Ammo Grrrll sent us her column on GERIATRIC MULTI-TASKING before the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate in Las Vegas. She writes:
I just read a semi-depressing article which advised seniors not to attempt multi-tasking. It appears that we are supposed to marshal our meager remaining mental resources to focus like a laser on one task at a time, lest we fall down and hurt ourselves or otherwise start the house on fire. I had come to the same conclusion myself some time ago.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen! Back when Mama and Daddy still lived in the sweet little house I grew up in, and Mama, 90, was sick of cooking, I often made my own version of “Meals on Wheels” wherein I prepared from scratch and froze in small, labeled food savers, 54, count ‘em, 54, meals. This included Chili, Spaghetti Sauce, Brisket, two different kinds of Chicken, Bean Soup, Lasagna, Irish Lamb Stew, and Pot Roast and Gravy.
With these freezer treasures alternating with Chicken Pot Pies and going out for Tacos or Chinese they could eat for several months. I would give much of what I own to be able to do that for Mama again even for a week. The point today, however, is not how much I miss my Mother, which is unquantifiable, but how efficiently I managed to make 54 meals in about half a day.
And that was using one stove that had one oven in a kitchen the size of an inadequate walk-in closet. Now, I am blessed with a yuge, dream kitchen, and to make an ordinary breakfast, I need to approach it with military planning, timers and lists. Sigh.
It is a “revoltin’ development” indeed (h/t to William Bendix in Life of Riley) when the Queen of Deviled Eggs in the Dusty Little Village, possibly all of Arizona, puts a dozen eggs on the boil, goes to write a column for many appreciative commenters and a couple of trolls, and does not come back to the kitchen until she hears a fearful popping she thinks is gunfire. And upon viewing the egg parts everywhere, almost wishes it had been gunfire. Now I set the timer with the precision of someone who must take a pill at an exact time or die!
No more freelancing without double-checking recipes, especially when baking. Bread without yeast isn’t even matzo. It’s a complete waste of ingredients and time. These are not yet frequent occurrences, thank the Lord, but they happen often enough to provide a window into a scary future. I blame the fact that I am so easily distracted, first, on Donald J.Trump, of course, because why not? But also on the fact that I seem to be at a stage in my life where I find almost everything equally fascinating and equally urgent.
So I will go into the garage headed for the Gift Wrapping Bin and see the Gun Cleaning Bench and decide to clean my Walther PPQ. Then I will remember the gift that has to be wrapped and taken to the UPS Store by the close of day and get the scissors out of the Junk Drawer but decide to organize the Junk Drawer before wrapping the gift. If I’m going to the UPS Store, I might as well swing by Fry’s, so I have to make out a grocery list, but, oh look at the ridiculous number of ballpoint pens that don’t even work, yet are retained for years. Time to try them all out and eliminate the spent ones. I have hundreds, just from hotels alone.
And as sands through the hourglass, these are the Days of My Life.
A dear friend of mine must scour the Internet looking for the most depressing stories to text me with links. Sometimes I do not open them, but often I do. There was one in this same theme, not of problems with multi-tasking for seniors, but with the horrendous projected costs incurred in Assisted Living and caregiving for Seniors. Daunting!
I have an alternative to Assisted Living and that is a Revised Standard Version of THE COMMUNE!! Yes! THIS TIME, like Communism, it will really work. Sure, when you were in your early 20s, you tried communal living, supposedly sharing everything and you ended up putting your initials on your eggs and hiding anything of value from the listless, lazy, thieving roommates sharing your filthy living space. (Naturally, Bernie Sanders lived in a commune in the ’60s and was thrown out for preferring to BS rather than work. Shocked, I am.)
But we have all matured and now have mad skills. Plus money. By the time we need Assisted Living in another 10-15 years, the cost for one person in Assisted Living is projected to be well over $100,000 each year, every year, except when it goes UP. Krikey! Multiply that times ten to 12, say, and we could build a darn fine 8-bedroom house in rural Arizona with at least 12 bathrooms and both private areas and some nice common areas inside and out.
Who wants in on Ammoville Acres, Phase One? We’re going to need somebody who’s a doctor or nurse. Somebody who is a lawyer would always come in handy. One or more Tech People. A phone wizard who will help me forward a picture. Excellent marksmen for our security force. We can hire cleaning and yard work done, but home handyman skills will be much prized, as well as the ability to drive at night.
I will volunteer right now to cook and tell jokes. I hope our friend Margie joins to be the baker and both her husband, Don, and my bestie, Angela, know how to farm should that become necessary if any Democrat ever gets in again and destroys the economy, as they all promise. Since I don’t do so well with houseplants, I have a sneaking suspicion that farming is not quite as easy as Mike the Tyke says it is. Especially corn in Arizona, corn being Mike’s area of massive agricultural expertise.
We would have a dozen people to help somebody remember the name of that actress who was in that series about some town in South Dakota. Right now, just being married and having two half brains helps reconstruct and retrieve some information, but think of the benefits of having 12 people to yell out the answers on Jeopardy.
We could rent stretch limos to take us to concerts with Willie Nelson, the Eagles, or the Rolling Stones, who will all still be performing. We could order groceries online and have them delivered, and put up a revolving Duty List to keep everything neat and squared away. There should surely be no more disagreements than the average HOA meeting and the common areas could be Gun-Free Zones during Policy Meetings.
So that’s my idea, folks. Now taking applications to get in on the ground floor. Please include skills, resources, preferred pronouns – Her Big Fat Royal Majesty is already taken — dietary restrictions, and pictures. Recent pictures. Not like the one for this column. I kid, of course. Skills are MUCH more important than pictures! But attractiveness is never unwelcome; studies have been done – even babies and animals prefer pretty people. Figures.