Saturday, March 29, 2008

Here I Come To Save The Day

I recently stumbled on Papa T.'s secret identity. By day he poses as a mild mannered senior citizen with a fondess for books on tape and all things Hostess. But underneath the wire rimmed classes, boyish smile and flannel shirt lives the caped crusader I call....(cue super hero music)...Random Man. His mission? To save the Hula-gens from boring conversations. It's just another little part of that Dementia Lite roller coaster we're riding.

Just when we least expect it, he pipes up with a story or anecdote that has nothing to do with the current topic of conversation. Like last night when we were eating at (everyone say it on the count of 3)...Cracker Barrell. Over salads and iced tea we were chatting about old Christmas parties when out of nowhere he rattled off a long story about his elementary school algebra teacher. We all looked at each other and whispered, "Random". A few nights ago we were debating politics, which frankly, can be explosive with the liberal/ultra conservative mix in this family, when he stopped our Hillary/Obama discussion with a story about his days as a school superintendent. Random. Sometimes we don't even have to be talking and he'll whip out his cape, pull a story out of the blue and tell it. Random. It used to happen once in a while. Now it happens just about every time we're together, and we usually get a good chuckle out of it.

What isn't so funny is the erosion of those little filters that should prevent him from saying things that are rude. He was always a very diplomatic, polite man, and often he still is. But sometimes he isn't. Frequently, he says exactly what he's thinking without any regard for his surroundings or people's feelings. Like the night we were eating at.....yes, Cracker Barrell......when an old acquaintenance walked up and chatted with Papa T. and Mama J.. When the nice lady walked off, she was about an eighth of an inch out of earshot when Papa T. said loudly, "Boy, she sure has put on weight." Immediately, five of us dove under the table in search of an imaginary dropped biscuit. Not random. Not funny. Very embarrassing. What's worse is that when we call him on it, he says something like, "It's true" or "I don't care". He used to never be that way.

There are signs that these filters will continue to deteriorate and his mouth will become more of a problem. There will probably be a day when we can no longer take him out to eat for fear of offending too many people or causing him and us great humiliation. I hope that's a long way off. Otherwise, we're going to have to get a mask for Random Man, and maybe masks for the rest of us so we can hide our identity when eating at the CB. I think we'll leave the lycra tights at home, though.


janjanmom said...

Isn't that the fun part of getting old...ignoring social graces and turning off your filter? Don't be such a fuddy-duddy.

Most people just chuckle when old people are unfiltered.

Kelly @ Love Well said...

Yes, forgo the tights. Imagine what he'd say if you all showed up in those.