Saturday, July 8, 2017

Ch 5 Sunday What Primo and I did today

·         Cleaned the garage. Again.
·         Patched the holes in the patio screen.
·         Scraped and bleached the mildew off the front door and doorframe.
·         Took everything out of the refrigerator, including the fancy cornmeal that I gave Doris as a hostess gift last year and that she has not used at all, which is her prerogative, and that I should take home with me because she sure won’t notice it’s missing, washed the crud off the shelves and from the tops of the bottles and jars, and threw away the rotting food, of which there was a lot.
·         Dusted the ceiling fans.
·         Vacuumed the closets.
·         Cleaned the cat poop off the floor around the cat box.
·         Pulled all the weeds out of the neglected garden. (I did that with Doris’ supervision.)
·         Repaired the garbage disposal, a task that took Primo all morning while I was at the gym.

These are things that two older people in poor health cannot do. Nobody would expect people in poor health to do these things. What they would expect, however, is that said people would find some other way to solve these problems other than to put their houseguests to work.

Me: Why don’t they pay the grandkids five dollars an hour to do these things? They are always complaining that Michael and Maria don’t seem to understand the value of money. This would be a good way to teach them and an easy way to get the work done.

Primo: They say they have to explain too much to them.

Me: What is there to explain about cleaning a cat box? It’s not rocket science. And these are bright kids. I’ll bet they could figure out how to clean cat poop off the wall. I figured out how to clean human poop out of diapers when I was a babysitter in high school. An advanced degree is not necessary for these tasks.

Primo: I’ve suggested that to them several times. They don’t want to do it.

Sly and Doris bought the house four years ago. It is a big house on a big lot. They pay someone else to cut the grass. They pay someone else to clean the house, although apparently the housekeeper’s scope does not include opening closets to vacuum inside them or cleaning cat poop.[1] Stephanie or Jack take their trash and empty booze bottles out to the curb on trash day.

Me: What were they thinking? Why didn't they just buy a little condo on the beach? Their health was already bad when they bought this place.

Primo: They thought they would get better. And they needed room for Nancy.

Me: Nobody gets stronger after the age of 70! At least, they don’t get stronger on the “Drink heavily and never exercise” plan your mom and dad are on. Does your dad really think that he alone defies the laws of aging? I looked for a small yard when I bought my house and I’m a lot younger and way better off than they are. What is their plan? They can hardly take care of themselves now. What is their plan for the future?

Primo: I don’t know. Probably for me to take care of them.

Me: Yeah, right. That’s not sustainable.

I go online and find the county services for the aged in about three minutes. There are some decent options for housekeeping help, for cooking, for shopping, for all the everyday things that have become a challenge for Sly and Doris. They have money.[2] They can afford help. All they have to do is pick up the phone and ask for it.

[1] Although I don’t blame the cleaning lady for avoiding the box. I would want extra pay to clean the cat box used by multiple cats.
[2] My philosophy is that if you can afford cable, internet, a maid, a gardener, and booze, there is probably room in your budget for Meals on Wheels and some extra household help. Amiright?