Saturday, May 03, 2008

Saint Grumpy

Wednesday dawned bright and sunny with a promise of summer in the air. Could I enjoy the sunroom as I had planned? No, I had to take Ma to a two minute appointment to have her toe nails cut. Thirty some odd miles to the Weebles house and gas up to $3.43 per gallon. I was grumpy and took some Tylenol hoping I wouldn’t work myself up to a migraine.

With a sigh, I left the Young One to enjoy the day in the sunroom. I headed down the Pike and tried to console myself with the thought that I would be home by 1pm and could still enjoy some vacation time.

Ma was ready and on time so we headed to the medical building. A bright spot was finding a handicap spot right near the building. In the lobby, the headache aura twinged when I noticed Dad seemed to be confused as to which button to push to call the elevator. There’s only one. Because I see the Weebles so often and the focus is always on Ma, I sometimes don’t always notice Dad has his own issues. Before Ma could begin singing the stupid song, I pushed the button and the elevator doors opened.

We settled in the waiting room. Ma was under the impression she was getting new shoes. I tried to explain, she had already picked the shoes out, and they were on order, but Ma kept insisting she hadn’t been to the foot doctor to pick out her shoes. I dropped the subject because some days it doesn’t pay to chew through the straps.

While Ma was with the doctor, another elderly woman struck up a conversation with me about shoes. She had been looking at the shoe display and frowned at the lack of selection. I admired her clogs, which looked like the kind chefs wear. She asked about my fugly shoes, a pair of light blue rubber clogs.

Yes, very comfy. Yes, my feet sweat if it’s very hot, but that’s a fact of life if one chooses not to be a Flintstone and wear shoes.

With that errand done, the Weebles and I headed to Target so Ma could pick out new glasses.

They must have made frequent trips to Target because as we walked by the pharmacy, the pharmacist said Hello and called the Weebles by name. The clerk in the optical area, greeted them warmly by name. I settled Ma in a chair by a table while Dad went wandering around the store.

I find it both amusing and annoying that when I’m with the Weebles and helping them do business, the business people to talk to me as if I’m the interpreter or guardian ad litem. I handed her prescription to the clerk.

“What kind of frames does she want?”

Ma sat rigid as stone at the table.

“Ma? Ma! What kind of frames do you want?”

“I want glasses like hers. With no lines.” She meant progressive lenses.

The clerk brought frame after frame. Metal, trendy colors and smaller than Ma’s giant Sophia Loren window frames.

Ma didn’t like this one. Didn’t like that one. Didn’t like the teeny plastic nose guards. So Patrick, brought out three giant Sophia Loren window frames. Rectangular, oval and round in stunning pinkish plastic.

Ma kept asking me which style she should pick.

I was not about to go down that rabbit hole. If I picked the frame, she could blame me if there was a problem.

“Which one do you like?”

After trying on all three frames, Ma decided she like the rectangular ones best. By this time, Dad had made an appearance.

After explaining he would give her a deep senior citizen discount, Patrick wanted Ma to pay for her glasses in full. She had Dad retrieve her Target charge from the depths of her pockabook . Patrick went to the cash register and a few seconds later returned.

“The card has been denied,” he said quietly and apologetically.

Ma blinked like an owl.

Ma insisted she didn’t have an outstanding bill and had paid the last bill for medication in full.

“Is there a business office?” I asked.

“You’ll have to go to Customer Service,” said Patrick handing me Ma’s charge.

With Dad in tow, we left Ma with Patrick and ran to Customer Service. It was noisy in Customer Service and the young clerk tried to be helpful. She called the 800 number on the back of the card, but stuck when the automated system asked for the last 4 digits of the social security number.

“What’s Ma’s social security number?” I asked Dad.

“I don’t know.”

You don’t know? You don’t know? You’ve only done her taxes for a 102 years! I thanked the clerk for her help, made my version of Dad’s grrrr face and went back to Optical with Dad running in my wake.

Patrick kindly gave me the department telephone and I called the 800 number and stepped through menu hell. After what seemed like days, I finally contacted a real, live boy. He wouldn’t speak to me so I passed the phone to Ma and explained, billing wanted to talk to her. After a minute, Ma passed the phone back to me for translation.

“Her charge card has been upgraded to a Target Visa with a $10,000 dollar credit limit. We’ll be sending a card in the mail. Your mother should receive the card in 7 to 10 days.”

Are you effin insane? I almost shouted. This is all Auntie Rose needs to hear. The migraine aura pulsed.

This all occurred near the end of the month which meant the Weebles had pretty much gone through their social security checks. So I handed my charge card over to Patrick to pay for Ma’s glasses.

It’s a good thing Himself is very patient and understanding. I’m sure he’d be thrilled to learn we not only owned a furnace, but now we owned a pair of glasses neither one of us would be able to see out of. At least, the frames are rose tinted.

As we were leaving, Patrick came around and shook my hand.

“It was very nice meeting you. You are a saint.”

The thought made me laugh as I paraphrased a line from The Big Valley episode, Days of Grace. Yeah, and I trip over my halo twice a day.

Offloading the Weebles at home, was another eye opening experience. Ma had such a difficult time climbing the 6 steps to get into the house. She slowly moved her foot, paused on the step and teetered. I stood behind her just in case she toppled backwards. My stomach began to nervously churn and the migraine aura throbbed. We were gone less than two hours, but the outing had taken a lot out of her.

I stayed long enough to have a fast cup of tea and then the saint burned rubber out of the driveway like a bat out of hell and retreated to the serenity of the sun room.

1 comment:

Erica Vetsch said...

Sophia Lauren Window Panes! LOL