fred wouldn’t leave a tip – at least not much of one. The last time we went to a restaurant with him – the bill was $40.00 and Fred was going to leave the waitress about 50 cents. wow. Anyway when Fred went up to the counter, he gave the cashier $22.00 and told the girl “it’s all yours”. She looked a little puzzled and I had to get out the door because I was already laughing. Barb was too. “Well, that’s Fred”. That’s all she had to say. Bob and Wayne were going to see a movie and although they wanted me to go, I wanted to finish packing up the winter clothes to put into storage, so Bob headed home to drop me off. Fred meanwhile asked Barb about cat litter and it turned out she needed some, so they were going to go to the Dollar Store after dropping me off.

Now we’re back to me (Bob) writing. I had planned on taking Wayne to a movie but that wasn’t going to work out as Fred was still with us. I dropped Wayne off and he thanked us for the meal. The drive home was…well interesting. I don’t know if Fred crapped his pants or what but for about five miles I thought we were driving through some kind of sewer or sulfur leak. Having the windows rolled down in 53 degree weather at forty five miles per hour didn’t dissipate it so I just hung in there. Fortunately one of the results of my brain injury is a reduced sense of smell. Wasn’t reduced enough.

Reminds me of a time I took Fred shopping at Kroger and had a hard time telling him the price on items he held up because I was trying to keep at least five feet behind him. Actually I tried to stay in front of him as following made sure I would be in his rather odiferous wake. “What’s this?” he would ask so I would creep up close enough to see, then step back so I could open my mouth without inhaling too much. Hey, Fred’s almost ninety years old. I am sure I’ll be a stinker if I make it that far. That’s all part of the territory.

Tomorrow will be another fun day in the life of Bob. Barb’s new phone isn’t working right so we will take it back. Now that I think about it, the phone was sold as new but when we took it to Cricket we were told it had been opened, possibly voiding the warranty. I checked the BBB listing on Page Plus and they are labeled unsatisfactory. On top of that they did not give Fred the credit they promised for the phone Barb turned in. Tastes like one of those little cell phone scam outfits that weasel as much as they can from their customers. I think I will have to get a little involved this time instead of letting Fred and Barb get manipulated. I am good at not being nice. Just ask…nah, can’t say who cause it’ll cause more crap. I’m only pissey when it’s needed.

That’s enough for tonight. It was a good day with no slow downs at all. Love when that happens. Hopefully tomorrow will be the same way. Night all.


ByronB said...

Thank heavens for the Recycle Bin! I deleted several files I needed last week, and had to go back and recover them. I can never resist hitting the keys more than once when the computer seems to be going a bit slow, and it's often the wrong thing to do!

Bob said...

Know what you mean. I get impatient too but what gets me is this short term memory. I don't remember doing a task ten minutes later so do it again. Love your blog ( you regularly