Could You Just Put Your Pants On?

Ok so here we are, it was about six months into the extended family experiment. My husband comes home from work to have lunch which he does with some regularity. Its about 1 p.m. As he is making himself a ham and cheese sandwich my father walks through the house and he is stark, staring naked. My husband is a bit taken aback but figures he will just go into his room and close the door, or put on pants. But no, my dad goes about his business wandering to and fro, naked as the day he was born. Finally, unable to stand it any longer, my husband asks if he could put on pants. The response was…no! At this point in the telling of the story I was pretty much flabbergasted. Maybe he is starting to feel so comfortable here that he feels he should be able to do as he pleases, or at least as he did in his own home when he lived alone. My husband made the point that if he could not walk around naked, then nobody else should be allowed to either. Later in the day, at a clothed moment, I finally had to weigh in. I explained to my dad that my teenage son lives here too and he might have feelings about the naked grandfather thing. Additionally, my son’s friends are here; a lot. And I know they would have feelings about the naked grandfather thing. Certainly it’s too much information for me. Now its a few months later and we have mostly solved the naked thing, although there is the occasional lapse. Now more often he wanders about for the better part of half a day in his underwear. I do tell him when there are going to be children, or guests, about and he will get dressed. Frequently he complains about how cold my house is (I have sacrificed and turned the thermostat up to 75 which for me is Saharan heat). His solution for this is unique. He still wanders about in his underwear but wears a winter fleece jacket; understand I live in Central Florida where it is generally never colder than 60 even at night. He can often be found at the dinner table in short tennis shorts and a flannel lined windbreaker. Of all the possible problems that I imagined or anticipated when we decided he would move in here, daytime nakedness was just not one of them, it was quite a surprise. He cannot believe that I am hot all the time, he thinks I am making it up. We often suggest that he might not be cold if he wore pants; he just doesn’t believe.


They Are Squeezing My Shoes

There has been so much written about my generation that we have lots of labels in the popular press. We are the baby boomers and we are the “sandwich” generation to name the two biggies that come to mind. I like to think of it as just squeezed. And of course this economic downturn (read catastrophe) we are currently experiencing is adding to the squeeze. Police officers, at least in New York, used to have an expression that someone was “squeezing their shoes”. I have always loved this expression, I find that it perfectly captures how I feel at times. And now is one of those times. As I have written before, my father came to live with us about eight months ago and there are so many observations and subjects to talk about it is hard to know where to start. And as I have often written about, I have a teenage son now beginning his junior (read hell) year of high school in a very difficult program (and no I am not pushing him too hard). My dad is quite competent in some respects. He still balances his checkbook, no matter how long it takes. He still takes his shirts to the dry cleaner but it is a half day expedition. He has terrific difficulty with his computer, phone, tv and cable box. He is alone during the day, mostly, so he waits for me to return home for his social interaction and to tell him where the “x” went on his computer. My son, the other half of the “squeeze”, managed to do very poorly in school last year. He agrees that he can do the work, he agrees that he didn’t really try, he says he’s ready to try but doesn’t really know why he didn’t. He will require a great deal of structure, help and motivation to make it through this year. You get the idea, I am in the middle. They are squeezing my shoes. My husband is great. He is kind and helpful with my dad and does everything possible for my son. But my dad really only wants to talk to me, he gets pissed at everyone else (gets pissed at me too but not quite as much). And my husband simply isn’t good at the school thing. So he cooks comfort food that isn’t really good for me but is made with great intentions. I often wonder what I am supposed to be learning through all this. Usually one thing jumps right into my mind…patience. Apparently I didn’t have enough because I am learning more, it is greatly required. Retirement seems a very long way off.