Sunday, 6 November 2011

Gloves, gloves, gloves...GLOVES!!!!

"I need to buy new gloves. A woman on the subway stole my gloves..."

Okaasan was fretting from dawn about the Stolen Gloves.
Sitting in her room constantly looking in her purse.

Yujiro was ridiculously stupid about her Stolen Gloves story and kept trying to correct her: no, no, I expect you LOST the gloves, women on the subway don't STEAL gloves, you LOST them etc etc.
I get so annoyed with him when he does this. It doesn't matter eitherway to us, but in Okaasan's worldview the STOLEN story is her reassuring story that she isn't going senile, that the outside world-woman-on-the-train did something to her. Paranoia doesn't accept Logic. Why not just nod and say a few comforting words, vageuly accept her version of events and leave it? Why challenge her version? It just winds her up and gets the whole thing more and more stressy???

Maybe I am better at doing this because I am not a precise, logical person - the world can be this...or maybe that...whichever. He needs precision, things must be THIS way, or not at all. And also maybe...I am a language teacher and spend my days faking interest in students' stories about their lives....most of the time it IS interesting, but there are times when I just fake it and smile and nod and say: "Oh really? You bought a pen for $200? How  wonderful!",

Anyway. Back to gloves.

She asked Yujiro for the money to buy gloves. We debated this at breakfast time: if we gave her the money would she actually BUY gloves, or instead forget that and come home with 10 pots of aloe yogurt and pack of expensive seaweed?
It seems so stupid to be having this kind of conversation - is the child able to go shopping alone? Okaasan isn't a child, but we have a pretty clear idea of what she'll probably do or not do in a situation.
Does she need help to buy gloves? Can she do it herself?
Decided it was probably best for Yujiro to go with her and buy the gloves - maybe on Monday.

Hmmm...still not happy. I need gloves, gloves, gloves...stolen...gloves...

When Okaasan has something she wants to do, patience isn't foremost on her mind. It must be done NOW! Today! Now!

Mid-morning she remembered?/invented the tale? that she had in fact already BOUGHT and asked the shop to hold the gloves at the department store downtown and had to go RIGHT NOW and pay for them.
Sighing, he gave her the money and she got dressed and ready to go out in 15 minutes flat - and went. No mid-morning breakfast. No thankyou. Gloves, Department Store. Now.  Amazing. Usually takes her an hour to get it together for going out.
When there is something on her mind that needs doing - 15 minutes.

Anyway, it left us a whole day to enjoy ourselves. We left her lunch in the new flasks on the kitchen table and set off for a noodle and tempura lunch at a restaurant I was know and then a hot spring...where we found we could book one of the private rooms for 90 minutes!!!! Couple time for Y3,000. Goooooooooood.

The autumn leaves are going, going, gone around Sapporo now, amazing to think that in 7 weeks from now it will all be snow covered. I hope I can ski more this year...I NEED to ski more this year!

Nice couple time out. He is off next week for his annual autumn trip to the Tokyo area to see old friends and drink the city dry. So it is good to have some time to ourselves for now - gives me good memories to hang onto when I am stuck at the kitchen table with Okaasan having dinner next week...

And we came home and Lo! and Behold! Gloves! She had bought them. Excellent. We over-worried about it. Easy to do this - to think she can't do something, when maybe...maybe she can. I think Carers do this a lot. It is hard to get the balance of how much supervision/care/life management Okaasan needs.
All ok now. New gloves bought.
Until these get stolen of course....

* And...look what I have bought....New Year lunch/dinner! I ordered it at the supermarket, for delivery on December 31st. A box of all the traditional stuff I am NOT GOING TO COOK WITH OKAASAN. NOT. COOKING. NOT. Learned that lesson last year after a 5 hour shopping/cooking biathlon. Ordering it is far, far better.

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