Do You Remember?

Sometime in January, Netflix is scheduled to begin streaming the sixth season of  Grace and Frankiethe wonderful comedy about two aging women whose husbands leave them for each other. While their husbands’ marriage to one another is certainly a part of the show’s narrative, it isn’t the driving story line. Instead, the program looks at two women facing the problems of aging.  Frankie and Grace stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and they play their respective parts spectacularly. It is fun to watch them struggle with technology and their frustrations about their grown children and real-life problems like not being able to walk fast enough across a street to beat the light before it changes.

It makes me happy to see that television might — just MIGHT — be starting to realize that Baby Boomers are aging, and if we can’t laugh about that fact, we will live our golden years mighty depressed.

Another Netflix program that deals with aging is The Kominsky Methodstarring Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin.  The Kominsky Method also looks at aging, but from a man’s perspective. Douglas plays Sandy Kominsky, a failed actor who now runs a respected acting school. Alan Arkin plays Norman Newlander, a successful agent who not only represented Sandy Kominsky, but is his best friend. The writing is very funny, and the situations the two men face — just like in Grace and Frankie — are realistic. Things like death of friends and loved ones, prostate issues, sex when you’re a senior citizen are all dealt with in a funny and way that hits home.

In the first episode of Season 2, the two men are driving in the car. Out of the blue, Norman asks Sandy, “Do you ever forget words?” Sandy agrees and tells a funny story of a situation in which he forgot a word. Throughout the rest of that episode, the men keep forgetting words.

Perhaps I find this especially funny because I am the Queen of Forgetting Words. I recently texted my son to ask him: What’s the word that means a team that was expected to lose actually wins? A few minutes or so later, my phone dings. Upset? Court asks me.


I’m pretty sure the reason it took so long for him to respond was because he took the time to look up nearby Memory Care facilities.

The other day Bec was visiting. The two of us sat out on our patio, each with a glass of wine (which Court would probably think I don’t really need). We talked about a variety of things from movies we liked to our favorite actors and so on. But much of our conversation consisted of both of us trying to come up with someone or something’s name. She couldn’t remember the name of one of her favorite Christmas movies (Deck the Halls). I couldn’t remember the name of one of my favorite Christmas movies (Love, Actually). Meg Ryan’s name escaped me. At one point, Bec and I were laughing so hard at ourselves, we were crying. “We need to use a sentence that has a direct object,” I said through my tears of laughter.

One of the critics from Rotten Tomatoes gave The Kominsky Method a pretty good review: Full of humor and heart, The Kominsky Method paints a surprisingly poignant — if a little paint-by-numbers — portrait of life and aging, elevated by two top-notch performances by legends Alan Arkin and Michael Douglas.

Can I just explain to this reviewer (who is probably 34 years old) that there is really no “paint-by-numbers” about their situation. That’s called Real Life.

And that’s why our children are already looking for rooms that will work for three…..

Thursday Thoughts

Baby You Can Drive My Car
When Bill and I traveled to Chicago this past week, we parked our car at a hotel near the airport and took their shuttle to DIA. The shuttle driver picked us up shortly after we called. He was a pleasant fellow who chatted almost ceaselessly with us since we were sitting in the front of the bus. We didn’t mind because he was very nice and quite informative. After we had established that we were BFFs, I said to him, “I imagine when you have a day off, the last thing you want to do is drive.” He looked at me with some surprise and told me that he LOVED to drive and never got tired of it. Now that’s a concept I simply can’t understand. I drive every day. I probably put several hundred miles on my car each week, give or take. I hope I can continue to drive for a long while yet. But I never, EVER, enjoy it. Never have. Never will. If I go to purgatory (or worse) after I die, my punishment will be driving a bus day in and day out.

Billy Joe Royal, circa 1966, doing his best George Harrison imitation.

Billy Joe Royal, circa 1966, doing his best George Harrison imitation.

Filling My Brain
As we were driving home from the airport after we had retrieved our car, Bill mentioned something about the boondocks. I don’t remember what we were talking about. Anyway, he went on to ask me if I remembered the old song Down in the Boondocks. Not only do I remember it (Billy Joe Royal), but I can recall every single word of the song, and proceeded to sing it to Bill. Undoubtedly that was a joy for him. But after I completed my tune (People put me down ‘cause that’s the side of town I was born in….), it occurred to me that I use a considerable number of brain cells remembering the words to old tunes from the 1950s and 60s. I also can remember old phone numbers (Columbus home phone number 564-5773, Columbus bakery number 564-7431, believe me, I could go on). And yet I call each of my grandkids by a name that isn’t theirs, generally Addie; but I call Addie by Kaiya’s name. Go figure. Bill assures me I don’t have to worry because I have a huge number of brain cells available, but still…..

Ode to Acting Old
Yesterday afternoon at Walmart, I’m afraid I performed a perfect old-person act, and when I say perfect, I mean perfectly embarrassing. There was a young mother and her 3-ish-old child in front of me in line. She had groceries on the conveyor belt, but there was a 2 foot area with no groceries. Without giving it a thought, I put up the dividing bar and began loading my groceries onto the conveyor belt. The young woman said nothing, and it wasn’t until I had ALL OF MY GROCERIES loaded onto the belt that I noticed she had an entire grocery cart left to check out. Ladies and gentlemen, she wasn’t done putting her groceries onto the belt. I apologized profusely in that way that old people do when they screw up. She was perfectly nice, but I can imagine that she was thinking, “Seriously Old Woman? You didn’t see an entire OVERFLOWING cart of groceries?” Furthermore, because my groceries were taking up the entire conveyor belt, she had to hand her groceries from that cart one-by-one to the checker. At one point the transfer of a 40-oz bottle of Gatorade wasn’t successful, and it fell onto the floor, spilling everywhere. Orange Gatorade.  By the way, it wasn’t over yet for the poor young woman. As I was making my biscotti yesterday afternoon, I couldn’t find the bag of dried cranberries I KNEW I had purchased. All of a sudden, I realized that they had probably tumbled onto the woman’s groceries. She will get home and wonder where in the heck the dried cranberries came from. Oh yeah, she’ll think. The crazy old lady. Sigh.

Tiny Tray

Teeny, tiny tray.

Teeny, tiny tray.

Bill and I flew home from Chicago on Frontier Airlines, and we had the funniest seats. This, by the way, is a follow up to my post earlier this week about flying. The seats were stationary, reclining not at all, and were hard as rocks. But the funniest things were the trays. They were no more than 10 inches by 4 inches and literally barely fit my glass and my can. Not all of the rows had these particular seats, but our row and the row behind us were so blessed. Perhaps we were guinea pigs. I vote no.

petunias preplant

Petunias awaiting planting….

Pretty Petunias
I bought $45 dollars’ worth of petunias yesterday. I always put different colored petunias in the little garden area that lines our fountain in the back yard. Every summer I simply love the colors and the garden makes me happy. But man, there is simply not a job I dislike more than planting my petunias. I do them a few at a time, making the job bearable.