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« He Says Collecting, I Say Hoarding | Main | On Turning 45 »

Because They're Elderly

My mom and dad aren't really elderly. They're not 70, but almost. Like knocking on the door. But "elderly" is a relative term.

The past few years, visits to my parents' home in Arizona have provided several family take-away stories.  There was the time I backed into their house... with Mom's car; the time I experienced heat exhaustion [Dad's diagnosis] or water intoxication [my diagnosis]; the time we debated the value of a Snuggie; and the time Mom and I learned that it's common for public bathrooms to have ice in the urinals.  I continue to find women, elderly women even, who's husbands have neglected to share that last fact with them.


Middle Boy and I traveled to Arizona in June so he could attend a music camp -- we stayed with Mom and Dad.  Chris and our other two sons remained in Utah.

The music camp culminated with a Friday night concert after a week of lessons and rehearsals.  My parents and I happily attended the event to support our young rocker.

I arrived at the concert venue early so that I could snag some good seats.  Sideways glances shot my way, warning me that it was not cool to save seats.  I sat down in the second row, placed my purse on the chair to my right and a camera on the chair to my left.  Seats saved, glances ignored.

The small auditorium filled quickly.  With 15 minutes until show time, my parents still hadn't arrived and the only two seats remaining were theirs.  People asked, "Are those taken?"  I apologized to everyone and said yes.  Where were they?

The couple sitting in front of me turned around and gave me a sympathetic look. 

"I can tell it's poor form to save seats," I said.  "But we traveled from Utah and my parents are so excited to see my son play.  My brother and his wife are here, too, but they're on their own."  Then I embellished, "And my parents are... elderly."

"Oh we understand," said the woman while her husband nodded in agreement.  "Last year we tried to save a seat for my mother-in-law who'd just had hip replacement surgery.  She could hardly walk.  She got here late -- poor thing struggled in the dark parking lot -- and a rude woman plopped herself down in the seat we were saving.  Said we weren't allowed to save seats and she was going to watch her child perform."

"How old is your mother-in-law?" I asked.



Mom and Dad finally bounced into the auditorium.  They looked perky, were dressed in their classic yet contemporary styles, and moved very non-geriatric-like through the crowded aisles to where I was sitting.  The couple in front of me watched my parents approach.  "Your parents?" they asked, eyebrows raised.

Twelve bands.  Twelve, young [ages 11-17], loud bands.  All very good, I might add, and playing to a mature, seated house.  Middle-aged parents, grandparents and a few younger siblings stared at the stage with goofy smiles on their faces and clapped courteously at the end of each performance.  Not your typical rock concert crowd.

"Is that a boy or a girl?" Dad asked me.  Repetitively and audibly.  I played deaf and hoped the parents of the androgynous kids weren't sitting near us.  His commentary continued.  I can't tell.  Seriously.  Is that a girl?  A boy?  Can you tell?  They all look the same.  Ooh.  That's a big kid.  Look how tiny that one is.  He can't be 11.  Was that a good singer?  Did you like that singer?  I can't tell who's goodWhat about that one?  Boy?  Girl?

"They're all doing a great job!" I said loudly and fervently.  Damage control.

As we piled out of the auditorium at the end of the night, I managed to make eye contact with the couple who had been sitting in front of us. I raised my eyebrows.  Elderly.

Reader Comments (9)

This made me giggle. Seriously. 17 days Chrisy!!!
July 18, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterchristy
My mom is continually saying inappropriate things quite loudly. The older she gets, the more gleeful she is about it. When I admonish her that people can hear her and that she's being rude, she just grins.... Just wait until your dad hits 84! Great post! xo
July 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPam Dahlkamp

I love that your mom grins! Redmond has the same problem as your mother... xo
July 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris
LOL. Love how you wrote this up.
Love this story and also love Pam's comment.

I can't wait to be gleeful like that!
July 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMary
that great! my Dad sometimes "comments" in church.You know... where it's quiet and he's a bit hard of hearing. He IS elderly! haha keep writing you are great!Lindy
July 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindy
HA! iKeith is 47 and I call him elderly.

He's been looking at Hoverrounds.
July 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterConnie Weiss
Oh, you do make me laugh!

Good to see you back.
July 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLady Fi
You are so cool. Thanks for the smile and the knowledge that I'm not alone at being embarrassed bybmy parents in public.
July 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

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