April 4, 2008

Where, Oh, Where is the Fun?

(Read with tongue-in-cheek)

Caregiving sucks, you know. Being a housewife sucks. Don’t try to talk me out of it! Don’t try to tell me I’m an angel or a saint---or worse, yet, “A good woman.” Don’t say, “That’s okay, dear, tomorrow your PMS will be better.” Don’t tell me about the silver lining after the storm. And don’t mention the fable about caregivers being given no more than they can handle. I know all that stuff. I was around when they invented that spin. What I don’t know---and maybe you can enlighten me---is when do we get to have some fun? When do we caregivers get to push all the pill bottles aside, forget the daily therapies, hang up the pots and pans, let the dust bunnies mate, and say, “Enough already! I’m going sky diving!” Well, maybe not sky diving. I’m afraid of getting on step-ladders. I’m old and I forget my calcium supplements too often to test the god of broken hips.

Okay, so what DO old people do to have fun? Let’s see. Don does a version of park bench sitting. You know about that, don’t you? Old guys sitting around pretending to play checkers but they're actually doing stuff like watching young people go about their mating rituals, yuppie business men with their brief cases in one hand and cappuccinos in the other, and little kids doing what little kids do best. Bench sitters have a lot of fun. Every so often they get to say to themselves, “Been there, done that.” They might even get to laugh when a yuppie steps in gum or a little kid's ball lands in a pond. Old men get to flirt, too. Like making a pharmacist turn three shades of red by telling her she's cute. My husband has fun doing that. Old men can come off sweet---most times---when they tease the girls and make them blush. But let an old lady try that. Bells would go off. A voice-over would come down from the clouds saying, “Step away from the hunk! You’re scaring him!”

I could knit, sew or quilt for excitement. Whoopee. Been there, done that. I could spit-shine the house. Been there, done that. I could learn to cook---you’ve got to be kidding! This old lady would find that torture. I've avoided it all these years. Why start now? I could buy some new make up and learn how to paint my face. Rudy red lips, black eyebrow pencil lines that over-shoots its mark, round circles of bright rouge plus mascara that runs down the cheeks. I’ve seen that look on other old ladies and I figure it must fun to play with your face that way. But face painting wouldn't be exciting like sky diving or roller derby or dancing under the moon. Or maybe I could pack my husband in the car and drive around until I get lost. Getting lost at my age IS thrill seeking because if you get caught doing that too often they test you for senility.

It's time to get back to my housewife and caregivers duties. The pills don't put up themselves. Laundry baskets aren't self-cleaning and if I don't let the dog out soon he's going to pee on the floor.

Jean Riva ©

Painting by Franz Von Stuck


Dukepro25 said...



Loved it! :D

Keep 'em coming. ;)

FLOOG said...

I cannot give any form of definitive answer to your question, but boy oh boy, I loved the way you described with such humour, some possibilities in this post.


BookingAlong said...

Yes, it sucketh royally. I agree, having just stood with one hand on a toilet piece and the other yelling for help (again) while trying to both mop up the floor with the other hand and turn off the water. Having only two hands, there was much imperfection.

I hope you get a chance to drop by my blog today because I wrote about something other than books. It has to do with consumers, shopping and being mistreated. I think I won a small victory but I'm not stopping there. I'm still mad.

Anonymous said...


hilarious blog. how about writing lot of thesekind of blogs as stress reliever


Jellen said...

Now you've gone and done it. You reminded me that fun is something I might be getting too used to being without. Oh well. Fun can be blogging about absent fun.

So now that you've had your fun for the day, you best GET BACK TO THAT LAUNDRY JEAN! :)

P.S. I love your posts. Every one is a winner.

Jack Payne said...

Some say humor is a shield to hide behind. Others say it is a crutch, something hopefully solid to cling to, to preserve sanity.

I am 80+, myself, and I try to use humor in my writings for a reason--not the former, but the later.

I don't sit on park benches. I don't play chess. I don't do Indian rug weaving. I try to keep going by pouring out what I know of the con man threat to all of us, knowledge accumulated over 45 years of observing and investigating them.

By trying to engage in something I deem very constructive, I, like you, sure hope I'm on the right path.