Friday, December 07, 2012

I hear the bells

Sometimes I think my continued insistence of posting here is much like those cantankerous old writers who insist they only ever use a typewriter. But I still think there's too much brevity in the new world. And I refuse to believe people are only interested in soundbite-sized thoughts. Some thoughts require more explanation. None of my thoughts, mind you, but some thoughts.

Here are some thoughts I have had this week:
  • In geriatrics clinic yesterday, I heard the best stories. The first involved a retired police officer who had developed dementia. His younger wife is his primary caretaker, so we were asking her how things have been going. She told a story of how her husband had wandered into the neighbor's house one day and told them that a crazy woman was in his house, trying to order him new clothes. She shrugged and said, "in fairness, it was Cyber Monday, and I had tried to buy him a lot of new shirts." They'd had a laugh about it. She finds it hard- her husband had just retired five years ago, and they had plans to travel and enjoy their time together, but the dementia had changed all of that. But she was remarkably amused by all of it. The next patient I saw had more advanced dementia. He was mostly non-verbal. His wife and I sat down for a while to chat about how things had been going. She almost made me cry three times, and I don't have a heart, let me tell you. She takes care of her husband every day, helps him bathe, takes him with her everywhere because he can't be left alone. But she was so remarkably serene about it all. She said it wasn't that bad a task, because her husband is very sweet and he doesn't ask for much, and his suffering seems much worse than hers, in her opinion, and after all, he tells her every day that he loves her very much. Geez oh pete's, you guys. I'm not made of stone.

  • Every time I hear the melody of "Castle on a Cloud," I turn into a 14 year old dork, unreasonably excited about Christmas day. There was a time, in high school, after I'd gone to New York for the first time, and seen the Broadway production of Les Miserables that I was full-on geeked out on the musical. Then I thought I'd pretty much gotten it out of my system and that it had been an adolescent thing. Then I watched NPH and Jason Segel reenact The Confrontation and giggled, and just thought I found it amusing. Then I saw Jackman's determined expression as Jean Valjean, and I realized, nope, I'm still a geek. I'm going to be that annoying person in the theater, I can tell already.

  • Even though I rarely wear dresses or get dressed up in general, I have somehow become obsessed with sweater dresses. I own three now. I've been forcing myself to actually wear them, which is actually a bigger undertaking than it should be. Here's the thing- I'm happiest when no one makes any remarks about what I wear, good or bad. But the problem is, there's standard issue attire I've become known for over the years, because I don't like a lot of fuss. So when I wear a skirt or dress, there are usually no less than 17 comments made about this, and I want to run out of whatever bar or restaurant I'm in and change into jeans and a sweatshirt. I really should be more comfortable with myself, and I am about a lot of things, but not apparel, apparently.

  • I hope someone will yell at me if I don't come through on all these stupid holiday baking plans I have. I have lots of thoughts in my head, people. Thoughts about marshmallows and caramels and cookies and tartlets. But my head is often in the clouds, and a lot of these ideas often end up not happening. I really hope that doesn't happen this year. Otherwise, I will be mighty ashamed.

  • I've been at war with ants ever since the rains arrived. I'm winning, but the battle continues.

  • Also, there is a matter of much drama and peptic ulcer disease in my life, and I'm really glad that I've been separating myself from it. One of my married friends has been exhibiting some highly inappropriate behavior towards a guy, and it has been giving me angina for a while now. It's nice at this point in my life to trust my instincts enough to know that, even if you can't put your finger right on something, you have a good sense of what is right and what is wrong. And even though I feel badly that this friend is no longer really a friend, I don't miss all that unnecessary discomfort associated with it.

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