Thursday, July 22, 2010

Aged Parm

Aged Parmesan is complex and surprising, grabbing hold and drawing you in.  I went with the flow and things just got better and better,  revealing newer and more diverse tastes.  I was really liking Aged Parm.
*****
The Cheeses have been keeping us up-to-date on his mother's move to Tucson.  Over three years she considered and rejected and thought about and cared and didn't care and then she decided to do it.  And it was done.  There was a house to sell and logistics to be arranged and now she's here so we met for lunch.  

Convenient location, easy parking, great service and even better food made Lupita's Cafe the obvious choice.  We got there early, made a 4-top a round 5-top after TBG figured out the slides underneath the square, and there they were, the Cheeses, Big and Little, and his mom, Aged Parm.

The woman is delightful.  She's beautifully attired and active and engaged in the world around her.  She's got an upbeat attitude and a realistic sense of the problems and possibilities involved in her new life-style.  We left them to their errands after lunch.  They were headed to the up-scale consignment store, the library and the DMV.  

She's older than G'ma.

And so, I'm aching.  I'm not surprised, and it's not debilitating, but I'm allowing myself just a little bit of self-indulgent mourning, wishing for what wasn't and can't be but what doesn't stop inserting itself into my trying-to-be-oblivious self.  This is what I wish I could have had.

Understand me clearly:  I knew exactly what I was getting when G'ma moved out here 2 years ago.  She's no worse now than she was then.  She's also no better.  She is who she's always been, only in a more industrial strength version.  Old age is like throwing Miracle-Gro on your character defects.  Everything is magnified*.  G'ma's waited 87 years for the chance to lie around and do nothing.  She's always been stubborn, in a quiet, passive-aggressive kind of way.  "You know I've always been lazy," has turned into a life involving me, food, Law'nWord Finds and solitaire (played with real cards and not on a computer screen).

She sits.  I shrug.  I've given up feeling guilty about her lack of interest in intersecting with the world around her.  She does what she wants when she wants and she's got the necessary support system to be certain that she is safe and fed and amused, should she choose to leave the comfort of her couch.  I'd love to introduce her to Aged Parm, to create a late in life friendship that would offer another friendly face in a new place for each of them, but I'm not sure that they're playing on the same field.  

And, of course, G'ma would have to want a friend.  Which she says she definitely does not.  "Would I remember that I knew her?  I like me.  I'm good company for myself."  There you have it.  A dispositive statement of her intention, as TBG is wont to say when he's in a lawyerly mood.
I am not wondering if her dementia (there, I've typed it..... it must be real..... more on this issue to follow) has caused her to reject the idea of making a new friend.  I am not worrying that she is lonely.  I am not annoyed with her lack of enthusiasm.  I am content because she is content.  

I'm making progress.


*HBO has a wonderful documentary on mega-millionaire lottery winners.  Click here and watch the clip to see how I've plagiarized this thought. (Does this seem like a Doris Kearns Goodwin apology?  Belated recognition of intellectual property theft?  I don't think so.... I'm quoting them here.  This whole notion of unmediated publication is quite confusing.

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