Friday, September 15, 2006

Communication skills

Visiting with my parents back in August was interesting, to say the least.


Dad is about 80% deaf and refuses to wear his hearing aids. Mom is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. All normal communication goes right out the window when you walk into their house. This was one of our typical conversations.


Mom: What should we have for lunch?


Me: Let's just have sandwiches. I'll go to the store & get some lunch meat.


Dad: You're going up the street? Why don't you stop in the store and get something for lunch? Maybe some lunch meat.


Me: OKAY, DAD. AND I'LL GET YOU SOME GREEN TEA.


Dad: Humph. You may think you're the queen bee, but I used to change your diapers, missy.


Me: Mom, do you want to come with me?


Mom: Where are you going?


Me: To the grocery store.


Mom: I think I'll just stay here and make lunch.


Me: No, Mom, I'm going to the store to get the stuff to make lunch. I think we need chips, too.


Dad: Why are you worried about your hips? You got arthritis?


Me: CHIPS, DAD, NOT HIPS.


Dad: Did you see that episode on "Everybody Loves Raymond" about Marie's artificial hip?


Me: NO, DAD.


Dad: Well, it'll be on in 15 minutes. Or we can watch Bonanza on channel 31.


Me: WHAT, DO YOU HAVE THE TV SCHEDULE MEMORIZED?


Dad: Yeah, that sounds good! Mom, she's going to pick up some lemon pies!


Mom: Oh! Are you going to the store?


Me, sighing: Yes, mom. I'll be back in a few minutes.



My sister informed me that after I left, the conversation continued...


Dad picks up the phone.


Mom: Who are you calling?


Dad: I'm going to call the prayer chain and ask them to pray for her hip. Did you know she had arthritis? Our kids never tell us anything.


Mom: I know, she didn't even tell me where she was going.


Dad, on phone: Hey, Pastor! I need you to pray for my daughter. We just found out she needs a hip replacement.


Mom: Ask him if he and the missus have plans for lunch. We could meet them at that nice little diner.


Dad: Would you like to join us for lunch at the diner? I think I've heard that they serve good lemon pie.


I'm telling you, it was like trying to converse in Swahili with a gerbil and a manhole cover. It was enough to make my hip hurt. Oy.

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