When I got up that morning, I knew I had to “june” around as I had an appointment to have a CT scan at 8:30. I had been told to arrive early, which I did. At 9:00, I questioned the amount of time it was taking, as I was the only one in the waiting room, and I was told that I would be taken soon. Sure enough, before long I was moved to another waiting room where the imaging was to occur. As I sat there, I heard someone in the background say, “She’s going to be all right now. Don’t worry.” My anxiety level rose as I imagined some poor soul having had a heart attack during a scan. However, my fears were allayed when Brenda, the nurse, took me in and acknowledged that she had been talking, not to a patient, but about the CT scan machine itself. It was the machine (she) that had been “ill.” I was then told to undress, leaving on my underpants but putting on a medical gown which was to be left open in front. Why in the world did I wear these skimpy underpants today? Well, I had no idea that I would be required to undress. That’s why. So, I was stuck with my skimpy jockeys on my rotund 69 year old body. When I apologized to Brenda, she said she hadn’t looked anyhow. The scan was successful, but I felt that “she” may be on her last leg as one swoop into the machine didn’t take. Of course, too, in the middle of the scan, I felt as though I were choking to death as my sinuses always kick in during tension. Then I would hear Brenda say, “Don’t worry. I think he’s going to be all right now.” It was just another day of challenges inspired by growing old.
I have always been fascinated by the theater. As a child in a very small town in South Carolina, I went to the “picture show” as often as possible. In high school, I was in a couple of plays and dreamed of being a movie star. In college, I became a singing waiter in Lake George, New York. While I was in New York, I received attention from a Broadway producer who said that southerners were “in.” When I contacted him later, he was on the west coast and never responded again. After my stint as a singing waiter, I was courted by a supper club in Charlotte, NC. Since I was still in college, I had no idea how to make an entertainment career happen while going to school. Realizing my life was not going to be spent on stage, I made it my goal to see as many Broadway plays as possible, and I did very well. I saw Ethel Merman in “Gypsy.” I saw Barbra Streisand in “Funny Girl.” I eventually saw plays starring Paul Newman and Julie Andrews. I saw “Les Miserables” in New York City. The most recent play I saw and loved was the musical, “Billy Elliott” with Faith Prince, one of my favorite actresses. Now I have my grandchildren expressing love for the theater. Could it be that my dreams come true through them? I hope so.
I am not by nature an organized person. In fact, I would call myself a random person. After my divorce twenty years ago, I lived alone most of the time until I met my present partner last year. During the time I was alone, I had the good sense to hire a cleaning lady to clean my house once a month. She fussed at me all the time about having a “bachelor” house–shoes here, clothes there, articles on top of the piano. My partner’s nickname is “Mr. Meticulous.” Since he arrived here to stay, the house has become the opposite of a bachelor house. It is our home, and “Mr. Meticulous” and I, still with the help of the cleaning lady, keep the house in good shape. I have gradually gotten accustomed to hanging up my clothes and keeping my shoes in the closet or at least in one particular area. I wasn’t sure I could share my home with someone, but I know now that my choice of a partner was an excellent choice, a choice that has improved my life by leaps and bounds. Thanks Brandy and Dimitris.
When my computer is down, I am down. I am frustrated and flustered. I sit in my computer chair staring at the empty space on my desk where “it” sits. This latest absence was caused first by the failure of my hard drive, then the installation of a new drive followed by frequent blue screens that just would not go away despite hours online with the Geek Squad. After three blue screens in one day, I decided it was time to unplug and take the computer in, which I did. I have now received my computer back, re-plugged everything in, and it appears to be running just fine. However, I’m holding my breath that the blue screens do not return. I was told by the Geeks that my anti-virus was causing the problem so they installed Microsoft Security Essentials to replace the previous one. I am a happy camper now that I am re-attached to the world via my computer. I must remind myself though that my “flustrations” with being computer-less were minor compared with having a medical emergency or losing a friend. Sometimes our priorities can become misaligned by a relatively minor problem like a blue screen.
The last movie I saw at a theater was “Avatar.” I saw that one in a theater after being coerced by friends to see it in 3-D. I was shocked at the cost, having shied away from theaters for such a long time. I had a pass that would have reduced the cost, but “Avatar” was a special and, since it was in 3-D, the coupon couldn’t apply. Yes, cost is a factor, but the main reason I don’t go to the movies is that there are no subtitle options. At home, I turn on the subtitles with almost all movies regardless of what the primary language is. I have found that I “hear” more when I can see the words. By the way, I hardly ever miss a “good” movie as I watch everything on DVD as I don’t mind waiting. I reserve the DVD’s at the public library and wait for my time in the queue to arrive. Presently on my list are “Philomena,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Book Thief,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “August: Osage County.” Yeah, I know–you’ve already seen all of those movies.
My granddaughter Gracey is eight years old. She is a charmer and evidently has a talent for acting. No, she hasn’t yet been to Hollywood, but she has been singing most of her life–in the car, in the tub. I remember the first video my daughter sent me, showing Gracey singing through a song with complicated lyrics and missing not one word while she is strapped in her car seat. Well, now the die has been cast, and Gracey has starred as “Annie” in a much-abbreviated version of the play presented by her summer acting class in Naples, Florida. Of course, I had to drive down to see the presentation, and it was well worth the 152 mile one-way trip to hear her belt out “Tomorrow” and other numbers from the show. She was indeed the star. I even had her autograph my program, knowing that it will someday be worth a pretty price on E-Bay, of course. Not only is she an acting phenomenon, but she is also quite the linguist. When I asked her how she felt about her role, she responded that she had certainly been “Annie-mated.” Gracey’s next performance is coming up soon when she will appear in a play as “Honk Jr,” a duckling.
I was always a nail biter. When I was a child, my mother put something called “Thum” on my fingers, trying to stop me from biting my nails. I not only chewed on the nails, but I continued to do so even after they were bleeding and hurting. When I got married, I challenged myself to have nice looking fingernails for the wedding pictures. Immediately after the wedding, I was once again biting my nails. I can remember sitting in church with my hand and arm resting on the seatback and curling my hand down so that my nails did not show. I remember looking at the hands of other nail biters, hoping my nails didn’t look as bad as theirs. Well, I’m happy to tell you that at age 76, I no longer bite my nails. I can’t. I have two partials, and nail-biting is an impossibility. I don’t necessarily recommend the cure, but it is mighty nice trimming my nails every once in a while just like everyone else.