God, grant me senility…

My grandpa informed us with great bravado this weekend that after 21 years in the same house – he’s finally figured out what those small bumps in the carpeting are! Here I’d assumed they were areas where for whatever reason the carpeting wasn’t attached properly to the flooring and thus was developing little bumps or bubbles. Luckily my genius grandfather has (too) much time to think about things like this and discovered that in fact “those little carpet ripples are areas where the previous homeowner installed mini-anti-theft-devices.” Oh yea, that’s a direct quote! Now sadly, this isn’t the first story we’ve heard. Though usually they have more to do with his neighbors drug ring – why else would someone choose to purchase new curtains for their family room than to shade the plants that are their livelihood, his experiences within the secret service – oh yea he was most definitely an international man of mystery, or of course the always enjoyable stories of his youth – most of which I believe I’ve also read in magazines & newspapers as situations that other (slightly more well known) folks have oddly enough experienced as well.

A little later, during dinner, we were discussing the excitement of my moving into a new place. My grandpa decided this was the perfect time to offer me his basement as my new home – free of rent, and minimal utilities. Now, usually, I’m all about saving money & helping grandpa out but, I’ve learned this lesson already & it’s not one I’m anxious to give a second shot. My grandpa was really sick a few years back, so much so in fact that he had to spend some time in a local rest home. His health (or lack thereof) declined to the point where the staff & our family were talking about his being there long term – thus leaving his large home unattended and in need of someone to keep an eye on things until his return. As luck would have it, my lease had just run up – so it was decided I would transfer all of my worldly possessions into storage, and take up residence in the basement of his house until the point where he was able to come back home. Well, wouldn’t you know – about 20 minutes after I finished moving in – my grandpa experienced a miraculous recovery & was sent home – Yay? We managed to cohabitate for 3 months – exactly. In that time he not only managed to set the silent burglar alarm before leaving for church – forgetting I was in the house. Meaning when I crawled out of bed (quasi-hung over, without my contacts/any vision & not quite looking my best) I set off said alarm – but as it’s one of those super cool silent ones – my movements had been reported to the local police station before I was even able to crawl back into bed. Imagine having the feeling of being watched, only to open your eyes & see a handful of the cities finest looking down at you through the window – only giving you a moment to try calculating exactly wtf is going on before yelling at you to meet them out front!

Needless to say, it was a long (& chilly) 45 minutes on the front lawn playing a rousing game of “what’s your story” until my grandpa got home from church & announced that I was in fact a relative, with permission to be in the home – at which point I was finally allowed to go back inside to retrieve my bra, contacts, & whatever dignity I may still be able to muster. Of course my grandpa thinks this is one of the most hilarious stories of all time. During our brief time as roommates he also informed one of my friends (who just so happened to be a boy on boy kinda guy) that “regardless of what my granddaughter has told you, I am NOT running a brothel out of my basement!” – at which point said friend went fleeing from the home. Oddly enough, while this situation was quite embarrassing for me, it was a bit too much for my friend – and, well, I haven’t seen or spoken to him since.

They say that “old age is golden” – I want to know who the hell “they” are – Because as far as I can tell, old age is slightly squeaky, rusted, and quite often a bit mildewed & musty. If it weren’t for the senility & ability to be whoever I want, say whatever I want, do whatever I want & offend whomever I want – I don’t think I’d ever want to get old!

Have you ever…

…allowed yourself to laugh really hard (out loud) at something you know is horrifically wrong & singlehandedly confirming your one way ticket to hell? (If not, I strongly suggest you do – Such an amazing feeling!)

A few months back I was in the midst of my evening workout (channel surfing) and stumbled onto an episode of Jeopardy where one of the contestants was shamelessly bragging about her amazing job. Of course I was intrigued, and decided to give up a few precious moments of my time in hopes of discovering an awesome new career path. This woman proceeded to explain that she works as a camp counselor for blind/deaf children – leading these poor souls on expeditions through the wilderness.  Now at the time, I thought this was absolutely hilarious! Instantly I was struck speechless, seeing images of a counselor leading children with no sight or hearing on a dangerous trek over the river & through the woods. Their experiences would range from spider bites & broken legs, walking into trees & off boulders, into bear caves, snake pits, rushing rivers, ant hills, bee hives – the possibilities really are endless.

After a few moments of sheer (guilty) bliss I had to tell my imagination to simmer down because my slightly more humane side was concerned with the entire situation. I started questioning, how exactly does this woman warn 20 blind/deaf children to “watch out for that cliffside?!?” – Oh wait, she signs into their hands – duh! Of course that brings up the question, does she just sign into the first childs hand, & let the wonderous game of “blind/deaf telephone” take over from there? By the time poor little Stewie at the end of the line gets the warning he’s waist deep in a mud pit, being devoured by fire ants & looking for the free ice cream!

I bring this all up because (yes, there is a method to my madness) on my lunch hour this afternoon I observed a gentleman with less than stellar vision waiting on a corner. When the light changed & it was his turn to cross he stumbled for a moment – quite obviously trying to decipher which of the two crosswalks was “beeping” at him – squealing the okay to proceed. Of course, being the helpful, selfless being that I am, I honked a little ditty on my horn to let him know that all was clear. Sadly, this seemed to cause more confusion than good – and he opted to stay right where he was.

Now, before you think me completely soulless, I mean this all in jest. While it’s an absolutely amazing visual & gave me a great core workout – I do honestly have a few concerns regarding this genius and her lifes work. So, as a word to the wise – if your child is “differently abled” perhaps do a little more research before shipping them off to the first summer camp you find. Oh, and, don’t honk at blind people in crosswalks – I’m not completely sure they appreciate the assistance.

~ m