Harder to accept are the more subtle changes, personality shifts, that I am noticing in people I have known for years who are much older that I am. Specifically, I am referring to my 80 year old 2nd cousin, affectionately called 2Cuz. We have had many outings over the years, beginning when I was a scrawny 10 year old. Mom would dress me in my finest, we're talkin' short white gloves and beribboned hat, to lunch and shop in San Francisco with 2Cuz and her mom, both also gloved and hatted. Can you imagine? We are talking eons ago! Our moms are no longer with us, but 2Cuz and I still manage to lunch and shop, thankfully not gloved and hatted in SF, though it is considerably more difficult now that she is 80 and has had a mild stroke.
2Cuz has transformed from this smiling,vibrant 30ish cousin into an iron fisted, very rigid senior. When she makes up her mind about something, that is it. To put it mildly, she has become difficult. Consequently, I find myself wanting to see her less because our outings have become such a struggle for me and , perhaps, for her. To try to cope, I have determined that I must have a firm plan for our jaunts and not allow her to orchestrate our activities, which -trying to please and be agreeable - I used to allow, resulting in wild goose chases because she never knew exactly where we were going but insisted that she did, did, DID. Example: a couple of months ago, hopelessly lost in Petaluma, she insisted I turn onto a one-way street, going the wrong way. What? On the same disastrous venture, her directions got us onto an entrance only freeway lane, a big mistake, with quick-moving traffic in the lanes on both sides. With massive restraint, because what I wanted to do was shout shitfuckingcrapola, I calmly burbled, "Oh no! We're stuck going onto the freeway." She replied in her I'm soooo bloody right voice, "Well, just change lanes!" She might as well have said, "Let's get killed." Thank goodness I am always the driver. I swear, this could be a screenplay for a sit-com, no laugh track needed.
Yesterday was our lastest excursion (written for my weight blog because I was rewarded with a high caloric and very delicious tempura lunch), and there were only a few hitches... though it took all my patience to not just massively lose it and begin to roll on the ground yelling curse words.
Bottom line: I will continue our outings, under my guidelines, in order to add some spice to her diminishing life remembering that I, too, will oneday most likely become a bossy, know-it-all, stubborn old matron hoping that some kind schmuck is willing to help me shop and take me to lunch.
Ah, that circle of life. Kinda sucks, but I soooo take it on, not liking the alterrnative. Sis. Boom. Bah.