Heh, heh: I discovered that the place I've been calling "The Palms" is actually "The Bonaventure." Seems it was named the former when it was owned by the same outfit that owns the assisted living facility right behind it. It was sold, and I think officially it's "Bonaventure Holiday Retirement"--or something.
Anyway, after a restless night--I don't know why I'm suddenly having problems sleeping through--I got up at 7:00 and prepared for what now seemed a rather tedious obligation--my third day at The Bonaventure. Mary had said "Spa Day" would be held from 10 to 2; she said I wouldn't want to miss it. Actually, I was pretty interested and got there just at 10:00. I had envisioned lots of goodies, such as sample lipsticks, mail polish, and pens, maybe tips and pointers on makeup and relaxation techniques, perhaps a traveling hot tub (was I nuts?). I was even hoping for a free pedicure, which I badly need.
Pulled into the parking lot, puzzled that there were plenty of empty spaces. Walked into the main reception room and saw only three or four residents sitting around. Went into the activity room and here was "Spa Day": roughly six small tables with a few brochures and leaflets on them, each staffed with a young woman. Two represented home health aide companies, two exercise regimes, one touted Mary Kay, and another foot care ointments. There was, however, somebody with one of those massage seats where the massage-ee sits, leans forward, and puts his or her face in a ring while the massager does the rub.
Even after chatting up this and that rep and greeting the residents I knew, it was only 10:30 by the time I had exhausted my interest in Spa Day. I therefore told Mary I had to run a few errands--and I did, although they were made up on the spot--and would be back in an hour. I just couldn't face more idle chit-chat with sweet little old ladies.
Came back at noon (had to wait another half-hour for lunch) and sat with the only African-American person there, Christine, and her friend, Galzalo, maybe the only Latino resident. Galzalo said little, but Christine is one of those non-stop talkers, so I just shut off my attention meter and nodded, smiled, and chuckled now and again. Before we were served, however, I was rescued by a new (as of the week before) resident, who asked if she could join us. Yes, yes--I practically grabbed her arm and forced her to sit down.
Her name is Cherie--seems sort of odd for somebody in her seventies or beyond, almost on a par with "Bubbles"--and she proved to be an interesting person. She was from Boston and had been a medical librarian--masters degree, of course, and I soon realized she was intelligent, well-read, and--eureka!--computer literate. Never married and her only close relative is a nephew, of whom she's fond. The thought occurred to me that I might try to get to know her better and maybe actually get in touch with her in the future. We'll see.
The four of us had wiener schnitzel with other German dishes--not bad--then I said goodbye. Much as meals are enjoyable there, they seem interminable, and nobody else is in any kind of hurry.
Drove immediately to the post office to mail off a birthday card for the Asian Angel. It'll be more than a week late, but my present came in time, anyway. Went from there to the library in town--to find it was again closed because of the heat.
Stopped at the supermarket for paper towels and stuff, then went home for a light dinner of Caesar salad. Called El, the birthday girl (as of TODAY: SEPTEMBER 11), and we made a date for Greg and the two of us to celebrate with a Thai dinner tonight.
WIDER: Preserve me from that pious, "never forget" crapola on Facebook re 9/11. Fer cryin' out loud, it used to be December 7 was the day memorialized with leaden prose, what ever happened to that one? (It's also Greg's birthday, a fabulous coincidence, seems to me.) It's one thing if you actually had a loved one killed that day, but how deep and heartfelt are the sentiments behind "sharing" the tasteless, cliched pictures on Facebook? Hey, why isn't Wednesday, April 4, revered as a big solemn occasion? On that day, in 1843, American troops slaughtered 1,655 women and children in an Apache camp near Friendship, Oklahoma.
Nah, I just made that up.