Since October, 2010, I have lived in an apartment complex called “Nora Commons on the Monon” for adults 55 years old or older in a large midwest city. The whole bldg. was only a few years old so every thing looked new and unused and was in good looking shape…….looks are deceiving. The dishwasher, even though I washed all food particles off, would not get the dishes clean and left a soap residue on them. The refrigerator made so much noise when it was running, I thought they were thrashing wheat outside my window. Every time I had a bowel movement, it stopped up the toilet and sometimes took as many as 7 flushings (in between plunges) to open it up. I’m sure that didn’t help the amount of my water bill. So much for new apartments with very cheap appliances.
Let me complete my personnel picture. I am an 81-year-old who had two strokes and several heart procedures (including four stents inserted) and was put on cumadin in the summer/fall of 2011. In early 2012 I was told it would be best not to live alone. I had an invitation from my brother’s sister-in-law to go to Florida and spend the winter in the fall of 2011. (I had stayed with her a couple of years earlier and it was a pleasant visit.) I did not accept and spent the winter in my apt. because of scheduled blood tests and I wasn’t the pepyest, most mobile person in town. Lucky for me the winter was very mild. After I was told I shouldn’t be living alone, I decided to except the invitation and in early April I gave up the apt., stored most of my belongings and came to Florida. I have not been sorry; or have I????
In this little memoir, I am going to call her Koko (Maybe Coocoo would be better but……..) to save her the embarrassment of people knowing that she knows me. We have known each other for several years. Right off the bat I told her I wanted to pay half of the household bills and to figure out how much that would be. I may be a lot of things, but I’m not a “dead-beat”. She told me how much. I said “that’s ridiculous.” She said “O.K. get out.” We were off on the right foot……. I said “what about meals.” She said “I’ll fix the noon meal. As for the rest you’re on your own.” I said “what the hell is this???” She said “O.K. get out.” I asked her about the laundry. She said “I don’t mind doing the laundry I have a new washing machine. I’ll do it, you put it away.” We had several other discussions about “rules” and I lost most, but I did win the air conditioner battle. She seldom turned it on even when it was 90 degrees in the house. She said electricity cost to much and I told her I would pay for it. If I wanted to die from suffocation, I would have moved to the desert. Of course, I guess I could have sat in front of the refrigerator with the door open instead.
Since those first couple days we have kind of settled down together. She did ask me a few days ago if I wanted some scrambled eggs, bacon and toast for breakfast and of course I said yes. She said “good luck” and laughed. I thought, “Mannnn, what have I gotten into……………….For lunch sometimes she asks if I would like to have so and so. Frozen meals are her “specialty”. I say O.K. and she says “I’ve never had this before. I don’t know if we will like it”. Oh great, I get to be a guinea pig again. Now I go to the grocery store with her and buy some of the things I like instead of her just buying what’s on sale. Guinea pigs may have a good life where ever they come from, but not here. I have eaten meals here that I would have made me walk right by in the service. I mean S.O.S. would be a gourmet meal. I don’t have to worry about getting that. She doesn’t do breakfasts.
June 7: Today we made another trip to the grocery store. Two of them in fact. Thursday is the start of the sales. I wish to GOD they had never heard of “Buy one, Get One Free“. My sister-in-law is the biggest sucker for this marketing gimmick there ever was and she talks Koko into them every time. Today we went our separate ways in the store. She picked up a few things and so did I. We met at the meat counter. She had two-quart jars of mayonnaise. “Why did you get those” I asked. Because they are “buy one get one free and they are dated 2013”. She had a jar of the same stuff at home in the refrigerator that was over half full and I was the only one who had used it since I got here. I said “we don’t need those”. We won’t use them up before 2113″. She said “I’m going to have to teach you how to shop”!!!!!!!!!!!!! I thought to my self ” These two women are wacko”.
She also informed me that she is not a good housekeeper and hates to clean. This afternoon a TV news reporter came on and announced that Obama was going to make a statement about our economy. She asked if she should turn the sound up. I said “No, I don’t want to listen to that idiot”. She must have been of the same opinion because she turned it off. “I’m going to do a little vacuuming” she says. I thought, my GOD their’s something wrong with her and said “Are you sick”? “No, I’m alright I’m just going to do the rugs”. I said, “Are you sure you don’t have a fever”? She laughed out loud, repeated what I said and chuckled to her self all the way down the hall.
I guess we will one day get our differences worked out as soon as we get used to each others little quirks. I hope so. At 81, I don’t know how many of these shocks I can take.