It feels like some sort of conspiracy. This may sound crazy, but I’ve been seeing the same house over and over again. Okay, it’s not really a house. I just think everyone concerned would rather I call it a house than a “home”.
In my last post, I talked about my father-in-law and his “desperate”, half-assed attempt at finding someone to help him with his daily tasks and household chores. I don’t know the exact details of his interviewing technique. I’ve never seen it first-hand. I don’t know if he weighs them and tosses out anyone over 130 pounds or automatically disqualifies people who come from countries that don’t have diplomatic relations with Sweden or is looking for someone with a PHD in botany, but nobody is ever suitable by whatever fkd up yardstick he’s supposedly employing.
Notice I’m a horrible daughter-in-law. I’ve never once suggested he come live with us. In fact, when my husband brings it up in jest (I hope) every few months, the conversation usually goes thusly:
Husband: “My father could always come live with us.”
Me: “Are you watching “Big Bang Theory” or could I put on “Project Runway”?
We visit my father-in-law often and will do whatever we can for him to be happy and healthy… over there. And, the best part is: He doesn’t want to come here to live with us any more than we want him to. And, as awful as it sounds and probably is: The main reason I don’t want him to live with us is: If you don’t believe in the power of negative energy. Fine… I challenge you to a little experiment. Have my father-in-law stay in your house for a week and watch all of the electronics within a 2 mile radius die a slow death. The neighborhood will suddenly, mysteriously, have no wifi or cell phone service, cable service…. Sure, call your carriers… Let them tell you there are no current outages in your area.
So my sister-in-law, the good child, not like the rotten one I married, arranged for him to move from Florida to New York–not in with her– but into an assisted living place near her. (She may be a good daughter but she still wants to keep peace with her neighbors and her electronic devices.) Shocking to no one, he didn’t want to go. (Can’t really blame him on that one) He did reluctantly agree, likely just to shut up my sister-in-law, with clearly no intention of giving it a real shot or staying a minute past the one month trial. Now, back to the home I alluded to at the beginning of this post.
We went up to NY to visit him during his brief stay. It was a pretty place. When you walked in, there was a desk of friendly people on the left. They told us he was finishing lunch, indicating a long hallway. We found him there, on the left at a sitting area complete with a couch and paintings to match, set outside of the dining room where residents could meet with visitors. There was also a door leading to an outside area. My father-in-law took us down another hallway to the bank of elevators and led us up to his room. Okay, this is why I’m going into anally boring, detail: A few months after that, my cousin moved my uncle into an assisted living place near her in New Jersey. My sister went to visit and took pictures. She is notorious for posting pictures of ridiculous things. This time, I was glad she did. The place had a desk on the left at the entrance, a long hallway which led to the dining room on the right and, the sitting room on the left, and outdoor area… etc etc. The color scheme was the same, the couch/artwork combo was the same. The residents were the same. Is that Mrs. Becker in the photo? Then it gets weirder.
One evening, I turned on “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” and the fabulous Lisa Rinna was going back to Oregon to help her parents move to what seemed like possibly an assisted living place. I could be wrong… I might be hallucinating at this point but I could swear, in the background, I caught a glimpse of the same entrance, same desk, same hallway, same dining area, same couches, same Mrs. Becker. I thought: “Oh Gd. The place is contagious.” I thought at least it had been contained to the Northeast but it’s spread all the way to Oregon. What are the chances the entire Midwest hasn’t sprouted desks, hallways, couches/paintings and Mrs. Beckers also?
The important question is: Is every one of these buildings freakishly identical in hopes that horrendous children and children-in-law like us can easily shuffle our relatives between us without them realizing they’ve been shuffled? “Okay, Dad… You’re back home. What do you mean you don’t live here? Look, there’s the desk and the hallway, and the couch. There’s the painting that’s always been there. There’s your friend, Mrs. Becker”. So either this is all an elaborate scheme to screw with our elders… or Stephen King has started dabbling in real estate. Red-rum. Red-rum. Red rum.