Monday, February 20, 2012

The Interweb Ate My Post

My lovely post about G'ma's birthday has been devoured by the maw of the interweb,

I will recreate it and post it on the morrow.  For now, here's an oldie but goodie on the same topic.

"And you, Senora? A margarita?"

A fairly innocuous question in a Mexican restaurant at dinner time. But when G'ma looks at me and says "Do I want a margarita?" all kinds of hell breaks loose inside my head.

NO - you are on 8 different medications all of which caution against alcohol. I don't want to feel responsible for your impaired functioning if you fall tonight. Falling is not a good thing when you're 86 years old, as you well know.

But half a margarita? With dinner? Once every 6 months? Really, how much damage could that do?

I looked at the margarita glass. It was huge. "I'm driving. Let's share one."

The waitress left, but the question stuck around. Around and around and around. It wasn't quite "Do I like margaritas?" - I could chalk that up to a failing memory and the fact that you're not a big drinker. You could have forgotten if you liked them. It wasn't "Do I care to drink a margarita right now?" - that empty philosophical Hamlet-like passive aggressive piece of you that makes me crazy but which I have learned to ignore. You weren't kidding around; you were really asking me the question. But what did you mean? And why was I still thinking about this?

I've been making lots of decisions for you since you came to live in our town. I chose your apartment. I buy your groceries, choosing your breakfast cereal and toothpaste. I found and hired your "girls", the delightful sisters who keep you safe. I decided on your cable tv package and your renters' insurance coverage and which newspaper you'd have delivered. Your doctors, your surgeries, your therapists - all me.

I check it all out with you, looking for a dispositive answer. Do you have a firm opinion anymore? Or do the questions not interest you? Have you given over that much control of your life to those who can remember what you did yesterday? The questions have different values - breakfast cereal and kyphoplasty certainly fall into different categories of importance. But what about waking up in the morning? If you want to roll over and sleep til 11 should the girls just smile and go back to their telenovelas or do we make the decision that life is to be lived and if you're breathing then you should participate in the world around you so get up and get out of that bed?

Where's the line? Somewhere between the doctor's office and Parilla Suiza, I suppose.

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