**Before I share this little snippet of conversation with you, let me say first and foremost I’m in no way making fun of dementia. It’s an insidious and awful disease, and nothing to be taken lightly. I’ve attended many people suffering from it, and I’ve watched people I love suffer from it, so I know this firsthand. If you have a family member or loved one with dementia, please take this post as one from someone who survived more than 10 years in the elder-care business through humor, and the ability to laugh instead of cry.**
George and I spend a lot of time together, more than most married couples, and while it’s OK to have hours of silence between us, sometimes idle time leads to completely inappropriate conversations.
We joke a lot about which one of us will run to the State Farm office with the winning death certificate number, and how if it’s George, he’ll end up being the lonely weird guy at the bar who hasn’t had to ask anyone on a date in more than 20 years. Or if it’s me, how I’ll just go completely feral and they’ll find me in a barn somewhere, living with a flock of pigeons, a raccoon nest in my hair, distilling bat guano whiskey and cackling like an inflammable witch.
I know. It gets weirder, believe me. Again, I’m not proud of these things, they just happen.
Another favorite topic is how we’ll act in the nursing home, when the kids finally get sick of our nonsense and have us locked up for our own safety. We got going the other day on how much completely random stuff we both know and how confusing it will be for nurse’s aides from the future to decipher what the problem is when we have outbursts in the common room.
George: “They took my phone away!”
Me: “Manatees fart to swim!”
George: “What is the cash value of a monkey, sir?”
Me: “How much does a severed human leg weigh?”
George: “I chained a giant stick to a flatbed!”
Me: “Oklahoma has indigenous crabs!”
George: “ I had a tail once!”
Wait. What? Back up, Mr. Parker. You had a tail once? Hold up, is there something you’re not sharing with me? Duly noted. More topic for conversation across the miles. Nursing homes of the future, beware.