Monday, August 06, 2007

When I'm 90…

I'm going to throw caution to the wind.
I'll party like there's no tomorrow…because there's less "tomorrow" than ever before.
I'll have unprotected sex with anyone who'll have sex with me, and flash the ones who won't.
I'll try all those recreational street drugs I've never taken before because I just don't trust kitchen chemists.
All the wine I drink will be outrageous vintages.
Not only that, I'll waste my money on all sorts of crap and give out 20 dollar bills to every panhandler.
I'll say what I want to whomever I want, so screw you.
I'll skydive and speed race and dance with wild animals.
I'll do everything I want, no matter how stupid, silly, or suicidal.
And if anyone gives me any shit about it, I'll tell them, hey, I've lived to 90. When you're older than me, you can tell me what to do.

I love the DogFather. He and I are more alike than, say, my own mother and I. And probably more alike than he and any of his children. It makes me sad to see how his children treat him like a child. He's a grown man; an intelligent, open-minded, caring man. He's been through so much and still has so much to share. Even his kids still have much to learn from him, but they, in the protective way kids get when their parents become elderly, keep him down.

His daughter, the Matriarch of the Family now, is especially protective, almost to a fault. I think it's fine that she's Mom of the Family and I treat her with the reverence a Matriarch deserves, but it bothers me when she insists the DogFather wear a bib in public. I understand she's looking out for his shirts but the DogFather is a dapper, young man at heart, a ladies man, who takes care of how he looks (and smells!) and has a very good stain remover for his shirts. Who cares if he gets a little food on his clothes now and again. Can you imagine the humiliation of having to wear a bib in a restaurant?! Obviously she can't.

And because he's the kind of man he is, instead of creating a scene in the restaurant over the Bib Issue, he shuts up, puts it on and looks unhappy for the rest of the meal. I keep wishing he'd make a scene. Shout about how he won't wear the bib, tear it off his neck, throw it down and jump up and down on it. And then promptly pour a spoonful of baked beans right on his chest. Yeah! But he never does. He's too caring and too mature for that kind of behavior (which would be totally in character for his son!)

"He mowed his own lawn the other day," the Matriarch was telling her brother, Big Dog recently. "He's not supposed to be doing any of that yet, you know. I asked him about the lawn and he told me that A. (his grandson) came by to do it but it was really badly done so I knew it was him and I told him, 'Listen, buddy, I'm not going to go through that (another operation) again, so you better watch it.'"

She and Big Dog have gotten even more protective of their father since their brother passed away, but the man is 90! He may be outliving us all. Whatever he's doing, he's doing it right, so lay off a little, won't you? Don't make him eat "diet" stuff! Sure he's a big man but his weight problem comes from his arthritis medicine. Let him have his sweets, his butter, his fried foods, his red meat. If he walks around without his cane, why should we stop him? When he gets tired of falling, I'm sure he'll get around to using his cane on a regular basis. He's not dumb, you know. When he found out he had lactose intolerance, didn't he switch over to soy and other non-dairy products? Stop treating him like a baby!

Of course, I can't say any of this to either the Matriarch or Big Dog. They believe they are doing what is best for their Dad. It's made me kind of glad I don't have any children. That way, when I'm 90…..


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