Taking An Old Bag Shopping

14-03-2014 Friday

Coming to terms with the truth is not an easy thing to do. Today we were given a piece of paper with all kinds of facial expressions on it. We had to write down how the people in the pictures were feeling. Afterwards we discussed the answers. I got two right: happy and sad. And I must admit that I had problems with those two. I guess you could say I am not very good at these things.
It’s incredible how many facial expressions people can have and how many different names we have for emotions. I hadn’t even heard of half of the emotions. How can a man recognize an emotion in somebody’s face when he doesn’t even know that the emotion existed. Things like: betrayal, sternness, indignation, spooked, pain empathy, and so on. There were 35 facial expressions and then the teacher said that this wasn’t even a complete list. To make things worse, some of those facial expressions can even mean something else in a different situation or depending on the body. How am I ever going to understand people? How will people ever understand me!? People should write books on this for people like me. 
So much for the depressing bit of today’s blog. Tomorrow Grandma is celebrating her birthday. My guess is that it is going to be chaos and disorder most of the time. We went round this evening to help Grandma prepare a little bit and the first thing we did was drive to Tesco’s and going to Tesco’s with Grandma is an hilarious but also frustrating endeavour. It’s hilarious for me, frustrating for Mum and Dad, and some of the other costumers, and the staff.
Grandma had made a grocery list. If it hadn’t been for Mum I think we would have bought half the store, but nothing on Grandma’s list. In each and every food aisle Grandma said something like,’ Ooooh, biscuits. I like biscuits. These are my favourite. Let’s buy these.’ Or ,’ Oooh, Diary Milk. I love Diary Milk. I’ll have some of it. And she’d put one or two of the item in the trolley without even checking her list. Mum was desperately trying to put back everything that was not on the list and replacing it by things that were. As for me, I was just enjoying the show.
When we got to the cash desk, Grandma pulled out this big wallet from her purse. This is probably where the agony and frustration started. The wallet could have well been a purse onto itself. It also happened to be the only thing in Grandma’s handbag, because there simply was no more room for any other items in the bag. Then she opened her wallet and started putting all the coins she had in there on the counter, counting the money while doing so. The queue was getting longer, while Grandma took her time counting the money. In the end she was 2 pounds short and started putting it all back in her wallet again. As the lady behind the counter was getting a little annoyed she grabbed the money as fast as she could, gave Grandma her receipt, wished her a great evening and a happy birthday and screamed ‘next!’ I think Grandma knew she was two pounds short.
I was asked what kind of advice Mr Bent gave me on relationships. Well, first thing he said,’ Just make sure you use a condom!’ I guess he meant well, but it was a little awkward and I was in shock after he had said that. Evelyn and I hadn’t even kissed properly yet, how could he be thinking about those things. He’s a dirty ol’ man, sometimes. After that he said that it would be best to tell my parents and be honest, but also that he could understand why I found it difficult to do so. Still, it would be best to tell them myself, before they hear it through the grapevine. He also told me most girls don’t like it when you tickle their uvulas, but I’m not sure what he meant by that.
I would have loved to tell you more, but it’s getting late and tomorrow is going to be a long day. We’re going over to Grandma’s in the afternoon to help her get everything ready. I don’t know if I have time to write anything tomorrow. I’ll try my best. See me. 

I’m Not Ivor

I should have posted this story yesterday, but I fell asleep while typing it and I finished it this morning. So this is actually about Friday, but I am posting it today, which means whenever you read today, it means yesterday. Sorry, for the confusion. This is by the way not the only confusing part in this story. Here goes.

Just our luck: Grandma decided to pay us a visit. It’s Friday, everybody’s deadbeat, grumpy, and looking forward to the weekend and in walks Grandma. It wasn’t really her intention to visit us, though, but she ended up at our place for some reason. Maybe I should start at the beginning. Yeah, I think that might be the best thing to do.

Mum, Dad and I were at the dinner table having dessert – don’t ask me about the name of it, all I know is that there was double cream in it and that it made me happy – when the doorbell rang. Dad opens the door and we hear Grandma’s voice saying something like,’ What are you doing here?’ Which is weird thing to say when you ring a man’s doorbell and he actually opens the door himself. ‘I live here, and I have lived here for quite some time now, mother.’

Grandma walks in and says,’ Well you might as well help me while you’re here. I need a dozen free range eggs, two loaves of bread, some milk and where do you keep the toilet paper?’ Dad closes the door, follows grandma into the living room, carrying her shopping bag that she had given to him, they head straight into the kitchen where Grandma starts opening all the cupboards and drawers. Dad does his best to stop her, but it’s not really working.

After having opened all the cupboards in the kitchen, she opens the fridge, takes out our milk and cheese and eggs and carries them into the living room where she sees Mum and says,’ Be a dear and put this in my bag for me, please.’ Mum looks at her, she looks at the food on the table, picks it up and starts putting it back where it came from. That is more or less how grandma entered our house.

Grandma is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, which can be hilariously saddening at times. What she did today seemed quite hilarious to me, but Mum and Dad weren’t too pleased. Also, Grandma keeps calling me Ivor instead of Arthur. Two names that, to my opinion, don’t really sound alike. What’s even more is that Ivor is her dear departed cat. Grandma keeps the ashes of Ivor in an urn on the mantelpiece thinking it is the ashes of her late husband. Her husband, however, was buried in a cemetery a couple of blocks away from her, but she never visits it, because it reminds her of Ivor who has been buried there in secret, because they wouldn’t bury cats there.

She is not like this 24 hours a day. It’s just an early stage, so she still has her bright moments. We have to enjoy them while we still can. This is the saddening part: we know that one day she will forget who we are and maybe even who she is. Her brains are like a withering flower in a vase, you can see her brains dying a little bit each day and you try to your best to keep that flower alive, knowing it’s useless. I have to go now, we’re going to take Grandma back to her place. See me tomorrow.