Friday, September 2, 2016
I talk to The Dad by phone (as opposed to telepathy) every Saturday, usually around 11 am Louisiana time. Sometimes he doesn’t answer, which is annoying, because the man literally doesn’t leave his recliner on the weekends other than to eat and use the bathroom, sometimes concurrently. The reason it is annoying is his timing is always terrible. If we don’t talk on Saturday morning, he panics and then starts calling me every 15 minutes, leaving no voicemails, until I answer and I am usually in a movie or having brunch or some other really important thing. When I ask him why he doesn’t answer the phone, he says it doesn’t ring. When I point out he keeps it in his shirt pocket where it should at least vibrate he declines the logic. When I remind him I call at the exact same time every week, he pretends to not understand what I’m saying.
He does this by refusing to wear the hearing aids prescribed by his doctor and received free of charge from the VA. He does not want to admit it but he is 75 and has the hearing prowess of a Dowager Countess. I used to think he had selective hearing because he seemed to be able to hear a bag of chips open from a half-mile away, but not hear when I ask him if he took his medicine or if he showered that day. I knew something was wrong however, when I whispered at dinner one night that we had chocolate ice cream for dessert and he didn’t move a muscle. I called the doctor the next day.
And I share all that to give you context of the conversation we had just this past week, when he wasn’t wear his hearing aids.
The Dad: Joe’s Pool Hall, Cue Ball speaking.
Me: Hey, what’re y’all doing?
TD: Hey JD! We’re just sittin’ around watching the grass grow. Whatcha doin’? Shoppin’?
M: Well I went to the grocery store if you consider that shopping. Ran some other errands. I’m meeting some friends in a little while to have tea.
M: No, we’re going to a tea room to have High Tea.
M: High tea.
M: (Speaking loudly) High Tea.
M: (Almost yelling) Where are your hearing aids?
TD: Don’t need ‘em. Now what were you talkin’ about doin’?
M: (Yelling) Going to High. Tea. Like they do in England?
TD: You’re goin’ to England today?
M: (Sarcastic but still hopefully respectful) Yes, I’m going to England. Today. I have to hang up, the plane is here.
TD: Oh, well I’ll talk to you later.
M: No…I’m just kidding…I’m not going to England.
TD: Oh. So you are goin’ shoppin’?
M: (Resigned) Yes, sir.
TD: That’s that I thought.
If I drank, I'd be drunk at brunch right about now.