For quite some time now I have truly believed that God hates me. My biological father was raised a Hindu and maybe there were too many bedtime stories about how one acts in this life determines how one’s next life turns out. He used to say to me as he put me to bed at night “now if you aren’t a good girl in this life you will come back as a fly on a piece of shit in your next life” – fucked up I must admit but it did make me behave and try to be a good person and the sentiment stuck. I’m not sure what I believe but I do feel confident there is something bigger than me and us and I am quite convinced that I must have been a terrible criminal in a past life because the daily deluge of events that I encounter are something I couldn’t possibly conjure in my wildest imagination or nightmares. As a friend said years ago, “baby, you’re many things but bland isn’t one of them.” It’s never boring being me but it’s bizarre at best and I would take a few “boring” days right about now. That said, a friend sent me the above photo tonight and I felt compelled to finally write again.
I certainly have plenty of material. I always do. I spent the summer in Filthadelphia, which is what a friend from high school has termed Philadelphia. I didn’t understand it until this summer but he is most certainly right. But a verbal or written diatribe about that city is not necessary now nor do I want to revisit my experience there as I write. Suffice it to say it is the most inefficient city in the United States and it makes New Orleans look like a masterpiece of service and productivity and that is not an easy task.
It was a memorable yet blurry and busy the summer in Philadelphia with my aging, no old, parents. The summer included:
- 9 trips to the ER
- 3 ambulances
- 3 hospitalizations between the two of them
- 1 live in “helper” who I LOVE
- 107 interviews of potential “help”
- 57 applicants who I tried to hire but failed after an hour or a day
- 2 companies that I helped train their geriatric care giving “employees” for free
- 1 owner who worked for me when her person didn’t show (she was fired – the helper that is)
- 1 who stole
- 1 who caused a flood
- 1 who couldn’t fit through the baby gates (yes you read that right)
- 1 with contagious athletes foot
- 1 who brought a library
- 1 I sent back to college
- 1 who brought five bags and thought she was moving in – she lasted 3 hours
- 2 who tried to sell me their family members when I thought I was interviewing them for the job
- 27 who had better manicures than me (that was easy because I never got one – no time!)
- 2 who had perfect highlights and manicures
- all ate more meals than me
- 3 who lost weight and became more healthy while working for me
- many who said they cooked but none did
- many who did their laundry but not ours
- 1 who caused two falls
- A 4 story house – working in one is very different than living in one
- 3 baby gates
- remediated two areas of black mold
- replaced a roof and got historic permits
- cleaned out 30 years of crap with my dog bed on the top – he died in 1990 so imagine what was underneath the pile…nothing worth saving!
- spent over a month sleeping in chairs in hospitals.
Yes that pretty much sums up what I can remember at this time….on the upside I got down to a size 26 jean (size 0) and working in a 4 story house gets one in great shape!
So after looking at “assisted living facilities” (what a misnomer that phrase is) in a 100 miles radius and determining that I wouldn’t put my dead dog in any of them, much less parents I actually sort of love, I thought where do rich people go for good care to basically live out their lives and die? Where would I go if I had to stay in the United States? I wasn’t sure so I asked my 92 year old stepfather, king of the wasps. And he responded “Palm Beach”. So I decided to check it out. I had been thinking of moving to south Florida a year ago anyway and I do hate winter. Plus sick parents in a four story house? Forget it I thought….and if a geriatric can’t get good care in Palm Beach where can you?!
I did a two-day due diligence trip. Visited nine places. Chose one. In ten days I chartered a jet, packed and shipped a car, convinced our “helper” who had never flown to fly with us, furnished an entire apartment and moved my parents. It was a remarkable, memorable, incredible and successful undertaking.
Florida hasn’t been easy but it is so much better than Filthadelphia. And everything is soooo much better with palm trees! So today was my first day of optimism after sleeping once again in a hospital chair for several weeks….the upside is on it’s way and at least here I’ve found some nice people and people who actually do want jobs….such a novel and wonderful concept…..here’s to a warm, wonderful winter……and living on the beach!
The social landscape, however, may need some work as these are some of the choices….
I personally think that depressed people playing underwater hockey would be so much more interesting and probably therapeutic. Or mensa depressed people playing underwater hockey….now that would be a game to watch! Just a thought.