Friday, January 28, 2011

And What Did I Just Say?

So yesterday, I wrote about Anthony's mother. The pressure cooker.

Today, Anthony paid her a visit with the social worker. Now, this isn't the social worker that Anthony hired privately to do his bidding. This is the social worker who was assigned to Doris after she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and this is the social worker who is trying to help her, as is her job.

Anthony: "Mom, Hi, I'm here with so-and-so, the nice lady who visits you from time-to-time. Remember her?"

Doris: "Who are you? Why are you here? You (glaring at Anthony) are trying to put me in a 'home!' AND you are trying to get all my money! You and that wife of yours! What's her name again?!"
Anthony: "Right. And her name is Delia."
Social worker: "Doris, we're not here to talk about Anthony, or his wife. I'm here to see you. How are you?"
Doris: "I'm just fine!!! Why, Barack Obama just dropped by to see me. He thinks I'm great, so why shouldn't you?"
SW: "Barack Obama. You mean the President of the United States?"
Doris: "Yes!!! That's how important I am! Errrrr....well. Ok, it wasn't him. I think it was Delia's ex-husband who dropped by, actually."

SW sneaks a look at Anthony. Anthony sighs heavily.

Anthony: "Really mom? Delia's ex-husband dropped by to see you again? Now why would he do that?"

Doris: "How should I know? I expect he wonders what his wife is up-to, I'd think. And no good is what I'd tell him, if he asked."

Anthony: "Really. And again, mom, how does he know you, and how does he know where you live? And why would he keep coming here?"

Doris: "How should I know? He dropped by the day after you married her! And he keeps coming back!"

I wasn't there today, but I can just imagine Anthony's tired look at that reply. Doris has maintained this fantasy ever since Anthony and I married. In her mind, my ex-husband dropped by to visit her, the day after Anthony and I got married.  He just wanted to see her house, she says. She showed him through. He was "good-looking" and important, she claims.

Of course, my ex-husband never did any such thing. He has never met Doris, has no idea of her existence. He doesn't know her name, or where she lives. Nor, I have no doubt, does he care to learn anything about her. He and I divorced about 6 years before I married Anthony. It's all a part of Doris' weird psychology around the fact that her son married a divorced woman. She's obviously speculated long and hard about the man to whom I used to be married. And she really, really wants to meet him. So much so, that she's made up this very persistent fantasy about him.

Anyway, I figure it's better that she thinks my X visited her, than Barack Obama. That could get you in some serious trouble, if you kept making that claim.

The conversation continued in the same vein. How are you? Oh just fine (I only eat sugar). And do you think you are OK taking care of yourself? Of course! Who wouldn't, just because I get lost walking around the block and lose my purse and all its contents every second day or so? And what if you fell and broke your leg? What about that? What if you fell and hurt yourself? Who would you call and what would happen? Well....I'd call for help. And? How do you do that? Well...I'd call. What number would you call? What number...well. I'm not sure.

Doris does not remember that you have to call 911 for help.

But she's just fine. Anthony and social worker left after their visit, no further ahead in convincing Doris she can't take care of herself anymore.

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